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Author Topic: Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner - 175MH/s @ $1/MH  (Read 124998 times)
rph
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September 20, 2011, 05:28:19 PM
 #1

Skillet-reflowed and ultra cheap. No need to pay $500+ for an eval board or $50+ per chip to an assembly house;
high performance FPGAs can be soldered at home in 5 minutes with some flux and a $20 skillet. Grin

It's a xc6slx25 on there now to validate the PCB + asm process; building xc6slx150 soon.









-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 20, 2011, 06:19:16 PM
 #2

I'm not smart enough to know what I'm looking at, but it looks good Wink
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September 20, 2011, 06:20:52 PM
 #3

Quote
Skillet-reflowed and ultra cheap. No need to pay $500+ for an eval board or $50+ per chip to an assembly house;
fgg484 can be soldered at home in 5 minutes with some flux and a $20 skillet. Grin

It's a xc6slx25 on there now to validate the PCB + asm process; building xc6slx150 soon.

I am not smart enough to understand what i read but it sounds interesting.

could someone translate for me?

Supporting The Global Insurrection Against Banker Occupation
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September 20, 2011, 06:45:52 PM
 #4

I had exact same idea... But I wanted to use LPCExpresso with LPC1769 for ethernet connection Wink
175MH/s with SLX25???
Only one missing thing are holes that may be useful to mount a heatsink...

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.
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September 20, 2011, 07:49:49 PM
 #5

If you can produce these I will buy them if they are really as "super cheap" as you say! I would but 5 for $175.

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September 20, 2011, 08:03:29 PM
 #6

how are these used? I am still trying to wrap my head around these, I am assuming the builder programs these chips specifically for mining, but do they plug into your monitor etc? how are they monitored?

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September 20, 2011, 08:21:55 PM
 #7

Skillet-reflowed and ultra cheap. No need to pay $500+ for an eval board or $50+ per chip to an assembly house;
fgg484 can be soldered at home in 5 minutes with some flux and a $20 skillet. Grin

It's a xc6slx25 on there now to validate the PCB + asm process; building xc6slx150 soon.
1$/MH? Why don't you prefab these, including the addon boards into a new neat package and sell them?

http://it.rs-online.com/web/p/fpga/7276024P/ (47$-63$ per chip)
http://avnetexpress.avnet.com/store/em/EMController/Programmable-Logic/FPGA/_/N-100235?action=products&cat=1&catalogId=500201&cutTape=&hbxSType=New%20Search&inStock=on&langId=-1&myCatalog=&proto=&regionalStock=&rohs=&storeId=500201&term=xc6slx25&topSellers= (40$-60$ per chip)

The rest of the components cost 115$-135$? Are you sure you mentioned the right chip that does 175MH/s?

I'm in the wrong business, I would love to build final boards for these...
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September 20, 2011, 09:40:44 PM
 #8

Would love to buy/build a few of these if I didn't suck at soldering so much. Maybe I can get someone to solder it for me.

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September 20, 2011, 09:55:30 PM
 #9

That's cool Smiley

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September 20, 2011, 09:57:16 PM
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Some of you guys have a reading comprehension problem?
The LX25 is just for testing a new layout and reflow process. If it doesn't work it was cheaper than a LX150. If it does work you get a LX25 on a nice 0.1" breakout board.
And yea, at low qty and without assembly $175 for LX150+discretes+board looks pretty much right.
Also, LOL @ that toy heatsink. a 25*25*15 is barely enough, better to use a 30*30*20 or even a 40*40 if there's space for it. and you'll still need quite a bit of airflow.

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September 20, 2011, 09:58:40 PM
 #11

Do a demonstration video for us with the lx150, if it's as you say i'd be willing to buy assembled units at 225-250 depending on shipping and lead time

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September 21, 2011, 02:04:26 AM
 #12

Exactly as ArtForz said: the slx25 (~20MH/s) was selected b/c if something went wrong, it's "only" $40 down the drain. But it worked on the first try, with
even less hassle than leaded packages like LQFP48. And it proves the boards, assembly process, power supplies, and software work. Now it's relatively easy to
assemble more with the 6s150 (~175MH/s).

I want to vastly improve FPGA MH per $, for people willing to do the soldering (and thus take the mfg/yield risks) themselves.
It should not cost $400+ to mine with a $175 FPGA!

