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Author Topic: The performance claims and prices are unrealistic  (Read 5014 times)
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January 28, 2013, 06:36:15 PM
 #41

1. SHA-256 capable devices require export license, and no export to China is permitted. So you cant use china as the manufacturing site unless you just build FPGAs and then "convert" them to SHA-256 hashing devices in US.
Regarding export restrictions, I believe Bitsyncom is a US-based company. As such, it should have no problem manufacturing SHA-256 devices at a subsidiary located in China since China is not on the ban list (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria). In fact, many companies such as Motorola and Cisco manufacture hardware encryption technologies in China.

I can't say for sure whether Avalon is 100% legit in this matter, but I have been involved in a small busines venture where this setup has been done before and it was no big deal.
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January 28, 2013, 06:55:18 PM
 #42

As a computer engineer (the kind of engineer that actually knows about the topic at hand), I call bullshit on pcm81 having any idea what he's talking about.

I'm just going to keep repeating "it's an Altera HardCopy" because I haven't the slightest clue what I'm talking about.
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January 28, 2013, 06:59:18 PM
 #43

As a computer engineer (the kind of engineer that actually knows about the topic at hand), I call bullshit on pcm81 having any idea what he's talking about.

Sorry, pcm81, but the other camp's marshmallows are lookin' mighty tasty. I may have to head on over there to make sure they're not using any of my barn wood as fuel. That would piss me off.
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January 28, 2013, 07:55:37 PM
 #44

SHA-256 is used to encrypt data

How does that work? Show me how to decrypt a SHA256 hash back to its original contents.
Step 1, generate random contents
Step 2, hash it
Step 3, compare to a known hash. If matches and random contents makes sense you done, if does not match loop to step 1.
In reality this is an infinite loop that produces no results.  It is more likely that all of the oxygen in the room you are in is distributed poorly and none of it is near you.
I am going to say that you have made the most elegant comeback I have ever read in a long while.

You are a rising star in my book!

Last I checked, hashing and encryption are two different things. They only barely resemble one another on a superficial level.


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pcm81
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January 29, 2013, 03:48:50 AM
 #45

SHA-256 is used to encrypt data

How does that work? Show me how to decrypt a SHA256 hash back to its original contents.
Step 1, generate random contents
Step 2, hash it
Step 3, compare to a known hash. If matches and random contents makes sense you done, if does not match loop to step 1.
In reality this is an infinite loop that produces no results.  It is more likely that all of the oxygen in the room you are in is distributed poorly and none of it is near you.
I am going to say that you have made the most elegant comeback I have ever read in a long while.

You are a rising star in my book!

Last I checked, hashing and encryption are two different things. They only barely resemble one another on a superficial level.

Hashing and encryption ARE two different things. In fact though, they are both used when you log into your online banking account.
1. Your computer gets the public RSA key of the server and encrypts the AES key with it.
2. Sends the key to the server together with your password, which is encrypted with AES.
3. Server decrypts AES key, using that key decrypts your password, it hashes your password and compares the resulting hash to its stored hash. If two match, you are authenticated.
Server does not actually store your password, just its hash, this way if hacker steals the list of all password hashes, he still cant log in...
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January 29, 2013, 04:20:16 AM
 #46

SHA-256 is used to encrypt data

How does that work? Show me how to decrypt a SHA256 hash back to its original contents.
Step 1, generate random contents
Step 2, hash it
Step 3, compare to a known hash. If matches and random contents makes sense you done, if does not match loop to step 1.
In reality this is an infinite loop that produces no results.  It is more likely that all of the oxygen in the room you are in is distributed poorly and none of it is near you.

