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Author Topic: X6500 Custom FPGA Miner  (Read 208215 times)
fizzisist
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October 12, 2011, 05:55:04 PM
 #121

Wow! The board looks so great! Just pitty there are pin headers in between the FPGAs, which may prevent installing single wide heatsink. Eagerly waiting for someone who will stack them up and post a pic!

Thanks! Actually, those pin headers won't normally be there. They're only on the prototype for testing. On the mass produced boards, developers can still load them if they want to play with the JTAG interface directly.

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fizzisist
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October 13, 2011, 06:21:09 PM
 #122

We got our software working! li_gangyi posted a screenshot on his blog:

http://fillwithcoolblogname.blogspot.com/2011/10/success-finally-after-smacking-my-head.html

Unfortunately, that test was on a board with only a single FPGA loaded and no real heatsink. The fully assembled board is making it's way through the mail to me, so I'll be running it through a bunch of tests as soon as it gets here.

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October 14, 2011, 06:57:07 PM
 #123

I'm thinking about running a little experiment with GLBSE, mostly for fun. I made a post on the GLBSE forum thinking out loud about it. https://glbse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=225

Basically, I would like to offer shares in an FPGA mining company, so that people can get involved in FPGA mining without having to buy an entire board. 100% of mining revenue would be distributed to the share holders. To cover electricity costs, I would transfer at most 10% of shares to a personal account. Unless the difficulty rises a lot or the value drops further, that should cover it.

Any interest in something like this? I'd like to come up with an estimate for how many boards to buy for such an operation. I'm thinking right now that 5 sounds about right.

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October 15, 2011, 07:58:18 AM
 #124

I'm thinking about running a little experiment with GLBSE, mostly for fun. I made a post on the GLBSE forum thinking out loud about it. https://glbse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=225

Basically, I would like to offer shares in an FPGA mining company, so that people can get involved in FPGA mining without having to buy an entire board. 100% of mining revenue would be distributed to the share holders. To cover electricity costs, I would transfer at most 10% of shares to a personal account. Unless the difficulty rises a lot or the value drops further, that should cover it.

Any interest in something like this? I'd like to come up with an estimate for how many boards to buy for such an operation. I'm thinking right now that 5 sounds about right.

Why not just add boards as people buy enough shares from you?

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fizzisist
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October 15, 2011, 03:45:53 PM
 #125

Any interest in something like this? I'd like to come up with an estimate for how many boards to buy for such an operation. I'm thinking right now that 5 sounds about right.

Why not just add boards as people buy enough shares from you?

Do you mean to release a lot of shares initially, but only buy boards for the shares that have sold? Won't dividends be screwed up then? I mean, won't those unsold shares be earning dividends, diluting the earnings of the real shareholders? I guess those "false" dividends could just be turned around because they didn't actually go anywhere. Still, I think that makes things a little unnecessarily complicated, or I didn't understand you exactly.

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October 17, 2011, 04:28:26 AM
 #126

I listed the asset on GLBSE! Read more about it in the GLBSE thread. There are 5000 shares for sale at 0.25 BTC. This should buy 8 X6500s, which I estimate to reach 2 GH/s.

I'm curious to see how this goes! Let me know if you have any questions about it.

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October 17, 2011, 05:23:05 PM
 #127

Do give us more information when you are ready, we are definitely interested.
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October 17, 2011, 06:27:55 PM
 #128

So is the USB interface on the front after all?

Yeah, the USB port and the power connectors are on opposite sides. I know that seems strange, but it makes the board layout much cleaner.

If you're serious about building an enclosure, it might make sense to do a slight revision of the board in the future that might be better suited to it. I know how difficult it can be to design something to fit around something else, instead of being able to design both at the same time. It's really not that much work to just modify the board a little bit, depending on what you want to change, of course! Don't rule that out completely.

That is absolutely not an issue. The thing is, I'm doing that not for myself but as a attempt to get a foot in the BTC economy, well sort of. Since I haven't the cash to by a board that is...

Just wondering how the deadline is, if the cases are supposed to be available when the boards are shipping... My progress has been kind of stalling lately but I'll attempt to get something together in time if you tell me when... Smiley 

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October 18, 2011, 09:23:21 PM
 #129

I listed the asset on GLBSE! Read more about it in the GLBSE thread. There are 5000 shares for sale at 0.25 BTC. This should buy 8 X6500s, which I estimate to reach 2 GH/s.

I'm curious to see how this goes! Let me know if you have any questions about it.

I'm interested to buy 10 shares, but I can't find it on GLBSE. Maybe there will be an option to pay with hashing power on Eligius? Let's say you will create a worker for user that want to buy shares and every 0.25BTC that worker earn will be converted to 1 share...

EDIT:
Ok, I've found it and ordered 20 shares...

Under development Modular UPGRADEABLE Miner (MUM). Looking for investors.
Changing one PCB with screwdriver and you have brand new miner in hand... Plug&Play, scalable from one module to thousands.
fizzisist
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October 20, 2011, 06:44:28 AM
 #130

Big news! The X6500 prototype is fully mining now at 250 MH/s! We ran into some hiccups getting the software working, and had to wait a week for the board to fly from Singapore to California so that I could test out code changes much more quickly. It arrived last night and I got it fully working tonight!



I'll post some better photos not taken with a cell phone and some screen shots tomorrow.

It's mining now (earning money for FPGA.contract shareholders Wink). It will run overnight and I'll spend the day tomorrow running a lot of different tests and cleaning up the software. First thing is to measure the actual power usage.

