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Author Topic: Klondike - 16 chip ASIC Open Source Board - Preliminary  (Read 434327 times)
BkkCoins
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April 29, 2013, 08:43:14 AM
Last edit: May 15, 2013, 07:56:55 AM by BkkCoins
 #1

Project: Klondike.

I'm opening this thread to discuss my work on a 16 chip ASIC board.

Updated
- See more updated info below before asking questions.

The project home is at: http://github.com/bkkcoins/klondike

I have been working on this for a few weeks now. Current status: board is tentatively ready for first prototypes. There may be some errors, so fresh eyes may help.

Summary Preliminary Specs:


10cm x 10cm board
16 chips/board
24A 1.2V, 1A 3.3V supply on board (~32W total)
PCI Express Power connector for use with ATX PSU
USB mini type B connector, no power draw
PIC USB micro controller on board with bootloader for USB firmware upgrades
I2C board-to-board, daisy chain connector
Fan 3 pin connector (on board temp sensor and PWM speed control)

This board will connect via USB to a host controller like PC, RaspPi, TL-703N etc. capable of running cgminer. Several boards can be chained to run off one USB host.

Updated, May 14th:

I've completed a tentative final board design. There a few things left to do but mostly I'm waiting on communication protocol docs for the Avalon now. I've started working on firmware, and hope to make some progress over the next week. I'll have time while the first prototype boards are made, and I'll be able to debug and test code before the boards arrive.

People keep asking me about what it will cost. First, I am not expecting to sell assembled ready to use boards myself. There are several forum members and companies in contact with me who have expressed interest in building and selling licensed finished boards. When those products are available I will post info here for everyone.

I may be offering DIY kits of [board + parts] to users who have experience and want to assemble their own boards. There may be wholesale pricing as well for large orders. This is not a beginner project. There are 307 components on the board and they're all tiny SMD parts requiring quite a sophisticated assembly process - not just a soldering iron. But, that said, if you know what you're doing, you may be able to order kits at some point and build them or have them built locally. I will keep posting more info as the project progresses and when a real product exists I'll open a web store for taking orders. There is no product to buy at this time so please don't ask how to order or how much it costs. As soon as that info is available it will be posted right here.

Here is the most up to date rendering of the Klondike 16 board and it's little brother the K1. There may also follow later a 4up big brother, the K64. But first let me build a working prototype.

K16


K1 / Nano

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April 29, 2013, 08:45:23 AM
 #2

hi good job

i ll maybe need your services when time comes...

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April 29, 2013, 08:50:09 AM
 #3

I am interested.

Would you be only providing PCB board, or offer assembly service as well to complete the boards - if I ship the avalon chips to you ?

Thanks!
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April 29, 2013, 09:00:02 AM
 #4

watching!

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April 29, 2013, 09:03:29 AM
 #5

I am interested.

Would you be only providing PCB board, or offer assembly service as well to complete the boards - if I ship the avalon chips to you ?

Thanks!
I hope to offer boards, kits and assembled units (from your chips) but that depends on how things work out. I want to be up front here and not over commit to what I can offer. I have limited ability to assemble too many boards quickly as I'd be doing it myself. If too many people order assembled boards I may have to limit this to what I can manage.

If things go well and I set up a good test harness, and fully debug things before chips arrive, I should be able to offer a good package with quick turn around.

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April 29, 2013, 09:05:45 AM
 #6

Great. Thanks.

Where are you located ?
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April 29, 2013, 09:07:50 AM
 #7

Great. Thanks.

Where are you located ?
Thailand.

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April 29, 2013, 09:09:51 AM
 #8

Great. Thanks.

Where are you located ?
Thailand.

Oops! That's a long shot for me then. Hunt still on for someone in US.
Best wishes.
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April 29, 2013, 09:48:21 AM
 #9

Super!

I am in!
Buy the way as far as i know 4 layer PCB needs testing itself. Not all factories can do that. Is your PCB factory a reliable one?

PS: do not forget holes for stacking to make them tower like setup Wink




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April 29, 2013, 09:55:05 AM
 #10

sweet, another one interested here

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April 29, 2013, 10:06:28 AM
 #11

Project: Klondike.

I'm opening this thread to discuss my work on a 16 chip ASIC board.

