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Author Topic: DIY FPGA Mining rig for any algorithm with fast ROI  (Read 74843 times)
whitefire990
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May 01, 2018, 01:40:54 AM
Last edit: June 02, 2018, 10:58:51 PM by whitefire990
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 #1

************** UPDATE JUNE 2/2018 ********************
The website and initial downloads are now available at:
www.zetheron.com

PLEASE REALIZE THAT TO ACHIEVE THE FULL ADVERTISED HASH RATES REQUIRES EXTENSIVE MODIFICATIONS TO THE STOCK VCU1525 BOARD, as described here:
http://zetheron.com/index.php/hardware-modifications/

If you are interested in exploring FPGA mining, it is strongly recommended that you reach each page on the website in detail.

******************************************************


People asked me to make a new thread on this topic, so here it is.

Here are some pics and video of my 8 x Xilinx VCU1525 rig.  Each VCU1525 card has one Xilinx VU9P Virtex Ultrascale+ FPGA.  Hash rate for the whole rig combined is:

Keccak (Smartcash, Maxcoin): 136GH/s (17GH/s per card x eight) ($160/day at Apr-30 prices)
Tribus (Denarius, Virtus): 16.8GH/s (2.1GH/s per card x eight) ($304/day at Apr-30 prices)
Phi1612 (Luxcoin, Folm): 5.2GH/s (650MH/s per card x eight) ($456/day at Apr-30 prices)
Skunhash (Various coins): 10.4GH/s (1.3GH/s per card x eight) ($261/day at Apr-30 prices)

Those yield around US$20-$57 per card per day ($160-$456 per day for the rig).  Each VCU1525 card costs $4000, or $32K for the whole rig.  At $160-$456 per day, ROI is 70-200 days depending on the algorithm.  I'm not the only one mining with these cards.  Apparently some guy in Germany is getting 64KH/s with Cryptonight-V7 on the same VCU1525's, earning him over $100 per day per card or $800+ per day for a whole rig.  
*********** UPDATE JUNE 2/2018:  The 64KH/s hash rate is mostly likely fake.  GPU_Hoarder has achieved 22KH/s which is the true hash rate for CN7*************

Next up on my implementation list is SHA-224 and Neoscrypt.  I am also developing for the Bittware XUPP3R-VU9P which is an almost identical board as the VCU1525.  I'm planning on releasing the first bitstreams (FPGA config files) to the public May 30 with an embedded 4% development fee.  If you are interested in acquiring hardware, contact jason.harvey@avnet.com for the VCU1525, or Christian Robichaud of Bittware, for the Bittware XUPP3R-VU9P (crobichaud@bittware.com).  Tell them you were referred by Zetheron Technology and you want the cards for crypto-mining and they can expedite the lead time, which is currently around 4 weeks.  The intro price (at Avnet) on the VCU1525 is $3995 USD, but it will be going up to around $5K in July.  The Bittware XUPP3R-VU9P crypto version is $5895 USD, and has two advantages over the VCU1525: (1) it has four QSFP28 100G ports so you can daisy chain 4 FPGA's together to mine Xevan at 162MH/s, and (2) it has flexible memory options, so you can install either DDR4 or QDRII+ SRAM; the QDR memory gives way faster hash rates on Equihash vs. DDR4.   I've been in communication with many members of this forum who are already organizing a group buy.
***************** JUNE 2/2018: The above information is superseded by information posted on the Hardware page at www.zetheron.com *****

Pics:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Oh8VV0CDi-R6ls4Up9n7uJk5_gVp5OK2
https://drive.google.com/open?id=11NQoU-R08u9kJkJIMTleqe2wTaTj2jw2

5 second video to hear the noise level:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PYJ1Ht7r3s9zmMisEIpsngbW7C9EIENl

You'll notice the blue USB cables from the riser cards are *not* plugged into the motherboard.  The risers are only used to power the FPGA cards.  The black USB cables plug directly into the FPGA cards and directly into motherboard USB slots.  To get enough full bandwidth USB slots I have added an extra 4xUSB3-to-PCIe adapter card.  The whole rig is powered by a single Rosewill Hercules 1600W supply, each card burns 100-160W depending on the algorithm.  Any decent mining motherboard will work, the load on the CPU is very low.  Any GPU rig can be immediately converted to FPGA by swapping out the GPU cards and replacing them with FPGA cards and performing the USB cable adjustment as I described.  Personally I am hoping to sell my 48 GPU's and replace them all with FPGA's but I have been so busy with the FPGA programming I haven't had time yet.