I feel generous, so i am going to teach you a little something about hashes. When you create a web account for you online banking, the banks server does not actually store your password. The banks server stores SHA-256 (being extremely optimistic) hash of your password. When you log in the web server compares stored hash to the hash of the password you provided. If the two match, you are in. Now imagine that I hacked the webserver and stole the file which has the hash value of your password. I still can't log in and take your money; i need to find a string which will hash to the same value as the hash of your real password, then use that string to log into the banks server and take your money. There are many strings which would match hash value of your password, but the only way i can find one of them is to start hashing all of the possible strings, until i find one whose hash matches the hash of your password. This is why SHA-256 is under export control. Imagine if i had a super computer doing 1PHps, it would take me less time to randomly find a string which matches your passwords hash. So, US gvt restricts export of SHA-256 to Export Licensed companies. It does not mean it can not be exported, it just means company doing the export/import needs export/import license. Sending SHA-256 cores to china for assembly would require export license.

While you have some of the overall concept there, your attention to detail is lacking. 

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January 29, 2013, 06:39:43 AM
 #47

Lets do some basic math:
For existing FPGA design the best can be had is 23MHps/J. There is no reason to anticipate an improvement in FPGA power efficiency, yes, there can be marginal reduction of overhead and the FPGA can be scaled up, but it's efficiency will not increase all that much. Based on existing designs we can anticipate 25MH/J for FPGA. There is nothing special abut ASIC, most ASIC vendors just use a custom programmed FPGA; this is called FPGA to ASIC conversion. So at best ASIC will be 50MHps/J;

You are wrong. A real-world SHA-256 130nm chip, non-optimized for Bitcoin, has already demonstrated 73 Mhash/J: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0  Merely scaling down this non-optimal design from 130nm to 65nm would multiply the Mash/J efficiency by 4 (because efficiency is linearly proportional to the transistor junction area), making it 292 Mhash/J.

Then it is not hard to imagine that optimizing the chip for Bitcoin (ie. two SHA-256 with no high-speed I/O since the same data block is hashed over and over locally, merely incrementing the nonce) would improve the efficiency by a factor or 2 or 3, therefore making it 584 Mhash/J or 876 Mhash/J.

These numbers are not far from BFL's claims (1000 Mhash/J), making them plausible.
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January 29, 2013, 08:13:54 AM
 #48

Hashing and encryption ARE two different things. In fact though, they are both used when you log into your online banking account.
1. Your computer gets the public RSA key of the server and encrypts the AES key with it.
2. Sends the key to the server together with your password, which is encrypted with AES.
3. Server decrypts AES key, using that key decrypts your password, it hashes your password and compares the resulting hash to its stored hash. If two match, you are authenticated.
Server does not actually store your password, just its hash, this way if hacker steals the list of all password hashes, he still cant log in...
You seems to like explaining stuff even if said stuff isn't related in any ways to what you're replying to.

Just stop already,,, you're either off-topic or you're missing 2/3 of what you're trying to explain.
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January 29, 2013, 08:26:53 AM
 #49

Hate that when someone just wastes a whole bunch of people's time.  No idea why I read this whole thread.

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January 29, 2013, 01:41:20 PM
 #50

Still going. This is fairly amazing. I kind of want to track him down, find out where he supposedly has a job in the engineering field, and alert his superiors that he's vastly unqualified for his job.

I'm just going to keep repeating "it's an Altera HardCopy" because I haven't the slightest clue what I'm talking about.
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January 29, 2013, 05:46:47 PM
 #51

Lets do some basic math:
For existing FPGA design the best can be had is 23MHps/J. There is no reason to anticipate an improvement in FPGA power efficiency, yes, there can be marginal reduction of overhead and the FPGA can be scaled up, but it's efficiency will not increase all that much. Based on existing designs we can anticipate 25MH/J for FPGA. There is nothing special abut ASIC, most ASIC vendors just use a custom programmed FPGA; this is called FPGA to ASIC conversion. So at best ASIC will be 50MHps/J;

You are wrong. A real-world SHA-256 130nm chip, non-optimized for Bitcoin, has already demonstrated 73 Mhash/J: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0  Merely scaling down this non-optimal design from 130nm to 65nm would multiply the Mash/J efficiency by 4 (because efficiency is linearly proportional to the transistor junction area), making it 292 Mhash/J.

