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Author Topic: Custom FPGA Board for Sale!  (Read 85709 times)
newMeat1
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August 18, 2011, 06:17:37 PM
 #21

ngzhang-- thank you for the advice! I have a feeling that you might be instrumental as we develop the next round of these boards. We always have a lower $/Mhash target in mind. My brain is fried for now, but we will certainly be talking to you later

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li_gangyi
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August 18, 2011, 06:26:45 PM
 #22

It does make things easier with a UART port, maybe with a USB to TTL converter instead of a MAX232, however we'd now need to add an SPI flash to load the bitstream initially. I was thinking more of a custom Jtag to USB solution using FTDI chips for eg.


Currently active on Custom FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=37904.0
And on X6*** FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=40058.0
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ngzhang
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August 18, 2011, 06:33:13 PM
 #23

It does make things easier with a UART port, maybe with a USB to TTL converter instead of a MAX232, however we'd now need to add an SPI flash to load the bitstream initially. I was thinking more of a custom Jtag to USB solution using FTDI chips for eg.



Add one SPI flash may become a good alter on your next board, I think. An WINBOND W25Q64CV chip is only about 1$. So the mining board will not need to be re-config every time on the power up.

Best wishes

EDIT:

Why not start another thread in " Development & Technical Discussion".
I apologized about disturbing your selling thread.

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arij
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August 18, 2011, 06:49:55 PM
 #24

im really quite interested in buying one of these, sent you a pm.
newMeat1
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August 18, 2011, 06:55:40 PM
 #25

Hey Li, can you please answer arij's questions? I'm still up against my message limit.

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August 18, 2011, 06:57:29 PM
 #26

Congratulations on getting this up and running very quickly! It's good to see an FPGA mining out in the wild.

On the other hand, I'm surprised that the two of you branched off of the open source modular miner project to make this board on your own. Why not just work together to get the best possible design and make it open source? You're already discussing adding more features and it that we've already worked hard to design for.  Clearly, you're going to continue moving in the same direction (i.e., back towards our design), so why split up our efforts like this?

Obviously, the design is basically a pared down version of the open source one. Is your design open source? I'm not an expert in open source licensing but aren't you required to release your design under the GPL because it is based off of other work covered by the GPL? It seems like you're getting into a sticky area there.

newMeat1
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August 18, 2011, 07:02:01 PM
 #27

It's not based off yours in the least. We developed it completely independently. I guess the voltage regulators are the same, but... you would expect that since Li did the voltage regs for both projects. And he also did most of the layout for your design, up to a month ago, didn't he?

Yes, I would be very happy to work with you and O_shovah. I already tried once before! But, don't get me anywhere near an MCU   Smiley   I like to keep things simple

molecular
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August 18, 2011, 07:18:42 PM
 #28

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it seems all xilinx platform cables I can find on ebay.de (german site) are shipped from hongkong... maybe you could even get one for me and include it to save a little on shipping? I'd have to shell out $57 incl. shipping to get one myself.

Here's where we stand... if you buy a Platform cable on eBay, it will take 2 weeks to ship to you. We could buy it for you, but then we just have to ship it twice and there's no cost/time savings.

Ah, of course. Forgive me, for some reason I thought you were based in Asia and could get to the cable quicker. I'll look around if I can get it faster. How fast will shipping of the board be?

So, we need to cover our costs now. We want to get some boards out in the community for evaluation. At the same time, we don't want to screw our first buyers by charging a ridiculous amount, then undercutting that price by $50 or so in a month's time.

Here's the best solution I can come up with-- $440+shipping for the board. Buy your own Platform cable on eBay (it is a knockoff, but we use them- they work). If you ever decide to buy from us again, you get 10% off. This offer stands for our first 4 buyers.

Essentially, you trade a high cost right now for a much better bargain in the future. What do you think?

This is a fair offer. I've actually been thinking, maybe I should wait for better versions, but that is now out of the question.

Let me sleep over my decision, though, I've made the experience that it's better to sleep a night before making a sizeable purchase and let's figure out the payment and shipping details in pm tomorrow, ok?



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molecular
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August 18, 2011, 07:21:05 PM
 #29

Molecular: I can register the mail and then we'd be able to track it, I can't seem to find how much it'll cost to register everything, but I do know the base charges. Shouldn't cost more then USD$12 to get this packed and shipped to you registered.

