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Author Topic: GekkoScience is now dabbling with 16nm ASICs for new designs  (Read 67380 times)
sidehack
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October 17, 2016, 08:15:10 PM
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UPDATED NEWS - 2PAC 2xBM1384 USB STICKMINER SALES IS LIVE - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1718358

Pending projects:
 - 20xBM1384 Pod
 - 2xBF16 USB Stick
 - 11xBF16 Pod
 - 33xBF16 S1/3/5-compatible board

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, a shameless plug followed by a basic announcement, both of which might result in plenty of discussion.

First, as the subject line states, I've got some 16nm ASICs to play with for new designs.

However, development costs money. Prototype and material costs, paying people to help, stuff like that. To help raise some funds I'm going to be auctioning off some of the remnants of previous projects, including parts and prototypes from abandoned Compac designs (A3218, BM1385 etc) as well as some pod test parts and general "memorabilia".

It's all stuff that would be interesting to keep in my archive, except I don't really need an archive. What I do need is dev funds to keep rolling projects forward. I especially need dev funds to pay my programmer (forum user "vh") for the work he's done on a cgminer driver for a 14nm Compac I won't be able to mass-produce because the chip supplier has decided not to sell to third parties.

Fun part is, vh is continuing to work on the new driver even though the sticks won't be mass-produced. The prototype already hashes, albeit not at full speed but we're sure that's only a kink to be worked out. I only have three additional sample chips, so as the capstone of the auction I'll be selling off those three sticks and using the proceeds to pay for the software dev. So whoever gets 'em will wind up with an extremely-limited-edition stickminer that, who knows, might hit 100GH by itself.

I'll be starting a thread in the Auctions section and linking to it here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1652091.msg16598805
Auction is live, and will run until Monday 10/24 5PM CST.


So, in new product news, I have new news for newsing.

Within the last month I have received samples and datasheets for Bitfury's 16nm ASIC. I haven't gotten official word on pricing and availability yet, but everything I've heard points favorably toward availability for third parties. I've already started on a new Compac stickminer; Novak is back to help with embedded controls, and vh is sticking around for the cgminer driver. It'll be built off the well-tested BM1384 Compac power design, with some improvements to improve stability at extreme overclocking, and with an entirely new controls set that should allow for temperature monitoring and software voltage adjustment. I've already sent Novak a PCB layout with everything except controls integrated, and he's already picked out the chip he wants to use. I'm really hoping to be testing a prototype around the middle of November but that's pretty up-in-the-air right now. It'd be great to start shipping final product for Christmas but that depends on chip supplies and dev progress.

The cool thing about the new microcontroller setup is, it should port pretty easily to multi-chip designs, especially with Bitfury's comm multiplexer. Layout work has already been started on a "pod" miner that I would like to see hit 700GH, and the same framework can extend to S1 refit boards that, I'm just spitballing here, could see 4-6TH per pair depending on the chip specs and final configuration.

So, I don't know about you guys but I'm pretty excited.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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October 17, 2016, 08:27:53 PM
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So, a shameless plug followed by a basic announcement, both of which might result in plenty of discussion.

First, as the subject line states, I've got some 16nm ASICs to play with for new designs.

However, development costs money. Prototype and material costs, paying people to help, stuff like that. To help raise some funds I'm going to be auctioning off some of the remnants of previous projects, including parts and prototypes from abandoned Compac designs (A3218, BM1385 etc) as well as some pod test parts and general "memorabilia".

It's all stuff that would be interesting to keep in my archive, except I don't really need an archive. What I do need is dev funds to keep rolling projects forward. I especially need dev funds to pay my programmer (forum user "vh") for the work he's done on a cgminer driver for a 14nm Compac I won't be able to mass-produce because the chip supplier has decided not to sell to third parties.

Fun part is, vh is continuing to work on the new driver even though the sticks won't be mass-produced. The prototype already hashes, albeit not at full speed but we're sure that's only a kink to be worked out. I only have three additional sample chips, so as the capstone of the auction I'll be selling off those three sticks and using the proceeds to pay for the software dev. So whoever gets 'em will wind up with an extremely-limited-edition stickminer that, who knows, might hit 100GH by itself.

I'll be starting a thread in the Auctions section and linking to it here when it's all in place.


So, in new product news, I have new news for newsing.

