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Author Topic: Modular FPGA Miner Hardware Design V1.0 (27/6/11)  (Read 2753 times)
jonboy009
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June 27, 2011, 02:19:44 AM
 #1

Note : - this post should be here http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=22426.20 but as a noob I can not post there. So I will post it here in hopes that the group will see it.

1.   CPU base & bitcoin server – Intel DE945GSEJT

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTJfvZT945S-hh5vxEggh-ZQCzmo_aF9pkmfGEx1dou6iJDD7FKMotherboard
http://laptoping.com/wp-content/_Intel%20Value%20Solid%20State%20Drive.jpgIntel z-u130 ssd

  • Low profile motherboard in ITX form factor.
  • Intel ATOM N270 CPU
  • Single 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMM connector: Support for up to 2 GB single-channel system memory.
  • On board DC to DC power system.
  • Realtek 10/100/1000 Ethernet Controller.
  • Mini-pcie port (wifi card)
  • 7 USB 2.0 ports (3 back panel ports, 4 front panel ports) one internal header can be used with the Intel Z-U130 usb ssd card (as a boot drive).
  • With Z-U130 installed you could use the sata power lead to supply power to the FPGA boards (just build / buy a Molex to Molex lead).

2.   SPI or I2C interface - Arduino Nano

http://arduino.cc/en/uploads/Main/ArduinoNanoTop.jpgArduino Nano
http://rocky.digikey.com/weblib/Mill-Max/Web%20Photos/117-93-640-41-005000.jpg30 pin socket

  • SPI interface - SPI: 10 (SS), 11 (MOSI), 12 (MISO), 13 (SCK). These pins support SPI communication, which, although provided by the underlying hardware, is not currently included in the Arduino language.
  • I2C interface - I2C: 4 (SDA) and 5 (SCL). Support I2C (TWI) communication using the Wire library (documentation on the Wiring website).
  • Plugged into dip socket on FPGA backplane.
  • USB link to motherboard for power and data transfer between motherboard and FPGA cards.

3.   Interface bridging – FPGA connecting

  • .100” PITCH SQUARE POST SYSTEM
http://www.samtec.com/ProductInformation/TechnicalSpecifications/images/ESW.GIFhttp://www.samtec.com/ProductInformation/TechnicalSpecifications/images/TLW.GIF
Backplane mounting (ELEVATED SOCKET STRIP) & FPGA card mounting (LOW PROFILE .025" (0,64MM) SQUARE HEADER)
  • Push to make button
http://www.binbin.net/photos/iwatsu/bla/black-knob-to-suit-proud-switch-rc.jpg
The TP series of ultraminiature, through hole mount single pole momentary action push switch.
Used to detect card installed (info transfered to arduino witch would then link the card to the system)

4.   Power Needs

  • Motherboard power -  Laptop power block (65watts). Number of FPGA cards to the motherboard will determine power needs.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41921Pb0zQL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
  • ATX power unit (Diablotek DA Series 400-Watt).
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41-3WcQIrPL.jpg
  • All but eight black ground leads and the green lead (pin 16) can be cut out of the PSU header lead. The Arduino Nano can be programmed to check the active push buttons on the system and then force the green lead (pin 16) to ground to support more FPGA cards.
  • Each molex chain could power upto 6 cards (just a guest at this time based on watts per card)


5. Cost

  • Motherboard - £100
  • Memory - £25 / £30
  • Z-U130 ssd - no idea
  • Arduino Nano - £50 ish
  • Power supplys - £60 ish
  • Backplane parts - no idea as it would be based on total number of cards

As a computer builder for the last 15 years. I could plan the computer part of this build but I have no skills when it comes to cirkit building (FPGA) / arduino programing / cirkit design (backplane).

If based on the top FPGA score of 120M/hash per chip. A single chip card in a set of 20 would max out at 2.4G/hash with a power level at 465watts (matches one ati hd6990 at full power with a 835M/hash speed)
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BitcoinForAll
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June 27, 2011, 02:37:07 AM
 #2

Very, very cool Roll Eyes
jonboy009
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June 27, 2011, 02:41:18 AM
 #3

this is what i do at 3:30 in the morring when i can not sleep!
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June 27, 2011, 05:34:50 AM
 #4


An FPGA to do 120MH/s costs ~$800 ea.

