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Author Topic: Alpha Technology Litecoin (Scrypt) ASIC Miner Order Batch 1 Now!  (Read 526270 times)
FreeJack2k
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April 03, 2015, 06:18:18 PM
 #4681

I am asking if anyone was refunded FINAL PAYMENT - should have been specific. I know that people are getting their pre-order payments back, I did too...even though I asked for a lot more than that. They just reversed the PayPal payments and considered the matter closed...keeping the remaining (and much larger) final payment amount.

So I'm wondering if people have managed to enforce judgment on the refund of their final payments, as well. I have seen stories of people getting judgments, but not much in the way of people saying they'd successfully enforced them, when it comes to final payments.

For my part, as slimy as these guys are, I'm skeptical that the money is even there anymore. They've had two family members leave the company since it started and it looks like it's down to one guy, now. They've outsourced pretty much everything. So even if a winding up petition were entered...I kinda doubt there are any real assets to liquidate. Alpha-T is pure fraud.
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April 05, 2015, 07:03:46 AM
 #4682

I am asking if anyone was refunded FINAL PAYMENT - should have been specific. I know that people are getting their pre-order payments back, I did too...even though I asked for a lot more than that. They just reversed the PayPal payments and considered the matter closed...keeping the remaining (and much larger) final payment amount.

So I'm wondering if people have managed to enforce judgment on the refund of their final payments, as well. I have seen stories of people getting judgments, but not much in the way of people saying they'd successfully enforced them, when it comes to final payments.

For my part, as slimy as these guys are, I'm skeptical that the money is even there anymore. They've had two family members leave the company since it started and it looks like it's down to one guy, now. They've outsourced pretty much everything. So even if a winding up petition were entered...I kinda doubt there are any real assets to liquidate. Alpha-T is pure fraud.

I wonder too. I have received back 50% over the total 100% full paid amount (4x Vipers). Now they seem not to be willing to pay the remaining 50% as they claim it was a final settlement.
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April 05, 2015, 01:56:32 PM
 #4683

NEW UPDATE ON THEIR WEBSITE AS OF JUST NOW April 5, 2015!

Quote
alpha tech logo

Greetings Miners

 We’re pleased to bring you a new update.

Thank you for your patience! We know it has taken a while for new details to come out, and offer our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience. We’re as eager as you to bring news when it is ready for release, and above all deliver your device.

 System Update

 The power consumption of the Viper device was estimated to be 10W for a core voltage of 1.2V and core frequency of 200MHz. This estimate was based on simulation results that kept a power down feature during idle cycles for the internal SRAM in consideration. However since mining is quite the continuous activity, the idle cycles could not contribute enough for lower power needs. As such, power consumption went to approximately 18W at full speed and frequency.

As per the initial calculations, the current requirement for the core voltage was less than 9A per Viper device ( 10W / 1.2V = 8.33A ). The initial prototype was designed with a 50A power module from a leading semiconductor manufacturer for 4 Viper devices (4 x 9A = < 50A), keeping room for some over-clocking possibilities. Since the power consumption changed to 18W, the current required also changed to 15A per device which would require at least 60A for 4 Viper devices. We also noticed some voltage dips on the core voltage rail of around 200mV during the start of computation of one Viper device, this could affect the working of another Viper device connected to the same voltage rail. To cater to such requirements, single modules were pretty expensive. In order to save cost and do some more optimizations, another new design was created. It uses 15A power modules from another leading semiconductor manufacturer for each Viper device. However these devices have been behaving a little erratic and we have found them unstable during our QC tests.

The design is currently getting reviewed and failure analysis is being done by the experts at the power supply company. We are waiting for their response so we can get the correction done. A parallel design is also being done with another power supply having 20A capacity. We have tested the software, and the functionality is working properly which really pleases us. After this last issue gets sorted out, the bulk production can start and shipment will follow.

