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Author Topic: [CLOSED] Bitmine CoinCraft A1 28nm chip distribution / DIY support  (Read 80831 times)
mazurov
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April 11, 2014, 07:33:54 PM
 #501

There is a TI TXB0106 -based level translator I made to talk to A1s. Requires VCC from the MCU board for high voltage side to function and translate correctly. Also provides 1.8V for A1s data interface. The LDO on the left is TI LP3871-1.8V. The circuit is trivial.

I need a second one and it takes too much time to build on a protoboard. I'm routing a PCB, will post when ready.

https://www.circuitsathome.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/bc_levelshifter.jpg
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[gadget]
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April 13, 2014, 06:06:10 AM
 #502

Here are some more pics from mazurov and [gadget]'s build.

A few boards we've put together:

http://i.imgur.com/r1pUq5G.jpg

View of the DCDC area:

http://i.imgur.com/23Aiuzp.jpg

View of the A1 area:

http://i.imgur.com/GkYiUPf.jpg

Heatsink (let's see how far it takes us):

http://i.imgur.com/x7427xS.jpg

The one tool we couldn't have done without was the microscope:

http://i.imgur.com/AtWUq26.jpg

And for those who read this far, here is a small treat - a corrected BOM. I can verify that these parts will get you to a working board (at least during bring-up Smiley

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkO84VcUgOWgdFA5S0tGQTcxVVViX0I1VUlPaHhISEE&usp=sharing
[gadget]
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April 16, 2014, 05:36:25 PM
 #503

more progress:

fan header:
http://i.imgur.com/U4mDcso.jpg

fan header attached:
http://i.imgur.com/N47X0nd.jpg

heatsinked rig in operation:
http://i.imgur.com/JMRo5Kz.jpg
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April 17, 2014, 07:23:25 AM
 #504

Quick question:

How many functional cores are you guys getting on your chips?
I've tested 4 tonight, and they all seem to only have 1 out of 32.
Are all sample chips like this? Or am I really, really unlucky?

The time to complete the test job is 5.2 sec @ 800MHz, which is consistent with
only 1 of 32 cores going. The chips aren't heating up much at all, either. Even
at 800MHz.
zefir
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April 17, 2014, 08:02:29 AM
 #505

Quick question:

How many functional cores are you guys getting on your chips?
I've tested 4 tonight, and they all seem to only have 1 out of 32.
Are all sample chips like this? Or am I really, really unlucky?

The time to complete the test job is 5.2 sec @ 800MHz, which is consistent with
only 1 of 32 cores going. The chips aren't heating up much at all, either. Even
at 800MHz.

No, that is for sure not ok. As a rule of thumb, I would classify the chips as follows:
  • grade A: 31 - 32 working cores: run at full speed
  • grade B: 26 - 30 working cores: run at reduced speed (50-80% of nominal), bears low risk to disturb chain
  • grade C: 25 and less working cores: disable chip (or enable only after proper inspection), bears high risk to disturb chain

Alas, I have never seen a chip with only one working core so far. Are you sure your power supply is stable at ~850mV and you assert reset for ~1s before you issue the BIST command?

Dexter770221
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April 17, 2014, 11:57:40 AM
 #506

I've had similiar problem. The problem was power supply. When I send write reg first and underclock chip to 200MHz then bist fix returned 31 cores, otherwise it was 1 (bist fix first then write reg).

Under development Modular UPGRADEABLE Miner (MUM). Looking for investors.
Changing one PCB with screwdriver and you have brand new miner in hand... Plug&Play, scalable from one module to thousands.
hozer
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April 17, 2014, 11:53:52 PM
 #507

Quick question:

How many functional cores are you guys getting on your chips?
I've tested 4 tonight, and they all seem to only have 1 out of 32.
Are all sample chips like this? Or am I really, really unlucky?

The time to complete the test job is 5.2 sec @ 800MHz, which is consistent with
only 1 of 32 cores going. The chips aren't heating up much at all, either. Even
at 800MHz.

What code are you running for the test job? Is there a github for some test/bringup/validation code that I just haven't found yet?

I saw the same issue you did until I raised the supply voltage.