Within the last month I have received samples and datasheets for Bitfury's 16nm ASIC. I haven't gotten official word on pricing and availability yet, but everything I've heard points favorably toward availability for third parties. I've already started on a new Compac stickminer; Novak is back to help with embedded controls, and vh is sticking around for the cgminer driver. It'll be built off the well-tested BM1384 Compac power design, with some improvements to improve stability at extreme overclocking, and with an entirely new controls set that should allow for temperature monitoring and software voltage adjustment. I've already sent Novak a PCB layout with everything except controls integrated, and he's already picked out the chip he wants to use. I'm really hoping to be testing a prototype around the middle of November but that's pretty up-in-the-air right now. It'd be great to start shipping final product for Christmas but that depends on chip supplies and dev progress.

The cool thing about the new microcontroller setup is, it should port pretty easily to multi-chip designs, especially with Bitfury's comm multiplexer. Layout work has already been started on a "pod" miner that I would like to see hit 700GH, and the same framework can extend to S1 refit boards that, I'm just spitballing here, could see 4-6TH per pair depending on the chip specs and final configuration.

So, I don't know about you guys but I'm pretty excited.

bout time , I'm interested in hearing more Smiley our world needs more ASIC diversity.

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October 17, 2016, 08:40:18 PM
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Awesome news!!!

Looking forward to those auctions too
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October 17, 2016, 08:47:23 PM
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Great news! Keep us posted!

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October 17, 2016, 09:02:33 PM
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Great!
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October 17, 2016, 09:22:36 PM
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Awesome News. Don't be shy about promoting the auctions I'm after one of those 100ghs sticks  Grin

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October 17, 2016, 10:20:44 PM
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Faboo! Glad to see that at least BitFury has started to open the door for 3rd party miners using their chip. In 1 respect it suggests that the chip should be at least reasonably stable.

Quote
a cgminer driver for a 14nm Compac I won't be able to mass-produce because the chip supplier has decided not to sell to third parties.
I assume you are talking about BW's chip. In a way it doesn't surprise me that BW is keeping it to themselves or at best sharing with a very few select mega pharms. Given the problems that Bitmain has with their 16nm chips I'll bet ya BTC to beans that the 14nm chips are even more temperamental.  At least this way BW gets to eat their own dog food -- and keep any issues the chips have out of the Press.

Quote
ayout work has already been started on a "pod" miner that I would like to see hit 700GH, and the same framework can extend to S1 refit boards that, I'm just spitballing here, could see 4-6TH per pair depending on the chip specs and final configuration.

 Cool I assume you still have that pile of s1's I set out to pasture with ya? Makes for a nice stable supply of cores to use. Any of the VR parts to be used from them or just the frame & heatsinks?

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October 17, 2016, 10:55:59 PM
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Just the mechanical parts would be reused. There wasn't any control compatibility between S1, S3 and S5, and it's incredibly (and foolishly) limiting to use someone else's controls on a new project that's supposed to be actually good and useful and flexible, so there's no controller parts reused. The TypeZero boards should be designed around the same basic control set used on the Amita pod miner (and stripped down a bit for the Compac) which means USB connectivity, so you could use whatever controller you can compile the cgminer for.

Yeah I got your S1s, and a bunch I got elsewhere, and a bunch of S3 and S5 cores. I'm hoping that I can set up a core-exchange kind of thing for people who want to buy intact miners, where they can send in a retired S1/3/5 miner and I'll send back a model-match preassembled TypeZero with free shipping. I would really like the people who bought just the boards, but not everyone's really capable of handling that kind of thing.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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October 17, 2016, 11:15:43 PM
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I was thinking more of maybe reusing the buck inductors from the old miners more than anything. That is assuming they can the deliver the needed currents of course. Fairly easy to remove with near-zero chance of damage.

Und ja, I'm one of those who these days would prefer buying pre-built. I did 2 of the s1 > s3 upgrades and it was a surprising PITA... Mainly removing the old heatsink compound and re-pasting with new. Not mention having to wear armored gloves when doing it 'cause damn those fins are sharp! For your production I highly suggest making a frame/jig to hold the heatsinks for cleaning/re-pasting...These days, it's just not worth my time/effort/blood and I am happy to pay for someone else to do it.


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October 17, 2016, 11:30:01 PM
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Ah, now I understand VR parts. You meant cores more-or-less literally (inductive cores). No, I probably won't reuse those, but I will probably pull the TPS chips for other things.

Also, the auction is now live. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1652091.msg16598805

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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October 17, 2016, 11:30:36 PM
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Sounds great sidehack!!!  Grin

BUT,how many chips will Bitfury let you buy?? A few hundred??

How much are the chips going for??

And how LONG before you will be able to get x amount of chips??