Please post here if you are interested in this project and/or may later want to get some boards.
The project home is now created at: http://github.com/bkkcoins/klondike

I have been working on this for most of the last week and right now I'm doing a conversion from Eagle to Kicad to get around the 10cm x 8 cm, 2 layer limitation. I'll be bumping up to 10cm x 10cm to ease some space constraints. Most likely in the next 1-2 days I'll bump the board up to 4 layers. For this open source project the open source Kicad is a better fit than Eagle as it will allow anyone to edit and produce boards as they choose and panellize larger boards for mfr.

Summary Preliminary Specs:


10cm x 10cm board
16 chips/board
24A 1.2V, 1A 3.3V supply on board (~32W total)
PCI Express Power connector for use with ATX PSU
USB mini type B connector, no power draw
PIC USB micro controller on board with bootloader for USB firmware upgrades
I2C board-to-board, daisy chain connector
Fan 3 pin connector (on board temp sensor and PWM speed control)

This board will connect via USB to a host controller like PC, RaspPi, TL-703N etc. capable of running cgminer. Several boards can be chained to run off one USB host.

Will post open source schematic, pcb layout, parts list, firmware and cgminer driver on github repo above as progress continues.

At this time I am not taking board orders but by next week I feel that I'll have a better grip on what to expect and hopefully we'll see the Avalon chip specs get laid out. At that time I hope to interest people in sharing a first batch of boards. This is because we'll see great price reductions by ordering together. To give some idea of what boards will cost and how it goes down with qty:

Qty 10, $9 each - Qty 30 $5 each - Qty 50 $4.60 each - Qty 100 $2.60 each.
(US$, my actual cost, 4 layer professionally mfr. board only, plus shpg)
(looks like 30 is a good sweet spot, and I can only use 2-3 myself)

As I have a real shortage of bitcoins here and need chips to fill my own boards, when it comes time to order I will prefer payment in chips, and/or bitcoin either for boards, ready to build kits or assembled and tested boards. It's a good idea to have some extra chips ordered via one of the group buys. Since my chip order is already placed with zefir it may work out less shpg. to have some that can be shipped together. But we're a long ways off from that date and much work is to be done.

I've posted a screen grab of my current board state below only to show that I am really working on this, not just speculating. And in the next day or two I'll put initial files up on github - but nothing is anywhere near complete at this time.

Just putting this out there so people can see my progress, follow and comment.



I have 540 chips in the group buy... meaning I would need 33+ of your boards... willing to put some in definitely for this venture.

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BkkCoins
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April 29, 2013, 10:15:01 AM
 #12

Oops! That's a long shot for me then. Hunt still on for someone in US.
Best wishes.
Check back and see how it goes. I've been selling on eBay for 10 years from here. It's very easy for me to ship small items by registered air mail reliably, for low cost (under 2kg).

Buy the way as far as i know 4 layer PCB needs testing itself. Not all factories can do that. Is your PCB factory a reliable one?

PS: do not forget holes for stacking to make them tower like setup Wink
My fab says they offer 100% tested, though I've yet to verify that I have read good things in feedback online that they make good boards. It's done in some big factory in China.

Will add corner holes for spacers to stack. Part of the reason for moving to 10x10cm, and because the board price is the same and with Kicad I won't be limited to 8x10cm. Also need to add holes between chips to mount heat sink on back. Board shown above is far from complete.

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April 29, 2013, 10:30:00 AM
 #13

......
 Also need to add holes between chips to mount heat sink on back. Board shown above is far from complete.


I know. Can you publish address for donations also. I will send some btc right away because of your efforts

PS: What about power supply when multiple boards will be stacked? It wil go to additional power connector? or we will have to extend/divide our PSU PCI connectors?
Shall the  for ALU heat sink will be enough? I know cooper is recommended but it will be expensive as long as know. Do you have a price idea how much ALU/Cooper heatsink may cost for 10x10 board?
10X

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April 29, 2013, 10:32:42 AM
 #14

Very interesting project! How many of these "small scale" Avalon board projects are there now?

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April 29, 2013, 10:54:22 AM
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Id be interested in a few board

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April 29, 2013, 11:14:41 AM
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I know. Can you publish address for donations also. I will send some btc right away because of your efforts
Anyone who wants to help out with a donation is welcome. I'm not committing to give boards for donations yet. Anything sent to my address below will be put towards more chips before the May 1st zefir deadline (since I already have an order and can combine them for shpg).

Donate: 1BvpJvejSmtWjuDfytZL5HTBUjoXokazp9

After May 1st, and in the coming weeks I'll ensure the current $$ value is used to order prototype boards, parts and probably a small/cheap logic analyzer/scope. Right now I'm expecting an initial prototype order costing $150 for 30 boards in 1-2 weeks. This board will be used for firmware dev / testing, trial runs with a ASIC simulator (rigged up by me), and generally trying to get as much tested and working before the chips ever arrive.

