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Author Topic: Avalon ASIC users thread  (Read 433732 times)
Aseras
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May 16, 2013, 06:56:13 PM
 #861

                 13:37 Grin



Guys don't forget to tip Xiangfu for his great work Smiley
 
 

No tips for Aseras? Xiangfu clearly thanked him for the work.

no one loves me...

I leant my avalons to ckolivas for several days/weeks to do the firmware, paying him in hashes while he works. Luke never took up the offer, and the one try he bricked one of the avalons.
ckolivas has never messed them up besides tripping a breaker once Smiley

I also offered them to forrest to work on p2pool and he never took it up either. p2pool has serious problems with every asic right now.

We have greatly improved the stability and hashrate. I have week+ uptimes now and rarely a hard lock anymore unless we hit the hardware reset buffer bug.

We fixed a great many nasty bug including the difficulty bug, which prevented large shares such a solo mining from working. The watchdog would reset the avalon on high difficulty because it thought the unit was crashed. we found a lot of typos and debugged even building the firmware to make it a fairly simple process. We even taught ckolivas to get a VPN working under linux Cheesy

I'd guess I've lost 50-100btc letting my avalons be used for development between downtime and "paying" whomever was developing.

The next step is to chuck the usb-serial code and go direct usb and remove a lot of the hacks and work arounds that were used and improve it a lot more.

ckolivas is greatly underpaid for the work he does. xiangfu is as well. He needs a new laptop.

If avalon or anyone wants to thank or tip me, Id' rather they pester team avalon to get ckolivas an avalon in his hands. it will be worth it for everyone. It would also be nice if I were "special enough" to get my batch 2 avalons a wee bit quicker Tongue
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May 16, 2013, 10:23:21 PM
 #862

Thanks Aseras ... I know.. too late Wink

I strongly believe that people want to show their appreciation for development but they just don't know who does what in this project.

If there was an option in Avalon's miner settings to donate X% hashes to the dev-team, I think a lot of the Avalon users would have used this.
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May 17, 2013, 07:18:48 AM
 #863

How to add "4th,5th pool" under "More Options" ?


Edit: Found it... add: "-o ip:port -O user:pass" for each pool

It even works with more than 5 pools...


Can different pools mine different coins, e.g., bitcoin and bytecoin?
No
(line 3 of the cgminer README)

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May 17, 2013, 07:38:02 AM
 #864

Thanks Aseras ... I know.. too late Wink


Yeah,

too little, but having an address where to send some tips would help as well, I mean, if each Avalon user sends 1 BTC per owned Avalon 100 BTCs are easily collected!

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Aseras
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May 17, 2013, 03:35:35 PM
 #865

Thanks Aseras ... I know.. too late Wink

I strongly believe that people want to show their appreciation for development but they just don't know who does what in this project.

If there was an option in Avalon's miner settings to donate X% hashes to the dev-team, I think a lot of the Avalon users would have used this.

I actually spoke to ckolivas about adding this option to the finished cgminer with full usb code.
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May 18, 2013, 01:25:45 AM
 #866

Thanks Aseras ... I know.. too late Wink

I strongly believe that people want to show their appreciation for development but they just don't know who does what in this project.

If there was an option in Avalon's miner settings to donate X% hashes to the dev-team, I think a lot of the Avalon users would have used this.

I actually spoke to ckolivas about adding this option to the finished cgminer with full usb code.
The donation feature in cgminer previously was much maligned by the miners, and only ever amounted to a tiny amount of hashrate. I know there are a few generous people that would be happy with such a feature, but I'm not sure it would amount to very much. Do you think there'd be something different this time around?

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May 18, 2013, 01:44:23 AM
 #867

Question: I have done some USB driver work on Windows. How difficult would it be to remove the serial port driver and go directly to USB? The USB protocol is more complicated than that for UART, but I imagine in cgminer high-level interfaces should look very similar to those for a UART?

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May 18, 2013, 01:46:05 AM
 #868

Question: I have done some USB driver work on Windows. How difficult would it be to remove the serial port driver and go directly to USB? The USB protocol is more complicated than that for UART, but I imagine in cgminer high-level interfaces should look very similar to those for a UART?
This is what I'm currently working on, as most other drivers in cgminer are direct USB. To complete the work I need extended access to hardware and doing it remotely is proving problematic.

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May 18, 2013, 02:25:07 AM
 #869

The donation feature in cgminer previously was much maligned by the miners, and only ever amounted to a tiny amount of hashrate. I know there are a few generous people that would be happy with such a feature, but I'm not sure it would amount to very much. Do you think there'd be something different this time around?
It's worth a try. Make donating as easy as possible.