Now I can start hashing but there appear to be power supply stability issues, and I would like to run some simple test code in a loop rather than the whole full-blown cgminer, or at least run 'cgminer --benchmark' or 'cgminer --benchfile <somefile>', but it does not seem to be working right.
hozer
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April 22, 2014, 05:44:59 PM
 #508

Quick question:

How many functional cores are you guys getting on your chips?
I've tested 4 tonight, and they all seem to only have 1 out of 32.
Are all sample chips like this? Or am I really, really unlucky?

The time to complete the test job is 5.2 sec @ 800MHz, which is consistent with
only 1 of 32 cores going. The chips aren't heating up much at all, either. Even
at 800MHz.

What code are you running for the test job? Is there a github for some test/bringup/validation code that I just haven't found yet?

I saw the same issue you did until I raised the supply voltage.

Now I can start hashing but there appear to be power supply stability issues, and I would like to run some simple test code in a loop rather than the whole full-blown cgminer, or at least run 'cgminer --benchmark' or 'cgminer --benchfile <somefile>', but it does not seem to be working right.

I ended up pointing cgminer at a local p2pool instance, and answered my own question with "If it works with cgminer, why waste time with test code".

Now I'm starting to wonder crazy things like how much of p2pool could I make run on http://micropython.org/ and have that talk directly to the A1 chips instead of all this MMU and userspace nonsense in a Raspberry Pi Wink
Wolke
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April 23, 2014, 10:28:01 AM
Last edit: April 23, 2014, 03:19:39 PM by Wolke
 #509





Anyone need reference board PCB?

I'm selling reference board PCB with stencil.

Here is my site.

http://theminingware.com/

This board has a granted public licence on github for 2-chip PCB, so what are you selling then ?

You're selling produced boards or what ?

24 USD per board ? Assembled, without A1 chips or just board and nothing else ?



this board is on github ? i can't find, do you have a link for me ?
thanks...


EDIT:
ok i found it, thx
https://github.com/bitmine-ch/bitmine

Dimoza
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April 29, 2014, 05:16:49 AM
 #510

Does anybody know whether Bitmine have any plans to reduce prices for Coincraft samples? Difficulty have risen dramatically since February and in the measure of price/watt ratio it looks like almost 0 profitability. Even in good market prognosis.

NB. I remember here was somebody form Bitmine co-owners?
Dimoza
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April 29, 2014, 09:49:11 AM
 #511

There is a TI TXB0106 -based level translator I made to talk to A1s. Requires VCC from the MCU board for high voltage side to function and translate correctly. Also provides 1.8V for A1s data interface. The LDO on the left is TI LP3871-1.8V. The circuit is trivial.

I need a second one and it takes too much time to build on a protoboard. I'm routing a PCB, will post when ready.

https://www.circuitsathome.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/bc_levelshifter.jpg


Hi!

is it really necessary to have level translator for RPi connection? why nobody mention it before (or I miss something?)
Dimoza
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April 29, 2014, 09:53:57 AM
 #512

By the way, guys, why just don't use some sort of FTDI  USB-SPI converter instead of RPi?

http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/ICs/FT221X.html
or this monster (that I have) http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/ICs/FT2232H.htm
[gadget]
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May 01, 2014, 02:42:22 PM
 #513

Sorry for the late reply guys, just moved half way across the world Tongue

Zefir and Dexter - thank you for the advise. I ended up rewriting a clean version of the test code and can now confirm that the order of

  • HARD_RESET
  • SOFT_RESET
  • BIST_CHECK
  • BIST_FIX
  • REG_READ

works just fine. Still not sure what was causing the problem before, but it's gone now Smiley

I've shared the test code in my github here

PS.
With regard to the level shifter, yes, it is indeed necessary, unless you can find something that talks SPI at 1.8V directly (possible but rare).
jpo
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May 01, 2014, 06:14:56 PM
 #514

Hello all,

After a few failed attempts I have decided to liquidate my remaining bitmine chips.  This endeavor ended up taking to much of our time and we made the choice to move on.  To those with working boards or under development this could be a great way to get a few extra mining chips fast.