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 21, 2011, 02:45:19 AM
 #13

I'm not really happy about this. I live in Quebec and electricity is cheap. Affordable FPGA kind of destroy this advantage.

But this is really a cool diy. Good work rph !
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September 21, 2011, 03:03:38 AM
 #14

Some more details on the FGG484 BGA assembly:

Supplies
-------------
1. IR thermometer rated to 260C+ such as http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YE3FS4
2. Electric skillet, like the one used in this Sparkfun tutorial: http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/59
3. No-clean flux syringe, such as Digikey SMD291-ND
4. Soldering iron [to pre-wet the PCB]

Calibration
---------------
1. Place an unpopulated PCB on the skillet, near the edge, directly over the burner coil.
2. Set the skillet to max.
3. Aim the IR thermo at the center of the PCB's BGA footprint and record temperatures every 15-30 seconds, as it heats to ~250-260C.
4. Plot the temp in Excel and compare with the IC mfg recommendations.
For Spartan6, that's http://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/application_notes/xapp427.pdf.

If you're lucky the skillet will produce a good temperature profile on its own. The $20 Target skillet I bought 3 years ago
is almost perfect - just set it to max, and it will reach 250C after 4-5 minutes with a small PCB. It meets all of the Xilinx
guidelines, probably better than some professional assembly equipment. If it's way off, you might have to let everything cool down &
repeat a couple times with different setting. Or buy an MCU/Triac reflow controller. You don't have to match the temp profile
exactly, but obviously, the closer the better.

Assembly
---------------
With the profile set, I followed the prep instructions here: http://www.fpgarelated.com/usenet/fpga/show/39160-2.php
and monitored the FPGA with the IR thermo. Once the top of the case reached ~250C (~4 mins in)
I turned off the skillet, and used a fan to cool it down to ~100C over 4 minutes.



Checked it for power supply shorts, hand-soldered the bypass caps, then wired it up the LPCXpresso,
and it downloaded right way.

Sooner or later I will probably lose an FPGA through this process. But my bet is that it won't happen
often enough to justify the ~$50 per BGA fees for low-volume professional assembly.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 21, 2011, 04:41:12 AM
 #15

Congratulations and great job!

Just curious: are you actually mining on the chip, or is this just confirmation that the JTAG works and you're able to upload a bitstream?

I ask because designing a stable, properly-decoupled power supply for FPGAs isn't always easy... although for something as small as an LX25 you can get a way with a whole lot.  The Spartan6-150 with a full chip design (~50% LUT/FF usage) at a decent clock rate will be a good test.

  -ec

PS, speaking of clock rate, where's the clock signal coming from?
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September 21, 2011, 05:00:30 AM
 #16

I'm getting excited with all these new FPGA miner projects being announced.  This looks like good work as well!  Never knew you could reflow with a skillet haha.
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September 21, 2011, 02:20:08 PM
 #17

Do a demonstration video for us with the lx150, if it's as you say i'd be willing to buy assembled units at 225-250 depending on shipping and lead time


This +1

But, I'd be happy to see a demo video of the current lx25 mining on its own as shown just to verify functionality.
 I for one, would be willing to donate towards your purchase of an lx150 to then build and demo IF you can further verify your current work.

It looks fuggin great from what I can see here btw!   Kiss

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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September 22, 2011, 04:04:13 AM
 #18

Just curious: are you actually mining on the chip, or is this just confirmation that the JTAG works and you're able to upload a bitstream?

I ask because designing a stable, properly-decoupled power supply for FPGAs isn't always easy... although for something as small as an LX25 you can get a way with a whole lot.  The Spartan6-150 with a full chip design (~50% LUT/FF usage) at a decent clock rate will be a good test.

PS, speaking of clock rate, where's the clock signal coming from?

It'll be another 1-2 days before the 6s25 is mining; I'm still finishing the RTL + SW.
I was so excited that the BGA assembly worked that I couldn't wait to share  Grin

On the 6s150, I'm waiting for the carrier PCB to come back from fab. With luck, there
won't be any power supply issues. In some ways, miners are simpler and less demanding
than many other FPGA designs: VCCInt power consumption is almost constant once it's
running, and there isn't much IO activity [OTOH, VCCInt power consumption is very high...]