 ASIC Update

 A few sample Viper devices were tested to identify issues with PLL, IOs, memory etc. with the test vectors generated. Devices were tested and categorized into those that pass and fail. When the same devices were tested with the ZIF socket board, the results observed with these devices were different. Devices which were marked as pass did not pass the functional test completely when tested with the ZIF socket. A few devices passed the functional test with the ZIF socket board and a few failed. Test vectors were updated to include BIST (built-in self-test) to identify device which pass and fail functionally.

On further analysis of the results observed with the tester, the ZIF socket and the test vector simulation results, it was found that the tester has a higher voltage drop and configuration of Viper PLL via JTAG with the tester not working properly. Test vectors were updated to configure PLL over UART and shipped back to test house along with the devices for a re-test. By using the new test vector and increasing the core voltage with the tester, test results of the ZIF socket board and the tester started matching properly. In short, this issue is now under control and it is being worked on as fast as we can.

We are sorry shipment has not yet occurred. We very much appreciate the situation and are working our hardest to deliver the best product possible with the resources we have available.  We would like to reiterate our previous statement that all we can do is reward your patience with a product that is ready and optimized instead of rushing and then deliver potentiality faulty and under-performing hardware. We know you are eagerly waiting to get your hands on these devices, we share this enthusiasm and are quite impatient ourselves to start shipping, and hope you can understand we’re not here to take the easy way out: but deliver a high-quality well-thought of and well tested device.  We are still providing the various enhancements to the final specifications of the devices including a 10 times increase of the hash rate. We plan to e-mail all customers as soon as we have the shipping date, but we cannot estimate one at this time. All we can say is that once we have these last issues resolved and assembly has started, shipment will follow as soon as possible afterwards. We already have our chip quantity in stock, so there will be no need for us to wait for chips. That stage has now been completed.

On that note, we’d like to express our gratitude for your immense patience and confidence, and extend our sincerest apologies for the annoying delays whilst this machine is being engineered to perfection. We know it seems that every month there is delay after delay, but please understand that development is outsourced and we are genuinely passing on information we are being told by the technical teams working on the project as it comes in.

We do our best to speed the process up and finalize the devices.

Stay tuned! We hope, and are fairly confident, that our next message will be that mass-production has started and be able to inform you that shipping will be underway.

Thank you!

Best Regards

Mohammed Akram

Director
https://alpha-t.net/news/developmental-update-05042015/

So they do a 10 fold in hash increase? Will it be from the old 90MH (Viper) to 250MH 900MH/s or from 250MH to 2500MH?

still smells like vapourware to me.

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April 05, 2015, 03:57:55 PM
 #4684

The next excuse with the next delay.
Nothing has changed.
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April 05, 2015, 05:57:47 PM
 #4685

The only thing that went 10 fold on the miners is the power consumption.
Now estimated around 3,500 Watts.
Great for European buyers.
If you would receive your Viper today, you will mine $10 of Litecoins each day, costing only $25 in electricity...
Way to invest your money, Spend $9,000 to lose $15 (and rising each day) a day.
The inventor of cryptocurrencies was probably a relative of Bernard Madoff...

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April 05, 2015, 08:08:44 PM
 #4686

The only thing that went 10 fold on the miners is the power consumption.
Now estimated around 3,500 Watts.
Great for European buyers.
If you would receive your Viper today, you will mine $10 of Litecoins each day, costing only $25 in electricity...
Way to invest your money, Spend $9,000 to lose $15 (and rising each day) a day.
The inventor of cryptocurrencies was probably a relative of Bernard Madoff...



It looks like the power consumption only went up 80% not 10 fold. Regardless, there is no reason anyone would ever want to plug this in, not today, not ever. Especially those on tiered energy pricing like PG&E.
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April 06, 2015, 03:52:23 AM
 #4687

They are trying to leave a paper trail in hopes of avoiding serious criminal wrong doing. They sent out this update to look good in court, none of it can be trusted. They wouldn't know the truth if it hit them in the head.
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April 06, 2015, 06:22:11 PM
Last edit: April 06, 2015, 06:34:42 PM by FreeJack2k
 #4688

LOL...the 10x hashing increase he's talking about is the same 25 -> 250 MH (or 5 -> 25 MH) increase they offered early last year, when KNC announced the Titans as a competing product. It's his way of pointing out that they REALLY went the extra mile for their customers. As if that hashrate means anything, today - the devices are obsolete before they've even been produced. His failure to acknowledge this either says A) he's totally unfamiliar with the market or B) he's a moron. It's likely the new SFARDS hardware will hit the network before these guys ever ship a single device, and there will be no point to ever turning a Viper on, at all. Actually, with an 80% increase in power consumption, there's really no point to turning one on NOW.