If you found this post useful, feel free to share the wealth: 1E35gTBmJzPNJ3v72DX4wu4YtvHTWqNRbM
boaz2020
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June 27, 2011, 05:53:39 AM
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An FPGA to do 120MH/s costs ~$800 ea.

What you're thinking of is development boards, they are ALWAYS ridiculously overpriced due to the ROI on R&D vs units that will ship. If you're etching your own boards, or sending them out to be fabbed, the actual FPGA's come relatively on the cheap.
Although I have no idea which FPGA OP is referring to.
jonboy009
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June 27, 2011, 07:52:06 AM
 #6

http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=22426.20

The members of the above group are looking into this. This is just my take on there project.

They have yet to make up there minds as to what FPGA to use. Yes they are looking to prefab the FPGA cards.

Like i said at the bottom of the first post this is just the computer hardward side of the system.
MrJohn
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June 27, 2011, 10:08:31 AM
 #7

Good to see people sharing their ideas on FPGAs to the public. If Bitcoin is to survive, we surely need a million individuals each with their own little mining rig.

Keep up the good work! Smiley
tool_462
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June 27, 2011, 11:46:23 AM
 #8

I'll be first in line to buy an FPGA miner that isn't too spendy, just because they are way cool Wink

BTC: 1ABEAV4QCJCGCURyxUUiYmxX8uhRvXboJg    MRY: M9dnmfbpzGS1y3EXqf2x7Kgjfh8VTTDoYt
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jonboy009
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June 28, 2011, 02:36:51 PM
 #9

FPGA board design

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/696/fpga1.jpg/

Please be aware that the design is not finial and may be missing some parts.
mimarob
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June 29, 2011, 12:33:26 PM
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Just wanted to put in my 0.02/16.9 bitcents of wisdom. If you go for the ATX power supply, you could put a connector for it on the board, with the proper "hotwiring" of the green lead etc. so people don't have to mod/vandalize their power supplies.

http://reprap.org/wiki/File:Cache-3408779902_7575952594.jpg

or maybe it is way to early for this kind of practical considerations... :-)

bitcoin address: 15swBLKathoPyX94HgptYXSSqf7SUGhG4z
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June 29, 2011, 05:48:38 PM
 #11

Why not get rid of the x86 board and arduino, and just get a embedded system that will cover it, has lower power consumption, and all that great stuff? Some come with OSes on it. Xilinx has FPGAs with embedded POWER cores too, so that avoids the crappy I2C or SPI interface.
jonboy009
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July 01, 2011, 07:52:43 AM
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Quote
Just wanted to put in my 0.02/16.9 bitcents of wisdom. If you go for the ATX power supply, you could put a connector for it on the board, with the proper "hotwiring" of the green lead etc. so people don't have to mod/vandalize their power supplies.

http://reprap.org/wiki/File:Cache-3408779902_7575952594.jpg

or maybe it is way to early for this kind of practical considerations... :-)

Thanks for the link. as it was around 3:30am when i did the first post i was not in full control of my brain.

Quote
Why not get rid of the x86 board and arduino, and just get a embedded system that will cover it, has lower power consumption, and all that great stuff? Some come with OSes on it. Xilinx has FPGAs with embedded POWER cores too, so that avoids the crappy I2C or SPI interface.

Thanks for the ideas on control of the system. this was just a brain dump to empty out my head so i could get some sleep after seeing the forum post http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=22426

untill i get a new job this type of build will sit in the back of my brain trying to get out.

jonboy
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July 01, 2011, 11:49:00 AM
 #13

Are there any FPGA boards that one can actually purchase for less than one arm and one leg?
jonboy009
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July 02, 2011, 08:55:50 AM
 #14

Are there any FPGA boards that one can actually purchase for less than one arm and one leg?

As a test and for some time to learn i was thinking about one of these http://www.altera.com/b/nios-bemicro-evaluation-kit.html

offered at $49

how ever it may be to small to run the miner code.
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