To minimize cost, the clock is provided by the MCU PLL & clkout pin.

The FPGA is downloaded by the LPC MCU over USB (slave serial).
The AVR board + USB serial cable is just there to provide power,
and program the LPC.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 22, 2011, 04:14:08 AM
 #19

Sounds great. Will you make and sell them?

Dunno yet. I've been reducing costs very aggressively and there's a chance the design
might not even work with 6s150. I need another 1+ wk of bringup/validation before
considering a small build for other developers. No pre-orders/etc at the moment.
Will keep you guys posted.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 22, 2011, 06:20:14 AM
 #20

This project is not for ordinary people. Good practice with solder iron is recomended. Not to mention that this is without a PSU. You need to build a 1.2V 5+A PSU and thats not easy and cheap. Costs are low but you need to invest your time to get this running.

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Changing one PCB with screwdriver and you have brand new miner in hand... Plug&Play, scalable from one module to thousands.
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September 22, 2011, 07:20:38 AM
 #21

... You need to build a 1.2V 5+A PSU and thats not easy and cheap. ...
Pretty easy if you use COTS DC/DC converter modules.
YV09T60 + input/output caps + 2kR 1% resistor = 12V->1.2V 60A, Vccint for 6 to 8 LX150.
For Vccaux and Vccio a small 12V or 5V->2.5V DC/DC, 3A is plenty for 8 LX150+controller if you only have JTAG and 100MHz SPI.
If you also need a few dozen mA @ 3.3V (for example for a USB transceiver), LDO from 5V or just grab it from the ATX psu.
Trivial to design+build on a 2-layer PCB or even protoboard.

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September 22, 2011, 07:34:17 PM
 #22

For the power supply, I'm using a TI PTV12010WAH at the moment,
$16 qty 1, 1.2V @ 8A, and it requires no external parts (aside from caps).
Wire it up and it works - no need to understand the black art of switching
regulator design.

I used a somewhat cheaper $10, 10A module on the carrier PCB.

This is indeed a pretty challenging + time consuming project, but there are
still a lot of people capable of building it. I hope to break the myth that the
BGA package requires expensive tools / professionals to assemble.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 23, 2011, 03:05:57 AM
 #23

Got the 6s25 miner working! 11.25MH/s @ 180MHz using 35% of the device. 0.605W.
Not exactly fast, but it validates the SW and MCU<->FPGA interface in preparation for the 6s150.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 24, 2011, 08:56:09 PM
 #24

If you aren't into DIY hot-plate soldering, you might be interested in this thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=45532


The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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September 24, 2011, 09:26:52 PM
 #25

Got the 6s25 miner working! 11.25MH/s @ 180MHz using 35% of the device.
Not exactly fast, but it validates the SW and MCU<->FPGA interface in preparation for the 6s150.

-rph


Could you make a quick screen recording of that?

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September 24, 2011, 11:28:47 PM
 #26

It's been making money with the GPL'd mpbm code from TheSeven:



-rph

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September 24, 2011, 11:31:25 PM
 #27

Wanted a video Tongue but that works just as well very impressed can't wait to see the 150 model running and hopefully buy some

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September 26, 2011, 02:20:35 PM
 #28

If you are getting 11MH/s on a 6s25, what is that going to scale up to on a 6s150?
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September 26, 2011, 06:02:59 PM
 #29

I'm up to 19.5MH/s in 6s25 -2, after working on it over the weekend.
It's mining for btcguild right now, drawing around 1W.

My 6s150 design meets timing at 156MH/s in 6s150 -3, and should easily
overclock to 175MH/s (1MH/$ at Avnet qty1 pricing). Might even reach 200MH/s
assuming the boards/ power supplies/cooling can handle that and keep it cool..
That would really reduce the gap b/t FPGAs and ATI GPUs.

Stay tuned..

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 27, 2011, 12:37:30 AM
 #30

hell yea I would buy a load of these. I'm pretty good at soldering my self and probably make some extra $$ reselling premade ones.
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September 27, 2011, 02:44:49 AM
 #31

Keep in mind that sales prices for fully assembled/tested boards will be ~$100
over the raw BOM costs. For a 100 FPGA cluster, that is like $10k..