They have outsourced every aspect of this production and were insanely over-confident in their ability to deliver. They've screwed up just about every aspect of the process and had to re-do almost everything. Yet somehow, they still feel justified in keeping peoples' final payments...even though they're currently nine months past their announced shipping date (mid-July). They stated in the pre-order details that they'd only ask for final payment 8-10 weeks before shipping. They're WAY past the point of breaching that agreement and it's just laughable that they defend themselves by saying we agreed to it by pre-ordering. We agreed to make final payment 8-10 weeks before shipping. We lived up to our end of the deal...they didn't, bottom line.

Unfortunately, because 100% of this project is outsourced, I would be willing to bet that they have NO assets to liquidate in a winding up petition (he's probably running this from his living room, at this point) and at best, it would just shut down Alpha Technology as a going concern...which would be fine with me, as I don't want to see these hucksters doing business in crypto, ever again.
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April 07, 2015, 07:03:18 AM
 #4689

LOL...the 10x hashing increase he's talking about is the same 25 -> 250 MH (or 5 -> 25 MH) increase they offered early last year, when KNC announced the Titans as a competing product. It's his way of pointing out that they REALLY went the extra mile for their customers. As if that hashrate means anything, today - the devices are obsolete before they've even been produced. His failure to acknowledge this either says A) he's totally unfamiliar with the market or B) he's a moron. It's likely the new SFARDS hardware will hit the network before these guys ever ship a single device, and there will be no point to ever turning a Viper on, at all. Actually, with an 80% increase in power consumption, there's really no point to turning one on NOW.

They have outsourced every aspect of this production and were insanely over-confident in their ability to deliver. They've screwed up just about every aspect of the process and had to re-do almost everything. Yet somehow, they still feel justified in keeping peoples' final payments...even though they're currently nine months past their announced shipping date (mid-July). They stated in the pre-order details that they'd only ask for final payment 8-10 weeks before shipping. They're WAY past the point of breaching that agreement and it's just laughable that they defend themselves by saying we agreed to it by pre-ordering. We agreed to make final payment 8-10 weeks before shipping. We lived up to our end of the deal...they didn't, bottom line.

Unfortunately, because 100% of this project is outsourced, I would be willing to bet that they have NO assets to liquidate in a winding up petition (he's probably running this from his living room, at this point) and at best, it would just shut down Alpha Technology as a going concern...which would be fine with me, as I don't want to see these hucksters doing business in crypto, ever again.

To me it seems that none of the big producers have been able to make a stable and fast Scrypt miner. Bitmain quit before delivering, Titan's were (afaik) crap, this one seems to have big problems to put it nicely.

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April 07, 2015, 09:30:02 AM
 #4690

His failure to acknowledge this either says A) he's totally unfamiliar with the market or B) he's a moron.
A moron, but also a multi millionaire.
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April 07, 2015, 07:53:15 PM
 #4691

This latest update from Alpha has delivered some wonderful satire - quite how it is possible to project manage as badly as this beggars belief.

They've had nearly a year with virtually no competition, and they've blown it all, with fail after fail after fail.
SFARDS (formerly gridseed) taped out their 2nd gen scrypt ASIC last month with an estimated power efficiency of 2W per MH/s.

I wonder if alpha will ship their 14.4 J/MH miners before SFARDS ship their 2 J/MH miners...

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April 07, 2015, 08:16:07 PM
 #4692

This latest update from Alpha has delivered some wonderful satire - quite how it is possible to project manage as badly as this beggars belief.