So we have 35 untouched bitmine chips  These were purchase from Zefir a few months back.  At $3.5 per GH we are asking $3050 for them.  It would ship same day payment is received.  If you are local to the United States I would ship them overnight.  We also have 15 chips that were soldered on at one point, but have since been removed.  They didn't receive voltage spikes, it was mainly just bad board design.  Given the condition and buyer beware on these 15, if you are interested we could give them to you for $2 per GH so $750.

If anyone is interested please let me know.  If you in the United States I can give you a call for verification and peace of mind.

Here's the chips:

http://i.imgbox.com/8N1LhRcE.jpg

And here is one of our failed designs:  Sad

http://i.imgbox.com/jCgloLVU.jpg
http://i.imgbox.com/jCgloLVU.jpg

Thanks All.
[gadget]
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May 02, 2014, 08:18:01 AM
 #515

I'm starting to play around with cgminer (Zefir's version from sometime in Jan-Feb, before it was integrated). One thing I noticed was that the HW_RESET was not being done, thus it must be done by hand. No problem there. This next issue however is somewhat puzzling to me:

I set the sysclk to 200000 kHz (200MHz) in the --bitmine-a1-options, the debug output confirms this:

Code:
[2014-05-02 07:57:20] Started cgminer 3.9.0                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] SPI '/dev/spidev0.0': mode=1, bits=8, speed=800000                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] spidev0.0: Found 2 A1 chips                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] Setting PLL: CLK_REF=12MHz, SYS_CLK=200MHz                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] Setting PLL to pre_div=2, post_div=4, fb_div=133: 0x88 0x85 0x21 0x84 0x00 0x00

I did my testing between 180MHz and 480MHz, and the temps got as hot as 50C. Now, at 200MHz they get blazing hot! I can't even touch them anymore.

Is this to be expected? Or is the PLL being misset somehow and I end up running at closer to 800MHz?
zefir
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May 02, 2014, 08:50:01 AM
 #516

I'm starting to play around with cgminer (Zefir's version from sometime in Jan-Feb, before it was integrated). One thing I noticed was that the HW_RESET was not being done, thus it must be done by hand. No problem there. This next issue however is somewhat puzzling to me:

I set the sysclk to 200000 kHz (200MHz) in the --bitmine-a1-options, the debug output confirms this:

Code:
[2014-05-02 07:57:20] Started cgminer 3.9.0                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] SPI '/dev/spidev0.0': mode=1, bits=8, speed=800000                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] spidev0.0: Found 2 A1 chips                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] Setting PLL: CLK_REF=12MHz, SYS_CLK=200MHz                   
 [2014-05-02 07:57:20] Setting PLL to pre_div=2, post_div=4, fb_div=133: 0x88 0x85 0x21 0x84 0x00 0x00

I did my testing between 180MHz and 480MHz, and the temps got as hot as 50C. Now, at 200MHz they get blazing hot! I can't even touch them anymore.

Is this to be expected? Or is the PLL being misset somehow and I end up running at closer to 800MHz?

Please take a look at latest cgminer driver. The PLL code was re-written to match updated specs quite some time ago and was merged upstream just recently. The issue was a misinterpretation of the PLL formula that got clarified with the latest chip documentation. It affected system clocks below 250MHz, so exactly your case. Please let me know if the problem remains.

As for the chip temps: as soon as the chip starts hashing, it instantly gets very hot. At nominal 800MHz, if you have no top heatsink installed, it reaches almost immediately 60°C with proper back heatsinks and more than that without. Obviously this also highly depends on the supply voltage, which is supposed to be on a safe side over 820mV. This requirement is unfortunately chip specific, so you might find some boards going just fine with 760mV while other are more picky with chips resetting immediately below 820mV.

As for the HW reset: this is always board specific. As reference, please check the A1 board selector sources where reset is performed with different types of i2c board expanders.



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May 02, 2014, 10:08:21 AM
 #517

Please take a look at latest cgminer driver. The PLL code was re-written to match updated specs quite some time ago and was merged upstream just recently. The issue was a misinterpretation of the PLL formula that got clarified with the latest chip documentation. It affected system clocks below 250MHz, so exactly your case. Please let me know if the problem remains.