I am also releasing bitstreams for the Avnet KU040 FPGA board and the Nexys Video FPGA board, although due to the small size of those FPGA's they can only mine a couple of algorithms profitably, and if you are serious I suggest a VU9P board.  If you are skeptical then I suggest just waiting until someone else you know has an FPGA rig up and running and you can make a decision then.  Keep in mind these chips are fully reprogrammable and can mine any algorithm.  A lot people are mining with them in secret.  I hope others follow my lead and start to release their software/bitstreams publicly.  I also suggest searching non-English forums and trying to convince the others who are using these cards to publish their software.

Once the community has switched over to high end FPGA's, crypto as a whole will be far more ASIC resistant, because developing an ASIC will then have a poor ROI.  Consider that this 8 x VCU1525 can mine Skein and Myriad-Groestl and make about $7 per card per day ($56/day for the rig); not a great profit, but that is amazing considering you are competing directly against Baikal X10's which are ASIC machines.  The fact that you can still make a profit (with FPGA's) when mining directly against an ASIC shows how this technology can change the crypto landscape.  

Please forgive me if I am slow to respond to PM's, I am quite busy.



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rdluffy
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May 01, 2018, 02:15:44 AM
 #2

It's not for everyone, the price is expensive but I think this is the next step in mining

If we buy a Xilinx VCU1525 we have to buy anything more? Or it`s like a gpu you connect on PCI-E, install drivers and use your program you will launch?

Thanks

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May 01, 2018, 02:25:02 AM
 #3

"ROI is 70-200 days depending on the algorithm."

profitable coins likely to swap algo on regular basis.
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May 01, 2018, 02:58:08 AM
 #4

Congratulations on your beautoful setup, I like this, i was always curious why fpga systems dissapeared so quick..now i know they never did!
I'm wanting a similar setup, my cards are so outdated,but would you be willing to share your software if I was to make the plunge hardware wise?
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May 01, 2018, 03:02:54 AM
 #5

"ROI is 70-200 days depending on the algorithm."

profitable coins likely to swap algo on regular basis.


If you mean 'fork' to a different algorithm, I can change the software in the FPGA just as fast as they can fork their coin.  You can't fork away from FPGA's.

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May 01, 2018, 03:03:54 AM
 #6

It's not for everyone, the price is expensive but I think this is the next step in mining

If we buy a Xilinx VCU1525 we have to buy anything more? Or it`s like a gpu you connect on PCI-E, install drivers and use your program you will launch?

Thanks

Yes, very simple, you just need to make sure you have enough USB ports on the motherboard, otherwise you can use a PCIe-USB adapter card.  Depends on how many FPGA cards you want to run.

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May 01, 2018, 03:04:57 AM
 #7

"ROI is 70-200 days depending on the algorithm."

profitable coins likely to swap algo on regular basis.


Thats why FPGAs make sense.  Changing the algorithm is easy.
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May 01, 2018, 03:05:19 AM
 #8

Congratulations on your beautoful setup, I like this, i was always curious why fpga systems dissapeared so quick..now i know they never did!
I'm wanting a similar setup, my cards are so outdated,but would you be willing to share your software if I was to make the plunge hardware wise?

My plan is to release Keccak at the end of May, then Tribus/Phi/Skunkhash in June/July.  More algorithms to follow every month.  So yes you can buy the hardware then use my software, which has a 4% fee built in.

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May 01, 2018, 03:06:59 AM
 #9

coooooool!!!  Grin Grin Grin

what board is compatible your miner? i will be order this https://www.xilinx.com/products/boards-and-kits/vcu1525-a.html

there are any more cheap boards?
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May 01, 2018, 03:08:29 AM
 #10

It's not for everyone, the price is expensive but I think this is the next step in mining

Yes, agree, with those prices, that isn't for everyone.