Then it is not hard to imagine that optimizing the chip for Bitcoin (ie. two SHA-256 with no high-speed I/O since the same data block is hashed over and over locally, merely incrementing the nonce) would improve the efficiency by a factor or 2 or 3, therefore making it 584 Mhash/J or 876 Mhash/J.

These numbers are not far from BFL's claims (1000 Mhash/J), making them plausible.

And with 2-3 years of design, prototyping as well as about $1-$2 million start-up cost you can do it.
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January 29, 2013, 05:59:55 PM
 #52

As a computer engineer (the kind of engineer that actually knows about the topic at hand), I call bullshit on pcm81 having any idea what he's talking about.

Sorry, pcm81, but the other camp's marshmallows are lookin' mighty tasty. I may have to head on over there to make sure they're not using any of my barn wood as fuel. That would piss me off.

Look on the bright side: at least get some mashmallows, since we ain't getting ASIC past vaporware phase anyways...

To build a real ASIC it will be $1-$2 million in startup costs. With current bitcoin design 25 coins per 10 min plus transaction fees, call it 30 coins per 10 minutes, 180 coins per hour at the rate of $20 per coin we are talking $3600 per hour for full network capacity. How long you think it would take to make $3million, which is what end user would endup paying for ASIC? We are talking about 1000 hours to pay for hardware development cost alone with free power. And this is assuming that the ASIC will crush all other network capacity, which in reality it will not exceed 75%-90% of. The market is too small, it will simply not be worth the investment.
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January 29, 2013, 06:42:36 PM
 #53

To build a real ASIC it will be $1-$2 million in startup costs. With current bitcoin design 25 coins per 10 min plus transaction fees, call it 30 coins per 10 minutes, 180 coins per hour at the rate of $20 per coin we are talking $3600 per hour for full network capacity. How long you think it would take to make $3million, which is what end user would endup paying for ASIC? We are talking about 1000 hours to pay for hardware development cost alone with free power. And this is assuming that the ASIC will crush all other network capacity, which in reality it will not exceed 75%-90% of. The market is too small, it will simply not be worth the investment.

Where in the hell are you getting your numbers? I've reread this paragraph a couple times and I still can't piece together your thought process...

1) You don't need $1 million to develop an ASIC...though I suppose it would help.
2) You calculated (poorly) the full output of the network in terms of $$ to somehow justify hardware development. Why would this even matter?
3) I can't even...
Quote
And this is assuming that the ASIC will crush all other network capacity, which in reality it will not exceed 75%-90% of. The market is too small, it will simply not be worth the investment.
No. Just...no.

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January 29, 2013, 09:17:28 PM
 #54

Lets do some basic math:
For existing FPGA design the best can be had is 23MHps/J. There is no reason to anticipate an improvement in FPGA power efficiency, yes, there can be marginal reduction of overhead and the FPGA can be scaled up, but it's efficiency will not increase all that much. Based on existing designs we can anticipate 25MH/J for FPGA. There is nothing special abut ASIC, most ASIC vendors just use a custom programmed FPGA; this is called FPGA to ASIC conversion. So at best ASIC will be 50MHps/J;

You are wrong. A real-world SHA-256 130nm chip, non-optimized for Bitcoin, has already demonstrated 73 Mhash/J: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0  Merely scaling down this non-optimal design from 130nm to 65nm would multiply the Mash/J efficiency by 4 (because efficiency is linearly proportional to the transistor junction area), making it 292 Mhash/J.

Then it is not hard to imagine that optimizing the chip for Bitcoin (ie. two SHA-256 with no high-speed I/O since the same data block is hashed over and over locally, merely incrementing the nonce) would improve the efficiency by a factor or 2 or 3, therefore making it 584 Mhash/J or 876 Mhash/J.