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May 18, 2013, 02:33:27 AM
 #870

Question: I have done some USB driver work on Windows. How difficult would it be to remove the serial port driver and go directly to USB? The USB protocol is more complicated than that for UART, but I imagine in cgminer high-level interfaces should look very similar to those for a UART?
This is what I'm currently working on, as most other drivers in cgminer are direct USB. To complete the work I need extended access to hardware and doing it remotely is proving problematic.

Con, how much time do you think you need on the machine?

Is it difficult to do remotely because you sometimes need a hard reboot?  I could potentially set up access for you with the ability to remotely power cycle the machine.
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May 18, 2013, 03:42:34 AM
 #871

Oh stop it. All you guys that have Avalons have been making a TON of money here in the last few months. Literally thousands and thousands if you played your cards right, and to this day STILL raking in a good chunk of change. Yea, a little jealous. I would have loved to pay off some bills.


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May 18, 2013, 05:11:13 AM
 #872

Question: I have done some USB driver work on Windows. How difficult would it be to remove the serial port driver and go directly to USB? The USB protocol is more complicated than that for UART, but I imagine in cgminer high-level interfaces should look very similar to those for a UART?
This is what I'm currently working on, as most other drivers in cgminer are direct USB. To complete the work I need extended access to hardware and doing it remotely is proving problematic.

Con, how much time do you think you need on the machine?

Is it difficult to do remotely because you sometimes need a hard reboot?  I could potentially set up access for you with the ability to remotely power cycle the machine.
The problem(s) maybe caused by the fact that, on the Avalon Control Unit, the USB serial I/O connects to a UART (FT232), instead of being deserialized and sent to the Spartan-6 chip. So to talk to the Spartan-6, you really need to use the UART protocol instead of the USB protocol. It seems to me that the USB protocol is transparent (or pass-through) in this case.

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May 18, 2013, 05:18:09 AM
 #873

Question: I have done some USB driver work on Windows. How difficult would it be to remove the serial port driver and go directly to USB? The USB protocol is more complicated than that for UART, but I imagine in cgminer high-level interfaces should look very similar to those for a UART?
This is what I'm currently working on, as most other drivers in cgminer are direct USB. To complete the work I need extended access to hardware and doing it remotely is proving problematic.

Con, how much time do you think you need on the machine?

Is it difficult to do remotely because you sometimes need a hard reboot?  I could potentially set up access for you with the ability to remotely power cycle the machine.
Somewhere between 5 minutes and 5 weeks...  Roll Eyes

No really I don't want to put a time on it because you can never tell. Half the problem has been that this direct usb work so far has been done on xiangfu's machine in China and sometimes via ssh it can take a minute to get a response from a keystroke. It's excruciating. The inability to do a hard reboot is also a major problem. It also is pretty much futile trying to do it directly on the avalon hardware, as there are far more tools you can use on a proper linux PC plugged into it via USB (specifically monitoring usb communications). A lot of this is just poking around to see what the serial driver converts into direct USB and trying to emulate that behaviour since it was never designed to be used in that way (which is a shame). There are other issues too, but they can be worked around.

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May 18, 2013, 09:03:59 AM
 #874

Somewhere between 5 minutes and 5 weeks...  Roll Eyes

No really I don't want to put a time on it because you can never tell. Half the problem has been that this direct usb work so far has been done on xiangfu's machine in China and sometimes via ssh it can take a minute to get a response from a keystroke. It's excruciating.

You probably can't easily install it on an Avalon but if by "xiangfu's machine" you mean a more powerful machine acting as a relay to connect to an Avalon, you could try to setup mosh.

I have some servers with unpredictable latencies and sometimes I have to work with a mobile connection with very unpredictable latencies. In practice its prediction algorithm is a game changer compared to ssh (the way it works is technically interesting too). You need to install it on both the server and the client and as long as the network lets you transmit UDP packets between your client and a port you can choose on the server (by default it's chosen by the server side between 60000 and 61000) you are set.

Currently you lose the multiplexing capabilities of ssh, but in your case this doesn't matter.

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May 18, 2013, 12:40:29 PM
 #875


The next step is to chuck the usb-serial code and go direct usb and remove a lot of the hacks and work arounds that were used and improve it a lot more.


What is the issue with going through usb-serial code?  Is it a bottleneck?  Or is this to improve reliability?

I ask this question because I am currently trying to decide whether to design my own Control Unit and replace the way the USB on the Control Unit is grafted onto the Spartan-6. The USB connection to the Spartan-6 can be enhanced by replacing both the uPD720114 and the FT232 UART with a single CY7C68013A which serializes/deserializes to 16-bits.