$12 to ship a small package from USA to germany. That sounds too good to be true. Which service is that?

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li_gangyi
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August 18, 2011, 07:35:38 PM
 #30

I'm in Singapore and will be assembling the 1st few boards. Singpost (our national postal service) will do it, the entire board itself weighs about 200 grammes inclusive of packaging (bare board is about 60g). If you want to cut down on shipping even further, I can ship without the heatsink+fan combination and you can add them later (assuming you can find something suitable locally).

They do offer the option of registering the item, so it can be tracked, I've shipped with them a fair amount of times, with some fairly high value items, and it hasn't been a problem thus far.

Currently active on Custom FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=37904.0
And on X6*** FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=40058.0
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malevolent
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August 18, 2011, 08:14:22 PM
 #31

With the most recent program it gets 100 MHash/s and uses 6.8W of power. 

How about 1 Ghash/s and 68W of power?
and <$500
li_gangyi
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August 18, 2011, 08:20:57 PM
 #32

How about 1 Ghash/s and 68W of power?
and <$500

Sub $500 will just not be possible with current FPGA prices/performance for 1Ghash/s

Jordoss: It runs on a Spartan-6 FPGA, basically most of the calculation process is implemented in hardware, thus making it fast and power efficient.

Currently active on Custom FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=37904.0
And on X6*** FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=40058.0
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O_Shovah
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August 18, 2011, 08:23:56 PM
 #33

Hello you two,

Well first of all i have to cangratulate you for your FPGA board finished and operational.
This event will certainly pave the way for the new FPGA generation.

Nontheless i have to admit the striking similarity to the modular fpga project gives me some stomache ake.
Altough i personally don't blame you as it is an open project, but i dont know how the other contributers think about that.

I also have to admit that the modular fpga project has slowed down seriously with some of the core personell missing.
I may not complete it alone as it takes me a lot of time to get trained for the MSP 430 coding.
I will keep up the development but currently at a slow speed.

Therefore i personally would appreciate any future coporation with you, in case i din't miss my chance the one time i turned you request down.    

 


newMeat1
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August 18, 2011, 08:28:37 PM
 #34

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Nontheless i have to admit the striking similarity to the modular fpga project gives me some stomache ake.

Your design is way different. The only similarities are: the same voltage regulators, and the same FPGA's. As far as your project being open source- it really isn't. I have no access to your project, so I'm not even sure about the details on it.

How about this- I'll extend an olive branch. Drop the MSP 430. It's silly and it's overkill. Help us put a simple USB interface on our board, and help us get it manufactured en masse. I have no problem letting you and fizzisist in on this project.

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August 18, 2011, 08:41:38 PM
 #35

As i said ,i don't acuse you of having stolen our ideas or something like that. I just picked up some pm's i got.


My final target is to provide the community with a working fpga solution no matter who it originates from.
So as i said, i will gladly contribute to your board if it is still appreciated     

newMeat1
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August 18, 2011, 08:44:39 PM
 #36

Cool. I count you in, O_Shovah. If Li is OK with it, I'll start cc-ing you on emails and stuff like that. Let's make GPUs obsolete   Smiley

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August 18, 2011, 08:51:03 PM
 #37

Hi,

If you use many board, can they be daisy chained or each board need a USB cable? If you're using JTAG, Xilinx devices can easily be daisy chained (1.TDO-->2.TDI-->2.TDO-->3.TDI-->etc.-->1.TDI)
newMeat1
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August 18, 2011, 08:52:38 PM
 #38

Currently each board needs its own Platform programming cable. We thought about using jumpers or something to daisy chain them, but figured there would be noise issues. We need to find a better solution. The next batch of boards won't use Platform programmers, I'm almost sure.

li_gangyi
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August 18, 2011, 08:55:56 PM
 #39

I'll try daisy chaining them on the next board I produce. I'm sure within the Xilinx ISE it'll work fine, but outside of that (the mining script etc.) I don't think it's set up just yet to use 2 FPGAs, pretty sure some code changes in the mining script at least should take care of that.

Currently active on Custom FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=37904.0
And on X6*** FPGA board https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=40058.0
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naypalm
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AFK :/


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August 18, 2011, 08:57:01 PM
 #40

This is really really cool and I'm glad to see a working board for sale so quickly! Not needing PCIe is like a dream and mining via usb on my old AMD duron machine would rock! Best of luck!

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