These numbers are not far from BFL's claims (1000 Mhash/J), making them plausible.

And with 2-3 years of design, prototyping as well as about $1-$2 million start-up cost you can do it.

No. The SHA-256 part of the ASIC that I pointed to was designed in weeks, not 2-3 years. It is open source and just a few hundred lines of VHDL: https://cryptography.gmu.edu/athena/index.php?id=source_codes

Also, yes, BFL can, and probably did, spend about $1M developing their ASIC so far. They have received more than $1M of preorders (proven), plus additional venture capital (according to them). They can definitely foot the bill.

Also, the Avalon team seems to have been able to do it for less than $300-400k (excluding salaries), based on their price quotes from TSMC with poorly obscured prices ( https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=120184.msg1381782#msg1381782 ). This validates anecdotal evidence of private wealthy individual engineers having designed their own ASIC for personal projects for only a few hundred thousand dollars.

Bottom line, yes Bitcoin ASICs are definitely financially doable by teams with the funding of BFL and Avalon. If you doubt this, I encourage you to bet against the "BFL is real" bet (see link in my signature) - you would make a killing if you are right Smiley
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January 30, 2013, 03:50:51 AM
 #55

Lets do some basic math:
For existing FPGA design the best can be had is 23MHps/J. There is no reason to anticipate an improvement in FPGA power efficiency, yes, there can be marginal reduction of overhead and the FPGA can be scaled up, but it's efficiency will not increase all that much. Based on existing designs we can anticipate 25MH/J for FPGA. There is nothing special abut ASIC, most ASIC vendors just use a custom programmed FPGA; this is called FPGA to ASIC conversion. So at best ASIC will be 50MHps/J;

You are wrong. A real-world SHA-256 130nm chip, non-optimized for Bitcoin, has already demonstrated 73 Mhash/J: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=95762.0  Merely scaling down this non-optimal design from 130nm to 65nm would multiply the Mash/J efficiency by 4 (because efficiency is linearly proportional to the transistor junction area), making it 292 Mhash/J.

Then it is not hard to imagine that optimizing the chip for Bitcoin (ie. two SHA-256 with no high-speed I/O since the same data block is hashed over and over locally, merely incrementing the nonce) would improve the efficiency by a factor or 2 or 3, therefore making it 584 Mhash/J or 876 Mhash/J.

These numbers are not far from BFL's claims (1000 Mhash/J), making them plausible.

And with 2-3 years of design, prototyping as well as about $1-$2 million start-up cost you can do it.

No. The SHA-256 part of the ASIC that I pointed to was designed in weeks, not 2-3 years. It is open source and just a few hundred lines of VHDL: https://cryptography.gmu.edu/athena/index.php?id=source_codes

Also, yes, BFL can, and probably did, spend about $1M developing their ASIC so far. They have received more than $1M of preorders (proven), plus additional venture capital (according to them). They can definitely foot the bill.

Also, the Avalon team seems to have been able to do it for less than $300-400k (excluding salaries), based on their price quotes from TSMC with poorly obscured prices ( https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=120184.msg1381782#msg1381782 ). This validates anecdotal evidence of private wealthy individual engineers having designed their own ASIC for personal projects for only a few hundred thousand dollars.

Bottom line, yes Bitcoin ASICs are definitely financially doable by teams with the funding of BFL and Avalon. If you doubt this, I encourage you to bet against the "BFL is real" bet (see link in my signature) - you would make a killing if you are right Smiley

Nice try. I can design a nuclear reactor in couple days, i really can; but it does not mean I can build one for less than $5 billion and faster than 5-10 years.
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January 30, 2013, 03:58:12 AM
 #56

No. The SHA-256 part of the ASIC that I pointed to was designed in weeks, not 2-3 years. It is open source and just a few hundred lines of VHDL: https://cryptography.gmu.edu/athena/index.php?id=source_codes

Also, yes, BFL can, and probably did, spend about $1M developing their ASIC so far. They have received more than $1M of preorders (proven), plus additional venture capital (according to them). They can definitely foot the bill.

