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Author Topic: [CANCELLED] Project Caterpillar - Open Source 3RU DIY ASIC Miner  (Read 17140 times)
daemondazz
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June 14, 2013, 05:16:01 AM
 #41

Update 14th June:

Due to the fact that sample chips are now shipping and that we still have lots of unknowns in regards to the CPLD, we have decided to re-base the Caterpillar design on the Klondike16 design. This will result in both a simpler and cheaper design. It will also mean that we don't need to work on updating the miner software as well, if it works with the Klondike it should work with the Caterpillar too.

Our design will still be based on our own PCB layout to suit the drive trays, but we will be dropping the USB controller, ATMega microcontroller and CPLD design in favour of the simpler PIC design from the Klondike. We plan on using a modified version of BkkCoin's firmware image, with the changes being:

  • 12 ASICs per bus
  • I2C temperature sensors
  • No I2C stacking of multiple boards

Dan is going to work on an updated block diagram which I'll upload to the website once it is ready.

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June 14, 2013, 05:20:36 AM
 #42

watching...
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June 14, 2013, 12:02:00 PM
 #43

Watching as well........... and a bit excited because I'm in Adelaide too :-)

Part-time Computer Systems Engineering student - Full time Service Assurance (faults) for a large Telco.
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June 14, 2013, 04:43:14 PM
 #44

Keep up the great work and... keep us posted Smiley
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June 18, 2013, 01:54:37 AM
 #45

For those who were wondering, Bitfury did not get hold of his chips in time to win the bet he had, so the need to distribute them for alpha-testing has passed. So we won't be getting any cool bleeding-edge hardware from him this week.

Not to worry, he has commenced testing the chips himself and the early results seem promising, though it is too early to say whether they are ready to go to full production. You can see the latest here:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=228677

If his chips test out we will certainly investigate obtaining a supply of them to work with.


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June 18, 2013, 01:19:13 PM
 #46

For those who were wondering, Bitfury did not get hold of his chips in time to win the bet he had, so the need to distribute them for alpha-testing has passed. So we won't be getting any cool bleeding-edge hardware from him this week.

Not to worry, he has commenced testing the chips himself and the early results seem promising, though it is too early to say whether they are ready to go to full production. You can see the latest here:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=228677

If his chips test out we will certainly investigate obtaining a supply of them to work with.



I have been following that topic closely. Seems promising. Any thoughts on adopting BFL chips? They finally seem to be dropping prices to an acceptable level.
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June 18, 2013, 01:26:26 PM
 #47

For those who were wondering, Bitfury did not get hold of his chips in time to win the bet he had, so the need to distribute them for alpha-testing has passed. So we won't be getting any cool bleeding-edge hardware from him this week.

Not to worry, he has commenced testing the chips himself and the early results seem promising, though it is too early to say whether they are ready to go to full production. You can see the latest here:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=228677

If his chips test out we will certainly investigate obtaining a supply of them to work with.



I have been following that topic closely. Seems promising. Any thoughts on adopting BFL chips? They finally seem to be dropping prices to an acceptable level.

+1 .... NOT another Avalon based miner ...  Wink
daemondazz
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June 18, 2013, 01:31:01 PM
 #48

I have been following that topic closely. Seems promising. Any thoughts on adopting BFL chips? They finally seem to be dropping prices to an acceptable level.

To be honest, haven't even looked at their chips. I just figured that they'd ship sometime in 2015 and there isn't any point.

They have a huge backlog of miner orders, so either the chips are ones that failed QA and hence not good enough for their own use (yes, I do realise they have graded them based on the number of working cores) or they are selling chips that should be going into their own miners - that's gotta be a customer service nightmare.

+1 .... NOT another Avalon based miner ...  Wink

heh, ah, the more the merrier Smiley

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daemondazz
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June 18, 2013, 01:33:03 PM
 #49

As a clarification though, we are looking at the BitFury chips as well, as stripykitteh posted above, as that seems to be a very promising development at the moment.

Our design is modular, so we can switch out the actual ASICs as required on a tray by tray basis - there's nothing stopping a 24 bay chassis from have 12 Avalons and 12 BitFury trays.

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one4many
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June 18, 2013, 01:38:09 PM
 #50

As a clarification though, we are looking at the BitFury chips as well, as stripykitteh posted above, as that seems to be a very promising development at the moment.

Our design is modular, so we can switch out the actual ASICs as required on a tray by tray basis - there's nothing stopping a 24 bay chassis from have 12 Avalons and 12 BitFury trays.

Imagine a (19" rackable 4 U) case incl. dual power supplies with your controllers as a standard and all the ASIC boards which can be switched in and out without a fuzz ... for replacement or upgrade .... that would be ultra sweet ... design one and make it public domain. Please!  Roll Eyes
daemondazz
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June 18, 2013, 01:53:38 PM
 #51

that would be ultra sweet ... design one and make it public domain. Please!  Roll Eyes

Would Open Source be good enough? Smiley

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June 18, 2013, 02:06:09 PM
 #52

that would be ultra sweet ... design one and make it public domain. Please!  Roll Eyes

Would Open Source be good enough? Smiley

Good question ... a case design is not quite 'source' in terms of source code ... but I guess the true source (the idea) is open and not protected by some legal copyright scum

.... just bending words  Cheesy
daemondazz
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June 18, 2013, 02:08:34 PM
 #53

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_hardware

Previous hardware I have designed for amateur radio and the rPi has been released under the CERN Open Hardware Licence. We (the Caterpillar team) haven't specifically decided on a license, but that will likely be it.

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June 18, 2013, 03:40:42 PM
 #54

Great work guys very interested will follow your progress closely!  Grin
stripykitteh
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June 27, 2013, 06:05:30 AM
 #55

We received a sample Avalon chip from SebastianJu on Tuesday. A pic will be uploaded tonight.

Meanwhile, we are also starting an Australian GroupBuy of the ASICMINER USB sticks. Head over here to check it out:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=244263.new


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daemondazz
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June 27, 2013, 01:04:01 PM
 #56

As stripykitteh mentioned, I have received the first sample chip:



These things are TINY! It's hard to believe that that tiny chip can pull almost the full legal current from a USB port just by itself!

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June 27, 2013, 05:39:47 PM
 #57

n1!
keep up the good work and i hope we get results from you very soon!

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July 05, 2013, 03:33:03 AM
 #58

Any updates with this?

Also does your backplane diagram indicate that the USB hub will run off 3.3 volts? Because USB power is 5 volts.

Is a 3.3 volt reg really required? You could have 12 v, 5 v, and 3.3 v rails from any ATX PSU.

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July 09, 2013, 08:01:39 AM
 #59

Any updates?
daemondazz
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July 09, 2013, 12:56:44 PM
 #60

Any updates with this?

Also does your backplane diagram indicate that the USB hub will run off 3.3 volts? Because USB power is 5 volts.

Is a 3.3 volt reg really required? You could have 12 v, 5 v, and 3.3 v rails from any ATX PSU.

The backplane will only be connected using the Molex 8981 connectors, so we have 12v and 5v available.

I have chosen the TI TUSB2046B USB hub IC, which is a 3v3 volt part. The PIC also runs off 3.3v, so I need to take 3v3 onto each tray. Due to the fairly low power requirements on the 3v3 bus, the 3v3 regulator will be on the backplane.

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