I love what you do,believe me,but Bitfury has been dragging their feet about any info on their chips & availability sooooooo  Roll Eyes

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October 17, 2016, 11:36:48 PM
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I don't have any answers to those questions, because I have not yet received answers to those questions. I'm encouraged because Punin came to me at the end of August to say he was shipping me samples and how many did I want, which is pretty great because I hadn't tried to chase him down in a couple months. He's given ballpark estimates for chip pricing but it' just ballpark because he said they were still lining out how they were gonna do sales and distribution and whatnot. They've already been more cooperative than anyone I've dealt with in the last 16 months, and he's done really good in the past with their 55nm chips, so I'm banking pretty heavily on this deal working out.

As far as Bitfury goes, I'm not really sure what (from the little I know) I'm officially authorised to say or not. Pretty much all I will say is they got me samples and datasheets and I'm already started working on new stuff. I figure that PR can't possibly hurt them within the community, because it's about the first real effort any major manufacturer has done proactively to help the community in about a year.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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October 18, 2016, 12:01:27 AM
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Quote
As far as Bitfury goes, I'm not really sure what (from the little I know) I'm officially authorised to say or not. Pretty much all I will say is they got me samples and datasheets and I'm already started working on new stuff. I figure that PR can't possibly hurt them within the community, because it's about the first real effort any major manufacturer has done proactively to help the community in about a year.

I agree 100% esp. about the PR. Truth be told, I'd leave current information to what you've released so far. Too many unknowns lie ahead for now

 Ja for whatever reason(s)  BitFury massively missed their mark on matching chip delivery with Bitmain but OTOH that has also given them time to see what problems Bitmain have with the 16nm node and then apply that information to BitFury's chip. Since I believe historically BitFury chips were mainly used for their own let-us-build-you-a Farm sales/projects they were the only ones really hurt by the delay.

It will be interesting to see how the chips work in the Real World.

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-For bitcoin to succeed the community must police itself.
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October 18, 2016, 12:13:35 AM
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I will say there was some delay getting me updated datasheets because the manufacture batch had been changed from the sample batch. I don't really know what the changes were but presumably they were improvements. So if Bitfury took an extra couple months stepping things up a notch I'm pretty sure that's a good thing.

Selling seconds 2Pacs for a friend's med bills - PM for details
Currently in development - 20-120GH USB stick; 700GH 75W pod; 4TH volt-adjustable S1/3/5 upgrade kit
Server PSU interface boards and cables. USB and small-scale miners. Hardware hosting, advice and odd-jobs. Supporting the home miner community since 2013 - http://www.gekkoscience.com
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October 18, 2016, 12:17:40 AM
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Very nice!
Would be amazing to have some more hardware from people so involved in the mining community.
Its easy to tell just from a small device like the Gekko sticks how much work you guys put into these projects.
Best of luck to everyone involved!  Cheesy

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October 18, 2016, 12:28:45 AM
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I will say there was some delay getting me updated datasheets because the manufacture batch had been changed from the sample batch. I don't really know what the changes were but presumably they were improvements. So if Bitfury took an extra couple months stepping things up a notch I'm pretty sure that's a good thing.
No doubt. And since BitFury has their own massive private perfect test site, I'd think all the various iterations of the chips that they got from TSMC got a pretty decent amount of testing en-mass to work out the wrinkles Wink

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-For bitcoin to succeed the community must police itself.
-Support Sidehacks miner development. Donations to:   1BURGERAXHH6Yi6LRybRJK7ybEm5m5HwTr
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October 18, 2016, 02:35:23 AM
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This is great news.  I'm looking forward to hearing about the development and seeing the finished products.

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October 18, 2016, 04:21:59 AM
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*perk* pods.

 And after the pods come .... THE MINERS!

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October 18, 2016, 10:21:07 AM
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How can I send my 2 antminer blades to you?

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October 18, 2016, 10:54:34 AM
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I don't have any answers to those questions, because I have not yet received answers to those questions. I'm encouraged because Punin came to me at the end of August to say he was shipping me samples and how many did I want, which is pretty great because I hadn't tried to chase him down in a couple months. He's given ballpark estimates for chip pricing but it' just ballpark because he said they were still lining out how they were gonna do sales and distribution and whatnot. They've already been more cooperative than anyone I've dealt with in the last 16 months, and he's done really good in the past with their 55nm chips, so I'm banking pretty heavily on this deal working out.

As far as Bitfury goes, I'm not really sure what (from the little I know) I'm officially authorised to say or not. Pretty much all I will say is they got me samples and datasheets and I'm already started working on new stuff. I figure that PR can't possibly hurt them within the community, because it's about the first real effort any major manufacturer has done proactively to help the community in about a year.


I was going to say something like "never trust a guy that doesn't pay on a gentlemans bet" but maybe he "Forgot".  Huh

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