They've had nearly a year with virtually no competition, and they've blown it all, with fail after fail after fail.
SFARDS (formerly gridseed) taped out their 2nd gen scrypt ASIC last month with an estimated power efficiency of 2W per MH/s.

I wonder if alpha will ship their 14.4 J/MH miners before SFARDS ship their 2 J/MH miners...

That's an interesting one to monitor. So far I only find "zero information, but it's going to be very cool very soon" on SFARDS Smiley

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April 07, 2015, 08:31:29 PM
 #4693

Developing power supplies for Bitcoin miners is in a class of problem called "bitch on wheels". This however is not an unknown issue, it has buried a number of other companies over the years and anyone who has designed high power supplies knows the joy of watching smoke and plasma balls rise from 300 amp IGBT circuits.

I think however that people designing boards tend to be simply willfully ignorant of the issues of providing 500 amps of power at half a volt and thus they screw up the same thing over and over again. At least on a SHA256 chip each engine is pulling constant power through the hashing cycle. I wonder if a scrypt miner pulls varying levels of power depending on where it is in the computations, and that power variance fucks over any attempt to provide a constant level of power to the engine with 500 other engines on the same chip bitching and moaning as they vary their requirements from cycle to cycle.

It could explain the complete graveyard in the Scrypt space. That could also move the level of "hard" from "flaming levels of difficult" to "fuck, we have a chip and can't make it work! And here comes THE NOISE FAIRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

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April 08, 2015, 06:03:23 PM
 #4694

Developing power supplies for Bitcoin miners is in a class of problem called "bitch on wheels". This however is not an unknown issue, it has buried a number of other companies over the years and anyone who has designed high power supplies knows the joy of watching smoke and plasma balls rise from 300 amp IGBT circuits.

I think however that people designing boards tend to be simply willfully ignorant of the issues of providing 500 amps of power at half a volt and thus they screw up the same thing over and over again. At least on a SHA256 chip each engine is pulling constant power through the hashing cycle.

You're right. Powering this type of ASIC is a real challenge. However, there are solutions available for CPUs and GPUs - typically, these are complex multi-phase systems with sophisticated feedback systems carefully tuned for the precise application. While you can buy the voltage controller ASIC off-the-shelf, you still need the inductors, switches, and compensation network, as well as a suitable circuit design.

One of the things that struck me when I first saw the PCB layouts for the alpha board was that they appeared to be using off-the-shelf , but very expensive ($50 each in 1k quantities), DC-DC modules for each group of 4 ASICs. This suggested to me that they either didn't want to fund the design of a DC-DC converter based around a CPU/GPU VRM ASIC, or that they did not have the expertise to be able to build such a converter.

The latest spins of the board appear to use Altera monolithic DC-DC converters - an impressive ASIC with integrated switches and integrated inductor! Again, suggestive of the fact that there is no will or capability to build a DC-DC solution in house. The Altera converters are even more expensive - $19 each in 1k quanitites - with 1 converter needed per viper ASIC. The other issue is that they seem desperate to keep the cost down, they've said that the viper ASIC needs 15A @ 1.2 V - so it's rather optimistic to use a monolithic DC-DC converter rated at a maximum current rating of 15 A.

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April 09, 2015, 02:17:40 AM
 #4695

You're right. Powering this type of ASIC is a real challenge. However, there are solutions available for CPUs and GPUs - typically, these are complex multi-phase systems with sophisticated feedback systems carefully tuned for the precise application. While you can buy the voltage controller ASIC off-the-shelf, you still need the inductors, switches, and compensation network, as well as a suitable circuit design.
Yup, and the smallest mistakes can provide all sorts of hilarity. Part of the reason I prefer using R(ds) for overload sensing, DCM is great for sensing power through the choke, but that RC circuit can be affected by noise, component layout, and doesn't tell you if the FETs are cutting through. But who wants to spend the money for an op-amp limiting circuit on both sides of the push/pull? Not to mention the fun that happens when the voltage drop from the left side of the chip to the right side of the chip (500 amps, .6 volts...) causes problems.