Also, the Avalon team seems to have been able to do it for less than $300-400k (excluding salaries), based on their price quotes from TSMC with poorly obscured prices ( https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=120184.msg1381782#msg1381782 ). This validates anecdotal evidence of private wealthy individual engineers having designed their own ASIC for personal projects for only a few hundred thousand dollars.

Bottom line, yes Bitcoin ASICs are definitely financially doable by teams with the funding of BFL and Avalon. If you doubt this, I encourage you to bet against the "BFL is real" bet (see link in my signature) - you would make a killing if you are right Smiley

Nice try. I can design a nuclear reactor in couple days, i really can; but it does not mean I can build one for less than $5 billion and faster than 5-10 years.

That chip doing 73 Mhash/J was more than merely designed, it was built! Go look at the die pictures!
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January 30, 2013, 04:34:21 AM
 #57

To build a real ASIC it will be $1-$2 million in startup costs. With current bitcoin design 25 coins per 10 min plus transaction fees, call it 30 coins per 10 minutes, 180 coins per hour at the rate of $20 per coin we are talking $3600 per hour for full network capacity. How long you think it would take to make $3million, which is what end user would endup paying for ASIC? We are talking about 1000 hours to pay for hardware development cost alone with free power. And this is assuming that the ASIC will crush all other network capacity, which in reality it will not exceed 75%-90% of. The market is too small, it will simply not be worth the investment.

Where in the hell are you getting your numbers? I've reread this paragraph a couple times and I still can't piece together your thought process...

1) You don't need $1 million to develop an ASIC...though I suppose it would help.
2) You calculated (poorly) the full output of the network in terms of $$ to somehow justify hardware development. Why would this even matter?
3) I can't even...
Quote
And this is assuming that the ASIC will crush all other network capacity, which in reality it will not exceed 75%-90% of. The market is too small, it will simply not be worth the investment.
No. Just...no.

Users will buy hardware to make money. Would you buy $1000 chip if it did no good for you? The network capacity is relevant, because the only way a chip maker will comit to designing and making a chip is if they can sell enough of them to justify the R&D cost.

Do some math:
network btc is 150 btc/hr, which is $2700/hr. Your fraction of this would be based on your hash ratio to network total. Let's make the most favorable assumption that ASIC will drive all GPUs and FPGAs off the grid, so 100% of network hash rate is coming from ASIC. If total N asic units are made, the R&D cost per chip is X/N. Lets say that X is $1million, so R&D cost per chip is 1,000,000/N. When you buy 1 chip you get 1/N network capacity and so you are getting $2700/N/hr. Which means just to pay for R&D cost you will have to run your ASIC 370HR with FREE electricity. In reality ASIC will not have 100% of network hashrate, your electricity is not free and your actual cost will be at least 3x the RND cost since you need to pay for hardware itself. Which basically boils down to 370*3/F =1110/F Hours. F is the hashrate fraction of ASIC devices to the rest of the network. So in the most ideal case it will take you say 1110 hours of hashing with free electricity to pay for your ASIC chip.
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January 30, 2013, 04:46:35 AM
 #58

You know that 1110 hours is only a month and a half, correct?
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January 30, 2013, 04:56:40 AM
 #59

You know that 1110 hours is only a month and a half, correct?
Yes i do, but by the time you add in the cost of electricity, occasional down time, the designers profit margin etc, you are talking close to 6mo to pay for your ASIC chip.
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January 30, 2013, 05:05:55 AM
 #60

You know......

With so many f*** Crypto/Hash and ASIC experts in this thread... by now the planet should be flooded with bit-coin producing ASICS

Please just  go buy an FPGA development board and build a demo engine ... or at the very least go do some research.
At the end of it.....you may even be able to have a decent conversation about clock buffers.........


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