EDIT:
It seems that the serial driver has to be used in cgminer because, on the Control Unit side, the USB goes through an offchip UART before connecting to the Spartan-6.

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May 18, 2013, 01:20:28 PM
 #876

That's the effort involved in doing direct USB. We have to figure out what it is in the communication that is done and emulate it - as we do with a few other devices already in cgminer. Using direct USB uses a lot less CPU and should be far more reliable.

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May 19, 2013, 07:27:50 AM
 #877

...
EDIT:
It seems that the serial driver has to be used in cgminer because, on the Control Unit side, the USB goes through an offchip UART before connecting to the Spartan-6.
Incorrect - you do not have to use serial-USB - the linux kernel simply sits on top of the ftdi_sio driver which is, of course, usb.
You just need to know how to talk to it on USB (as the sio driver already does)

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May 19, 2013, 10:26:44 AM
 #878

You probably can't easily install it on an Avalon but if by "xiangfu's machine" you mean a more powerful machine acting as a relay to connect to an Avalon, you could try to setup mosh.

I have some servers with unpredictable latencies and sometimes I have to work with a mobile connection with very unpredictable latencies. In practice its prediction algorithm is a game changer compared to ssh (the way it works is technically interesting too). You need to install it on both the server and the client and as long as the network lets you transmit UDP packets between your client and a port you can choose on the server (by default it's chosen by the server side between 60000 and 61000) you are set.

Currently you lose the multiplexing capabilities of ssh, but in your case this doesn't matter.
I've never heard of mosh before but I will definitely give it a try, thanks for the suggestion! (So many cool toys to play with on linux).

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May 19, 2013, 11:51:53 AM
 #879

...
EDIT:
It seems that the serial driver has to be used in cgminer because, on the Control Unit side, the USB goes through an offchip UART before connecting to the Spartan-6.
Incorrect - you do not have to use serial-USB - the linux kernel simply sits on top of the ftdi_sio driver which is, of course, usb.
You just need to know how to talk to it on USB (as the sio driver already does)

Please clarify what you mean by "the linux kernel simply sits on top of the ftdi_sio driver".

My point is this: USB involves complex protocol, UART is simple. We can simulate a direct UART connection between any two systems through the Internet, as is being done as we speak. Now the Internet protocols are even more complex than USB. The easiest way to talk UART to another system through the Internet is NOT to muck with the Internet protocols (that would be crazy). The easiest way is to have another Internet appliance (similar to the one used on the other UART endpoint), and talk UART to that appliance. Similarly in the case of USB.

The simple topology seems to be [sio driver] <--> [usb driver] <-- usb wire --> [usb protocol hw] <--> [uart hw], with the [uart hw] on Avalon's control unit side dictating that the [sio driver] be used on the cgminer side. That's my point.

In other words, we may have to remove the [uart hw] on the Avalon control unit to get rid of the [sio driver] on cgminer.

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May 19, 2013, 09:07:59 PM
 #880

...
EDIT:
It seems that the serial driver has to be used in cgminer because, on the Control Unit side, the USB goes through an offchip UART before connecting to the Spartan-6.
Incorrect - you do not have to use serial-USB - the linux kernel simply sits on top of the ftdi_sio driver which is, of course, usb.
You just need to know how to talk to it on USB (as the sio driver already does)

Please clarify what you mean by "the linux kernel simply sits on top of the ftdi_sio driver".

My point is this: USB involves complex protocol, UART is simple. We can simulate a direct UART connection between any two systems through the Internet, as is being done as we speak. Now the Internet protocols are even more complex than USB. The easiest way to talk UART to another system through the Internet is NOT to muck with the Internet protocols (that would be crazy). The easiest way is to have another Internet appliance (similar to the one used on the other UART endpoint), and talk UART to that appliance. Similarly in the case of USB.

The simple topology seems to be [sio driver] <--> [usb driver] <-- usb wire --> [usb protocol hw] <--> [uart hw], with the [uart hw] on Avalon's control unit side dictating that the [sio driver] be used on the cgminer side. That's my point.

In other words, we may have to remove the [uart hw] on the Avalon control unit to get rid of the [sio driver] on cgminer.
ckolvias and I have already got the Lancelot working fine which uses the same chip.
Once he has more reliable access to an Avalon (or gets one) he'll sort out the Avalon USB also.
The USB for this is simple.
The ftdi_sio for this is simple.
The only difference between Avalon and what we have already done, is probably adding DSR/CTS (which was done but not working fully yet)

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