It's entirely possible that first boards work, or don't work, or have issues, so I hesitate to guarantee working boards for a fixed price. But I will give preferential treatment to those who help me get to the final goal of working boards before chips arrive. Because after that date the race will be full on ballistic. (I have a 20 chip order in the very first day of zefirs queue, to fill my first board).

PS: What about power supply when multiple boards will be stacked? It wil go to additional power connector? or we will have to extend/divide our PSU PCI connectors?
Shall the  for ALU heat sink will be enough? I know cooper is recommended but it will be expensive as long as know. Do you have a price idea how much ALU/Cooper heatsink may cost for 10x10 board?
10X
The easy way to handle this is using PCI/Molex splitters on the PSU and just plugging them into each board. Anything on board or between boards isn't as feasible due to high currents. Splitters are readily available and cheaper than other options. At 12V each board would use 2.7 A.

I'm expecting to have 1 or 2 heat sinks on the back of each board. Either one large one or 2x(6cmx10cm). I have a socket 478 CPU (AL) heatsink on hand and I think I'll initially test with that and see where it goes. These seem to be easy to find locally. I also may make some myself with sheet aluminum for trials. In the end I don't know what will be sufficient except by looking at the Avalon we should expect similar size and results - I won't be able to magically vanish any heat but there's no reason it should be worse.

No idea about price yet but someone else posted about www.heatsinkusa.com and I'll get around to looking at that or other options.

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April 29, 2013, 11:35:46 AM
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Anyone who wants to help out with a donation is welcome. I'm not committing to give boards for donations yet. Anything sent to my address below will be put towards more chips before the May 1st zefir deadline (since I already have an order and can combine them for shpg).

Donate: 1BvpJvejSmtWjuDfytZL5HTBUjoXokazp9


Small donation of 0.3 btc is on the way. No one expects a free boards or chips or WHATEVER  for donation or at least me. My thinking is that we have to help you out to cover the expenses at least since it is not a business project for you as i see things. I am not mentioning the time and knowledge invested

Guy's, please donate whatever you can afford!!! Every Btc matters!

10X

Please help the Led Boy aka Bicknellski to make us a nice Christmas led tree and pay WASP membership fee here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=643999.msg7191563#msg7191563
And remember Bicknellski is not collecting money from community;D
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April 29, 2013, 11:40:57 AM
 #18

posting in here to show interest in the boards as well as the assembled machines.
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April 29, 2013, 11:47:03 AM
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Small donation of 0.3 btc is on the way. No one expects a free boards or chips or WHATEVER  for donation or at least me. My thinking is that we have to help you out to cover the expenses at least since it is not a business project for you as i see things. I am not mentioning the time and knowledge invested
Thx. At this stage it's not really a business. It's more like another possible chance to have a working open source board in 9-10 weeks. It'll be really hard if none of the current DIY board makers get there.

But later when I have a working board it's entirely feasible to take on orders and ship kits, or assembled units. I'm just not comfortable with being another "order now, maybe later" type outfit. When I have a working board I'll figure out what to do next. Maybe take investors and go big, or maybe fund myself and go small. Maybe just mine away and be happy. But the result will be another board design out there for anyone to build.

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April 29, 2013, 11:53:22 AM
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Small donation of 0.3 btc is on the way. No one expects a free boards or chips or WHATEVER  for donation or at least me. My thinking is that we have to help you out to cover the expenses at least since it is not a business project for you as i see things. I am not mentioning the time and knowledge invested
Thx. At this stage it's not really a business. It's more like another possible chance to have a working open source board in 9-10 weeks. It'll be really hard if none of the current DIY board makers get there.

But later when I have a working board it's entirely feasible to take on orders and ship kits, or assembled units. I'm just not comfortable with being another "order now, maybe later" type outfit. When I have a working board I'll figure out what to do next. Maybe take investors and go big, or maybe fund myself and go small. Maybe just mine away and be happy. But the result will be another board design out there for anyone to build.
+1
Do whatever you want dude. I am really happy that you are here and working on it Cheesy
As long you are helping the community we are obliged to help you out that is my way of thinking. I am completely aware that shit can always happen but i will not be disappointed whatever comes out.
10X

Please help the Led Boy aka Bicknellski to make us a nice Christmas led tree and pay WASP membership fee here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=643999.msg7191563#msg7191563
And remember Bicknellski is not collecting money from community;D
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