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Author Topic: Custom FPGA Board for Sale!  (Read 85723 times)
fizzisist
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August 23, 2011, 07:08:22 PM
 #161

The next generation won't require Xilinx software. fpgaminer is working on the python interface, which I expect will run on Arch Linux ARM. I have a Dockstar that I plan to experiment with, for this purpose. I'll let you know if I have any success (or if I don't). By the way, I set up a wiki at fpgamining.com for the purpose of putting guides and stuff somewhere. Hopefully there will be some useful information there someday (nothing right now).

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Cablesaurus
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August 23, 2011, 07:12:55 PM
 #162

Pre orders are now enabled @ www.cablesaurus.com

PCIe Extender Cables; Dummy Plugs, Fans; PSU Cables; Cases & More
Visit www.Cablesaurus.com and our forum thread at http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=6128.0
molecular
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August 23, 2011, 07:23:45 PM
 #163

Another question: Could this be cooled by submerging it into a small aquarium filled with mineral oil? Would one still use a heatsink in such a situation or is that unnecessary, with a liquid cooling solution?

It seems to me you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. Think "pentium 90" in terms of cooling here.

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sirky
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August 23, 2011, 07:51:31 PM
 #164

Sirky-
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I wonder what the best way to mount a bunch of these would be. Surely just laying them somewhere cannot be most efficient.

What are the physical dimensions with the heat sink on?

For the next batch, we are looking at a 3.4in x 4.1in rectangle. I don't know exactly what the height will be~ probably about 1.5in with the heatsink. We're definitely gonna put some mounting holes and standoffs in, so you can stack them vertically.

Here's the kind of standoff I'm talking about:
http://media.digikey.com/pdf/Data%20Sheets/Daburn%20PDFs/10-40_1.pdf

Just to be clear, are the 2 chip and 1 chip boards the same?
newMeat1
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August 23, 2011, 07:53:25 PM
 #165

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Just to be clear, are the 2 chip and 1 chip boards the same?

Yes. Whichever one you choose, it will help us get a volume discount on the PCB's. My team is going to buy 10 to start us off!   -- to sell later on eBay or for people who miss preorders

sirky
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August 23, 2011, 07:57:30 PM
 #166

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Just to be clear, are the 2 chip and 1 chip boards the same?

Yes. Whichever one you choose, it will help us get a volume discount on the PCB's. My team is going to buy 10 to start us off!   -- to sell later on eBay or for people who miss preorders

I am strongly considering preordering 10 as well.
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August 23, 2011, 08:00:12 PM
 #167

I just ordered 2 of the dual ones. Looking forward to them!

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August 23, 2011, 08:10:15 PM
 #168

I apologize if this has been answered before, I can only read back so much Smiley

What is the expected final price for the 1 and 2 fpga boards when they hit the market? (I assume this will be a max price and the price will be based in $ not BTC).

Also, paying the pre-order in BTC today, will that count as BTC when the final payment is due or as $50?
newMeat1
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August 23, 2011, 08:11:54 PM
 #169

Paying in BTC today will count as $50. Max prices are $420 for single FPGA and $620 for dual FPGA

Unfortunately Digikey doesn't take BTC yet, so we will be converting to USD to pay for hardware. You have a couple weeks before the final paymet is due, so... if you feel like BTC value is going up, it would be smart to wait on your preorder. It won't hurt us

Christian Pezza
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August 23, 2011, 08:33:35 PM
 #170

got 10 Dual FPGA X6500

do ur best guys can't wait see what happen next Smiley

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thirdlight
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August 23, 2011, 08:34:10 PM
 #171

So I'm putting in my pre-order, & being charged $30 for shipping.  Huh

If it costs $30 to ship a promise, how much is it to ship a board?  Grin
newMeat1
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August 23, 2011, 08:35:51 PM
 #172

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got 10 Dual FPGA X6500

Wow! Thanks. We will make it happen.

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August 23, 2011, 08:50:00 PM
 #173

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got 10 Dual FPGA X6500

Wow! Thanks. We will make it happen.

You guys take a risk I am with Ya Grin

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gbeirn
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August 23, 2011, 09:12:11 PM
 #174

I might considered getting one or two. When is the pre-order cutoff date? Any way to keep a running tally of what the final cost will get down to? Or is that impossible to know until production starts?

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newMeat1
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August 23, 2011, 09:58:30 PM
 #175

We'll make Sep. 12th be the preorder cutoff. We should have or be very close to having a first prototype by then.

Quote
Any way to keep a running tally of what the final cost will get down to? Or is that impossible to know until production starts?
Not impossible, but- it would take a lot of work to keep such a running tally. Maybe we can organize ourselves and give some periodic updates

teknohog
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August 23, 2011, 10:00:32 PM
 #176

They plan on using a legitimate usb interface for the next gen chips as for the xilinix software, that it entirely independent once programmed a fpga can be anything, this is kind of the point of fpgas.

I am concerned about communicating with the miner, because the original open source FPGA miner uses Altera's closed x86 software to talk over USB. Of course, there are ways to communicate via USB with open source software, but even then there can be driver issues. Serial port is safer in this sense, which is why I'm not the only one to choose it for FPGA mining.

Of course, the FPGA can be programmed with a different computer from the one that is using the miner. However, things are often much more convenient if it is the same machine.

Since I'm already starting to sound trollish, I may as well generalize that it's a bad idea to rely on closed software. For example, a friend of mine is worried about having an FPGA board that is only programmable from 32-bit Windows, as the support for XP is nearing its end. It's entirely possible to program and mine with Altera and Xilinx boards using open source on ARM, if you do your homework.

Synthesizing the FPGA code still needs closed software, but at least it is free as in beer for some chips. This LX150 needs an expensive license that must be renewed annually. I guess this board is worth its price if you only consider it as bitcoin-only hardware, and don't plan on developing anything else.

newMeat1
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August 23, 2011, 10:08:43 PM
 #177

teknohog- you realize that the user "fpgaminer" has been helping us quite a bit? He developed the original open-source FPGA software. So don't worry about someday buying a new computer that doesn't work on your old FPGA board. We'll make sure you get current software and a bitstream. And we are switching to a USB==> serial communication interface. I assume that's pretty safe, since USB won't be going anywhere for a long time to come. The hardware that we use to implement this interface is extremely common.

He is right, though-- you do need a Xilinx license if you want to synthesize your own firmware for the FPGA. (Think of this as compiling your own custom code. All the vocab is different with FPGAs).

Most people who would want to do that probably have access to the software through school or work, I would bet.

EDIT- Here's the list of drivers for our interface chip.

teknohog
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August 23, 2011, 10:23:26 PM
 #178

And we are switching to a USB==> serial communication interface. I assume that's pretty safe, since USB won't be going anywhere for a long time to come. The hardware that we use to implement this interface is extremely common.

Thanks, this is nice to know Smiley

svojoe
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August 23, 2011, 10:46:35 PM
 #179

I want to support this,  but I am not in a position to place an order at this time.  PM me if there is anything I can do!

Ten98
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August 24, 2011, 01:16:02 AM
 #180

About to pre-order but have a few questions...

How does mining actually work with these? I see you need Windows for the driver, that's fine, but will it work with existing windows mining software?? Have you been able to mine with the prototypes?

Will the frimware become any more optimised do you think, or is the current quoted hash rate the most we are ever likely to get out of the devices? Can they be overclocked at all to give faster rates?

Is the FPGA reprogrammable? Do I need special cables or software to do so or can it all be done via USB?

What kind of warranty are you going to offer? This is experimental equipment so I would expect a few failures here and there...
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