Edit: Looks like it's using exactly 17 W. Not too shabby at 14.7 MH/J!

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October 20, 2011, 10:04:43 AM
 #131

I want to buy 20 shares, I've not used GLBSE before, I've set up an account and transferred 5 BTC to buy shares with.... problem is my bitcoin client shows 6 confs and still my BTC is not showing up in my GLBSE account.

I've ordered the shares but obviously can't pay for them till the flippin BTC shows up.... and yes I've not made any mistakes with the address for depositing the BTC :-)
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October 20, 2011, 10:05:39 AM
 #132

for the love of pete, now it shows up  Roll Eyes
fizzisist
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October 20, 2011, 05:37:20 PM
 #133

for the love of pete, now it shows up  Roll Eyes

Cool! Yeah, GLBSE takes some getting used to for sure. I should really create a separate thread for that...

And it's done: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49166.0

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October 20, 2011, 07:30:08 PM
 #134

Screen shot of the mining software (I know it ain't pretty, but it works!):



Edit: After 33 minutes, it has submitted 118 shares, which is the predicted number of shares for a hash rate of 254 MH/s. 3 shares were rejected.

fizzisist
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October 21, 2011, 01:32:24 AM
 #135

So far, the X6500 prototype is performing very well. As you've seen above, I've been mining with it at 250 MH/s (125 MHz clock) for almost 24 hours now and haven't seen any problems. At that speed, it consumes 17 W. The software could use some polish and there are still more tests to do, but the important thing is that the board works. One other thing is to test higher clock rates. I'm trying to synthesize 133 MHz right now.

There is some bad news, though. The first is that we will not be able to meet the original deadline estimate. It looks like it will take about 3 weeks from the time we place the orders to the time Cablesaurus will be able to ship them to you guys. Hopefully the next piece of news makes up for this delay: we will drop the prices to $580 for the X6500 and $390 for the X6000!

The other piece of bad news is that Paypal sucks. I'm sure that's no surprise to most of you, this being the Bitcoin forum. It turns out that pre-selling stuff is not allowed, and Paypal sent Cablesaurus a nasty email telling him to cut it out. This throws a wrench in the plan that we would essentially pool this order by collecting payments before the boards weremade. We're now planning to put up a big chunk of our own money to get these orders out, but we won't be able to cover all of the costs on our own. We're looking for help from those customers willing to pre-pay in BTC now. We can offer an additional $20/board discount to those customers. We will not be able to accept any payments through Paypal until the boards are ready to ship.

At this point, we're ready to begin accepting BTC pre-payments, for customers that have already put down a deposit and for new orders. If you're interested, please PM myself and/or Cablesaurus. We expect to ship in about 1 month, depending on how quickly these pre-order payments come in.

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October 21, 2011, 08:46:32 AM
 #136

for the love of pete, now it shows up  Roll Eyes

Cool! Yeah, GLBSE takes some getting used to for sure. I should really create a separate thread for that...

And it's done: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49166.0

I've ordered some shares and they show in my orders as btc_short.... what the heck does that mean?  How do I pay for the shares? I've got the BTC in my account..... just need to pay.

Thanks
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October 21, 2011, 10:01:28 AM
 #137

I've ordered some shares and they show in my orders as btc_short.... what the heck does that mean?  How do I pay for the shares? I've got the BTC in my account..... just need to pay.

Thanks


I had this happen to me before when buying some other shares. It will just sit in your order list forever. I think the best thing to do is cancel that order and place it again. I should bring that up to nefario as a possible bug.

Bitcoin Oz
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October 21, 2011, 10:07:33 AM
 #138

I've ordered some shares and they show in my orders as btc_short.... what the heck does that mean?  How do I pay for the shares? I've got the BTC in my account..... just need to pay.

Thanks


I had this happen to me before when buying some other shares. It will just sit in your order list forever. I think the best thing to do is cancel that order and place it again. I should bring that up to nefario as a possible bug.

Definitely a bug. Also dont delte your browser cookies because it deletes your glbse account for some reason.

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October 21, 2011, 11:32:45 AM
 #139

There is an other FPGA Board at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49180.

The Board currently achieves 190 MH/s on a single Spartan 6 XC6SLX150-3. For amounts of 5 or larger it is cheaper (i.e. more MH/s per $, see https://bitcointalk.org for volume discounts) and it is about 50% more efficient.

The Software is Open Source, see http://www.ztex.de/btcminer an reached a mature level. A cluster mode with hot-plugging allows to run many FPGA board from a single software instance.

Boards are available immediately.

fizzisist
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October 21, 2011, 12:08:59 PM
 #140

There is an other FPGA Board at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49180.

The Board currently achieves 190 MH/s on a single Spartan 6 XC6SLX150-3. For amounts of 5 or larger it is cheaper (i.e. more MH/s per $, see https://bitcointalk.org for volume discounts) and it is about 50% more efficient.

The Software is Open Source, see http://www.ztex.de/btcminer an reached a mature level. A cluster mode with hot-plugging allows to run many FPGA board from a single software instance.

Boards are available immediately.

I don't think it's fair to say that your board achieves greater MH/s or efficiency. The board design should not impact this, and both of our boards use the same FPGAs. At $/FPGA, our X6500 has you beat ($290 vs. $460). In addition, nothing is stopping an adventurous user from running your code on our board.

On the other hand, if you really have achieved 190 MH/s on this FPGA, kudos to you!

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