The off-shelf stuff is great for testing, but very expensive to use for mass production. And in Alpha's case I wonder how stable it is when half the engines are running light power pulls while farting with the memory and the other half are pulling full current for the math engines. At random across the die of course, this is a tougher problem. So they ran everything at full current and now the chips overloads the power supplies. Yep.

Quote
The latest spins of the board appear to use Altera monolithic DC-DC converters - an impressive ASIC with integrated switches and integrated inductor! Again, suggestive of the fact that there is no will or capability to build a DC-DC solution in house. The Altera converters are even more expensive - $19 each in 1k quanitites - with 1 converter needed per viper ASIC. The other issue is that they seem desperate to keep the cost down, they've said that the viper ASIC needs 15A @ 1.2 V - so it's rather optimistic to use a monolithic DC-DC converter rated at a maximum current rating of 15 A.

Yeah. There's a lot of weird pressures and unbridled optimism in some of these mining firms. This is complex shit, and happy pony magic doesn't work well when the 600amp IGBT goes foom. Building this kind of stuff right takes months/years, not "wave wand and it works in a week".

Ah well. They fucked up.
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April 12, 2015, 11:49:52 PM
 #4696

Let me get this straight. Their miners will run at 14 Watts per 1Mh/s which means:

If you had your rigs right now, say the 50Mh/s Viper, and you pay $0.10 per KWH as we do in the Florida. A 50Mh/s Viper would currently earn $1.80 per day in LTC, of which $1.68 goes to cover power costs, leaving $0.12 in profit. If you ran it for a year straight, assuming no changes in price or difficulty, it would earn $43.88 annually. With the cost of a 50Mh/s Viper at approx $1950 USD it would only take about half a century to ROI, yes that's 50 years.

I have to say I'm actually surprised that these things even make that much, I fully expected it to run at a loss. Why are they still working on this paper weight? There is no demand for it, why make it at all? Just ship people a metal box with a hair dryer inside of it along with some blinking lights and call it a day?


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April 13, 2015, 06:44:06 PM
 #4697

I'm pretty sure most customers don't pay $0,10 a KWh, but likely around $0,30 in Europe...
You will pay 10K to lose $500 (and rising each day) a month over here.
Now that's what I call a great ROI  Grin
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April 13, 2015, 11:14:26 PM
 #4698

I'm pretty sure most customers don't pay $0,10 a KWh, but likely around $0,30 in Europe...
You will pay 10K to lose $500 (and rising each day) a month over here.
Now that's what I call a great ROI  Grin

Since Europe uses 240V power versus the USA's 120V, wouldn't that mean you guys get twice the power per KWH? My brain hurts when I have to think about 240V. Regardless of where you live it doesn't make much sense to plug your Vipers in, unless your stealing electricity. Not something that is advisable unless you enjoy having the power company shut off power indefinitely at your address, whether your willing to pay for it or not. It's easy to steal if you know how, and apparently easy for the power company to tell as well. There are meters everywhere all communicating in real time. My advice, don't even think about it.
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April 14, 2015, 10:10:17 AM
 #4699

Power equals current times voltage, or P=I*E. Mmmm. Pie. What this means is that in Eurpoe the voltage is doubled but the current needed is halved. This leads to some nice things (less power lost in the wires due to heat) and not-so-nice things (getting shocked by 240v hurts more than 120. Don't try this at home).

But the power from the miner's point of view is constant.
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April 14, 2015, 07:22:08 PM
 #4700

I'm pretty sure most customers don't pay $0,10 a KWh, but likely around $0,30 in Europe...
You will pay 10K to lose $500 (and rising each day) a month over here.
Now that's what I call a great ROI  Grin

That's quite a good guess, here is an overview EU wide: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/File:Electricity_prices_for_household_consumers,_first_half_2013_%281%29_%28EUR_per_kWh%29_YB14.png

28 cents euro versus 0,30 USD at this moment.

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