As for the chip temps: as soon as the chip starts hashing, it instantly gets very hot. At nominal 800MHz, if you have no top heatsink installed, it reaches almost immediately 60°C with proper back heatsinks and more than that without. Obviously this also highly depends on the supply voltage, which is supposed to be on a safe side over 820mV. This requirement is unfortunately chip specific, so you might find some boards going just fine with 760mV while other are more picky with chips resetting immediately below 820mV.

As for the HW reset: this is always board specific. As reference, please check the A1 board selector sources where reset is performed with different types of i2c board expanders.

Zefir, thank you for the quick reply. I am going through the code right now. I just wanted to quickly confirm something with you - the integrated code is specific to the CoinCraft Desk and communicates over libusb (rather than RPi SPI headers), correct? Thus, I will be merging some of the new stuff (such as the updated PLL code) into the old RPi A1 driver code?
zefir
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May 02, 2014, 10:57:34 AM
 #518

Please take a look at latest cgminer driver. The PLL code was re-written to match updated specs quite some time ago and was merged upstream just recently. The issue was a misinterpretation of the PLL formula that got clarified with the latest chip documentation. It affected system clocks below 250MHz, so exactly your case. Please let me know if the problem remains.

As for the chip temps: as soon as the chip starts hashing, it instantly gets very hot. At nominal 800MHz, if you have no top heatsink installed, it reaches almost immediately 60°C with proper back heatsinks and more than that without. Obviously this also highly depends on the supply voltage, which is supposed to be on a safe side over 820mV. This requirement is unfortunately chip specific, so you might find some boards going just fine with 760mV while other are more picky with chips resetting immediately below 820mV.

As for the HW reset: this is always board specific. As reference, please check the A1 board selector sources where reset is performed with different types of i2c board expanders.

Zefir, thank you for the quick reply. I am going through the code right now. I just wanted to quickly confirm something with you - the integrated code is specific to the CoinCraft Desk and communicates over libusb (rather than RPi SPI headers), correct? Thus, I will be merging some of the new stuff (such as the updated PLL code) into the old RPi A1 driver code?

The driver code accesses the chips directly over the Linux spidev user space SPI driver (Win not supported), the layering goes like: spidev -> spi-context -> A1_chip -> A1_chain -> board_selector

If you need to replace direct SPI access through some USB->SPI bridge, your best take is to replace the existing spi-context.c file with something that provides the spi_transfer() function to do a full duplex data exchange with the A1.

Same goes for the upper layer: if you want to use the driver as is, you need to implement a board selector for your product variant. It needs at least to provide a reset_all() method which should issue a HW reset to all chips of a selected board.

Let me know if you need further assistance. I tried to implement the A1 driver in a way that allows to cover a wide range of variants and would like to keep it generally usable - in contrast to e.g. having slightly modified copies of existing ones (e.g. BitFury) for every variant out there. If something is missing to support your variant, please let me know.

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May 02, 2014, 11:54:06 AM
 #519

Anyone interested in purchasing some Coincraft A1 28nm chips? PM me if you are interested. Happy to use an escrow service.

Payment through BTC, Wire Transfer, or PayPal

We have around 2,500 A1 chips right now and will be getting more so please let me know if you need any. Price is negotiable and will consider all reasonable offers.

These chips are from the production batch that Bitmine.ch sent us at the end of January 2014:





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May 02, 2014, 02:16:47 PM
 #520

Hello Zefir,

Sorry if this thread is inappropriate, but this is the only place I have found to discuss technical stuff about coincraft.
I have a question about the coincraft cgminer implementation, that maybe you can answer me:

Can you set different clocks and voltages for each module within a coindesk with cgminer?
I have one module that is quite prone to errors and one module I can push quite hard. Right now I have to use the settings of the bad module for both, which wastes a lot of power, which again, given the bitmine circumstances, really hurts. :|

Also, did you manage to get the temperature readings working in cgminer somehow?

If both are possible, I'm thinking about creating a little autotune tool do automaticaly determine the best settings for the modules in terms of efficiency. This requires me to read accurate temperature data of each of the modules and to be able to set the settings for each module individualy.
I could do it more low level, but that doesn't pay of for the 400GH/s I own anymore in any way, so I'd like to go with something "easy" to implement.

Thank you and best!
mork
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