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Author Topic: Other purposes for ASIC hardware.  (Read 8993 times)
Distribution
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October 30, 2013, 06:11:16 PM
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Other than drying meat and driving up power bills, can the ASICs be put toward other uses? For example, when the lower end ones become obsolete for bitcoin mining, could they be put toward Folding@home or other distributed computing projects?
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October 30, 2013, 06:32:21 PM
 #2

No, you can use it only for SHA256D mining

Or as radiator generating heat Smiley

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October 30, 2013, 09:05:25 PM
 #3

Are they really limited to sha256 mining as opposed to sha256 calculations?  Seems like the mining is done in your mining software and the asic's are just doing the number crunching.
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October 31, 2013, 01:27:36 PM
 #4

In the not too distant future, there will be a ton of mining hardware (near) freely available.  Is there a potential danger of this former mining hardware being used nefariously (cracking wallets and other bad stuff)?  I'm no mathematician, but bitcoin is based on sha256.  Seems like there's a potential for bad guys to do bad things here.
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October 31, 2013, 07:43:11 PM
 #5

I believe they are pretty worthless for anything else.

These are ASICs after all.  Designed for a specific purpose.  It'a software converted into hardware.  Can't edit the hardware man! Wink
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October 31, 2013, 07:45:02 PM
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Other than drying meat and driving up power bills, can the ASICs be put toward other uses? For example, when the lower end ones become obsolete for bitcoin mining, could they be put toward Folding@home or other distributed computing projects?

try offering your SHA256 services to NSA  Grin

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October 31, 2013, 08:25:09 PM
 #7

bitcoin use SHA256 twice. It is worthless for any other use than bruteforcing SHA256(SHA256())

A block is a bunch of transactions + junk that we bruteforce to get a SHA256 Hash of the SHA256 Hash that has enough leading ZEROs to achieve the required difficulty.

You cannot bruteforce SHA256 with it ...

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October 31, 2013, 09:29:27 PM
 #8

It seems like someone will come up with another use for them otherwise it just feels like a waist of resources.

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November 01, 2013, 12:01:53 AM
 #9

I don't know a whole lot about how all of this cryptography stuff works. But would a distributed computing project in the future be able to be built around the idea that bitcoin mining could be used to contribute to it? In other words, if the hardware isn't good for anything else out there now, could something be developed that would make them useful again?
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November 01, 2013, 12:27:49 AM
 #10

You can still mine alt and alts....

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November 01, 2013, 12:31:49 AM
 #11

Opencl brute forcing. Also maybe some algorithm for file compression maybe? It would be great having 1 TH/s power to zip a 10GB file into 5-7GB.

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November 01, 2013, 03:59:34 AM
 #12

Uses for obsolete ASIC hardware (hint ASIC = Application SPECIFIC Integrated Circuit = "it only does one thing")
1) Stepping Stool
2) Door stop
3) Paperweight for a really big stack of papers
4) Improvised Blunt force weapon
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November 01, 2013, 10:09:10 PM
 #13

You could use the sha256(sha256(x))-function as a pseudo random number generator if you need ... lot's of pseudo random numbers Huh
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November 02, 2013, 12:32:52 AM
 #14

Other than drying meat and driving up power bills, can the ASICs be put toward other uses? For example, when the lower end ones become obsolete for bitcoin mining, could they be put toward Folding@home or other distributed computing projects?

Nothing, ASIC is designed for mining and nothing else...


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November 02, 2013, 12:58:05 AM
 #15

Drying meat is also a good idea. Cheesy

Ajinomoto
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November 02, 2013, 01:29:04 AM
 #16

Uses for obsolete ASIC hardware (hint ASIC = Application SPECIFIC Integrated Circuit = "it only does one thing")
1) Stepping Stool
2) Door stop
3) Paperweight for a really big stack of papers
4) Improvised Blunt force weapon

5) Educational tool for school to learn about Bitcoin / Altcoin with.

Donate a few to me we'd love to have a few of them in the classroom.

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November 02, 2013, 01:36:03 PM
 #17

Uses for obsolete ASIC hardware (hint ASIC = Application SPECIFIC Integrated Circuit = "it only does one thing")
1) Stepping Stool
2) Door stop
3) Paperweight for a really big stack of papers
4) Improvised Blunt force weapon
You left out
5) Boat anchor
6) Book end

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November 02, 2013, 01:40:22 PM
 #18

Mice control.  Noise, heat and fan wind scares them off. 
Recommended setup: 4 BFL singles in each corner of your basement.
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November 02, 2013, 05:58:10 PM
 #19

has anyone here seen an asic instruction set?
is it realy just "Take that block and mine until you find it" or is it something like
"take that bitstream, and sha256 it", with the rest of the calculation done in software on general purpose hadware?

Generally you want as little calculations done on the asic as possible, so it would be plausible that at least some of the asics work like this.
What certainly not done is only the sha256 on the external hardware and the rest on the host pc, as usb isn't fast enough for any asic flooding it with numbers (A block eruptor would create 10GB per second)

Which woudl make it a perfect PRNG for scientific computing, provided some realy fast bus(maybe on a processor socket in a multi cpu setup) and provided the sha256 output realy has good randomness

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November 02, 2013, 06:30:23 PM
 #20

blub I know HF has released their protocol doc and IIRC Avalon has as well.  I got to run so I can't find a link right now but they are out there.

The ASICs are "simple".  The high level "mining" is done on the general purpose host and the ASICs as really SHA-2 hashing engines.  It varies from design to design but generally speaking the ASIC is sent get a "blob" of binary data (block header) and a target.  The ASIC takes the header, adds the nonce, hashes it checks if it is less than the target and keeps incrementing the nonce until it finds a solution which it returns. 

The one issue with high output PRNG is that the SHA-2 processors throw away all the hashes which don't meet the target.   Even if the target is set a difficulty 1 that means that only 1 in 2^32 hashes will be below the target and returned.   So take HF 400 GH/s processor.   Even with a target for difficulty 1 it only returns ~ 4 solutions per second at higher difficulty it is even less.  This is done to reduce he need for high bandwidth connectivity between the host and the processors.

I don't believe any ASIC processor can be instructed to return solutions which are less than diff 1.  In theory it could be done but I doubt any designer assumed anyone would want to as in Bitcoin the min difficulty is hardcoded at 1 regardless of network hashrate.
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