But I like what you were doing, that's absolutely awesome.

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May 01, 2018, 03:14:36 AM
 #11

It's not for everyone, the price is expensive but I think this is the next step in mining

If we buy a Xilinx VCU1525 we have to buy anything more? Or it`s like a gpu you connect on PCI-E, install drivers and use your program you will launch?

Thanks

Yes, very simple, you just need to make sure you have enough USB ports on the motherboard, otherwise you can use a PCIe-USB adapter card.  Depends on how many FPGA cards you want to run.



Thank you man
If you know more FGPAs (cheaper) that will work, tell us
I'll pay the 4% fee with pleasure

whitefire990
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May 01, 2018, 03:53:53 AM
 #12

Some answers:

- The exact part number for VCU1525 is: DK-U1-VCU1525-A-G
(this is the version with a fan; it also comes in a fanless version which needs some type of external air movement system, not recommended; definitely go for the version with a fan)

- I realize even a single VU9P FPGA card might be out of range (pricewise) for some people.  The Avnet KU040 is $975:
https://www.avnet.com/shop/us/products/avnet-engineering-services/aes-ku040-db-g-3074457345630043740/
This FPGA is much smaller than the VU9P.  It can mine Keccak at 3GH/s, SHA-224 is profitable as well, and I am trying to fit Tribus into it which would run at 600MH/s and be quite profitable, but it is a tight squeeze to fit Tribus in there and I can't promise it yet.

- The smallest/cheapest board is the Nexys Video
https://store.digilentinc.com/nexys-video-artix-7-fpga-trainer-board-for-multimedia-applications/
(also available from Digikey and Avnet)
This board has an even smaller FPGA and can only do Keccak and SHA-224 (Bismuth), with an ROI of around 200 days.  So it isn't the most profitable, but it does have the amazing advantage that it needs no fan only can get by with a passive heat sink. 

- Some people have asked me about future boards.  There is the upcoming VCU1526 (VU13P FPGA), XUPP3R-VU13P, as well as the VU35P/VU37P FPGA's with high bandwidth memory (most useful for ethereum).  I do have some plans on supporting upcoming boards, it does require changes to the software, but for the near term the only four boards I am supporting are the VCU1525, XUPP3R-VU9P, KU040 and Nexys Video.  The reason I am focusing on those boards is they have the best ROI.  The absolute biggest FPGA available (VU13P) used in some of the 'upcoming' boards is so much more expensive that the ROI is actually worse.  It's kind of like the Titan V GPU; faster than a 1080 Ti, but the extra price isn't worth it.



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May 01, 2018, 04:06:49 AM
 #13

Which OS are you running for these FPGAs? Thanks
whitefire990
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May 01, 2018, 04:16:38 AM
 #14

Which OS are you running for these FPGAs? Thanks

I am using Windows 10.  Originally on my GPU rigs I ran linux, but first I had of lot of freeze-ups, second, all the latest (and fastest) miner builds were only released for Windows, so I upgraded all my GPU's to Windows.

For the FPGA's, the development tools and drivers are mostly geared towards Windows.  To run my software, it is expecting Windows 10 (but probably works on Windows 7), you need to install the FTDI D2XX drivers, and you need to install Vivado Lab Edition (free from Xilinx) to download the bitstreams into the FPGA's.

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May 01, 2018, 04:17:00 AM
 #15

this is a nice setup. did not think that today still someone use fpga for mining. unfortunately, the price is a bit high.

how much electricity does your fpga miner use?
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May 01, 2018, 04:30:19 AM
 #16

Which OS are you running for these FPGAs? Thanks

I am using Windows 10.  Originally on my GPU rigs I ran linux, but first I had of lot of freeze-ups, second, all the latest (and fastest) miner builds were only released for Windows, so I upgraded all my GPU's to Windows.

For the FPGA's, the development tools and drivers are mostly geared towards Windows.  To run my software, it is expecting Windows 10 (but probably works on Windows 7), you need to install the FTDI D2XX drivers, and you need to install Vivado Lab Edition (free from Xilinx) to download the bitstreams into the FPGA's.



When you release the software miner? So excited, we willing to pay high fee for ur work.
And if u have time, maybe some basic guide for newbie for change settings windows, driver, with ur tool (of course), honestly the FPGA is almost newly to most of us.
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May 01, 2018, 05:32:10 AM
 #17

More answers

- Power: 100W to 160W per card depending on the algorithm.  So how much money can you make from one 15A electrical outlet (1500-1600W)?  One 8 x GTX1070 rig makes around $13/day using the full capacity of the outlet; the same outlet can power 8 x VCU1525 and make $400+ per day, so your profit vs. electricity goes up 20x to 30x

- I'm hoping to release the first software at the end of May; keep in mind this does require many extra steps vs. mining on my own; encrypting the bitstreams, device DNA protection, thermal monitoring & overload shutdown, troubleshooting guide & utility, as well as detailed step-by-step instructions and testing on several other computers other than my own

- I have already received inquiries from people who want to help.  There is a great deal of work to do to port all the available GPU algorithms into the FPGA.  One of the most tedious tasks is test-vector generation, which is the process of inserting printf() statements into CPUMiner while connected to a live mining pool to dump extremely detailed intermediate hash values to a file to use to verify the FPGA implementation.  The release date schedule can be sped up dramatically if more people choose to help.  Test vector generation doesn't require any FPGA knowledge, it just requires C-programming knowledge

- Price; you could always mine with one KU090 for $975, otherwise you can sell 8 GPU's from an existing rig and replace all of them with just one VCU1525/XUPP3R card (for around the same price) and your profit per day goes up dramatically and your electrical bill goes down 8x

At today's prices
- one 8 x 1080 Ti rig mining Ravencoin makes $21.87 per day, and burns 1520W
- Selling those 8 x 1080 Ti cards and replacing them with one VU9P FGPA card can make $50+ per day, burns 150W





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May 01, 2018, 06:03:28 AM
 #18

What kind of hashrates would these FPGA`s provide on more mainstream algo`s like Equihash? I think it would not take many hundreds of these FPGA`s before the profitability of those algo`s mentioned will not be so profitable.

https://www.powermining.pw ⮚ Hit us with your power while mining for over 30 listed coinz in various algorithms! Get in touch on Discord: https://discord.gg/qSV6b9d
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May 01, 2018, 06:05:39 AM
 #19

More answers

- Power: 100W to 160W per card depending on the algorithm.  So how much money can you make from one 15A electrical outlet (1500-1600W)?  One 8 x GTX1070 rig makes around $13/day using the full capacity of the outlet; the same outlet can power 8 x VCU1525 and make $400+ per day, so your profit vs. electricity goes up 20x to 30x

- I'm hoping to release the first software at the end of May; keep in mind this does require many extra steps vs. mining on my own; encrypting the bitstreams, device DNA protection, thermal monitoring & overload shutdown, troubleshooting guide & utility, as well as detailed step-by-step instructions and testing on several other computers other than my own

- I have already received inquiries from people who want to help.  There is a great deal of work to do to port all the available GPU algorithms into the FPGA.  One of the most tedious tasks is test-vector generation, which is the process of inserting printf() statements into CPUMiner while connected to a live mining pool to dump extremely detailed intermediate hash values to a file to use to verify the FPGA implementation.  The release date schedule can be sped up dramatically if more people choose to help.  Test vector generation doesn't require any FPGA knowledge, it just requires C-programming knowledge

- Price; you could always mine with one KU090 for $975, otherwise you can sell 8 GPU's from an existing rig and replace all of them with just one VCU1525/XUPP3R card (for around the same price) and your profit per day goes up dramatically and your electrical bill goes down 8x

At today's prices
- one 8 x 1080 Ti rig mining Ravencoin makes $21.87 per day, and burns 1520W
- Selling those 8 x 1080 Ti cards and replacing them with one VU9P FGPA card can make $50+ per day, burns 150W







Definitely willing to build a few rigs if this is true, and the fee sounds reasonable to me at 4%. Can you show some statistics on the profitability on your rig? I.E. a link to the profitability or a graph from the pool, etc.
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May 01, 2018, 06:13:52 AM
 #20

Will these work plugged into USB 2.0?
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