Assuming things go well, that $20 skillet is going to save me a lot of money.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 27, 2011, 05:09:44 AM
 #32

Some more details on the FGG484 BGA assembly:

Supplies
-------------
1. IR thermometer rated to 260C+ such as http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YE3FS4
2. Electric skillet, like the one used in this Sparkfun tutorial: http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/59
3. No-clean flux syringe, such as Digikey SMD291-ND
4. Soldering iron [to pre-wet the PCB]

Calibration
---------------
1. Place an unpopulated PCB on the skillet, near the edge, directly over the burner coil.
2. Set the skillet to max.
3. Aim the IR thermo at the center of the PCB's BGA footprint and record temperatures every 15-30 seconds, as it heats to ~250-260C.
4. Plot the temp in Excel and compare with the IC mfg recommendations.
For Spartan6, that's http://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/application_notes/xapp427.pdf.

If you're lucky the skillet will produce a good temperature profile on its own. The $20 Target skillet I bought 3 years ago
is almost perfect - just set it to max, and it will reach 250C after 4-5 minutes with a small PCB. It meets all of the Xilinx
guidelines, probably better than some professional assembly equipment. If it's way off, you might have to let everything cool down &
repeat a couple times with different setting. Or buy an MCU/Triac reflow controller. You don't have to match the temp profile
exactly, but obviously, the closer the better.

Assembly
---------------
With the profile set, I followed the prep instructions here: http://www.fpgarelated.com/usenet/fpga/show/39160-2.php
and monitored the FPGA with the IR thermo. Once the top of the case reached ~250C (~4 mins in)
I turned off the skillet, and used a fan to cool it down to ~100C over 4 minutes.



Checked it for power supply shorts, hand-soldered the bypass caps, then wired it up the LPCXpresso,
and it downloaded right way.

Sooner or later I will probably lose an FPGA through this process. But my bet is that it won't happen
often enough to justify the ~$50 per BGA fees for low-volume professional assembly.

-rph



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September 27, 2011, 05:50:56 AM
 #33

Yeah, crazy, but it really works.  Grin

-rph

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September 27, 2011, 09:00:14 PM
 #34

Got the 6s25 miner working! 11.25MH/s @ 180MHz

Wow, that is an amazing clock rate.  I understand that your code is based on the ztex miner with some changes to go from 128Mhz to 156Mhz+... any chance you'll release your changes?  I know you aren't required to...
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September 28, 2011, 02:05:49 AM
 #35

My code is full-custom VHDL, based on some good ideas in the ztex Verilog (which might or might not be
a derived work of the fpgaminer code, which is probably derived from some random guy's C code, etc).
I made enhancements for 2 cycles per SHA256 stage, and major changes to efficiently roll the core,
on smaller devices such as 6s25.

TBH I'm undecided on releasing full source. But ArtForz, ztex, and I have publically discussed the 6s150
optimizations in the ztex thread, and I released a snippet showing my changes for 2-cycles-per-stage,
so the concepts + optimization strategies are already public.

-rph

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September 28, 2011, 04:54:11 PM
 #36

Reading this.
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October 01, 2011, 04:52:44 AM
 #37

Got the carrier PCB!



It supports FPGA download & mining over micro-USB, with the on-board ARM Cortex-M3.
No need for a $200 JTAG probe.

If all goes well it'll be running the 6s150 in a couple days.

And then The Cluster begins.

-rph

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October 01, 2011, 05:22:46 AM
 #38

Got the carrier PCB!

http://bitcoinfpga.com/pix/s6fg484-carrier-1.jpg

It supports FPGA download & mining over micro-USB, with the on-board Cortex-M3.
No need for a $200 JTAG probe.

Most importantly.. it'll finally let me run the 6s150..

-rph


Man that looks awesome; I have been following this thread from the first post. I am researching everything I can about building some of these myself. I am majoring in Computer Programming, unfortunately I am still in Gen Ed classes and haven't got to the good stuff yet. You are my Mr. Miyagi rph!
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October 01, 2011, 05:20:21 PM
 #39

on the real, if you get this working and can package it in some way to ship and plug and mine I will buy 5 right away, and more in the future.

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October 03, 2011, 06:15:59 AM
 #40

Just a quick update - I've started work on a new multi-FPGA carrier design.
Time to stop messing around, and build something badass. Grin

-rph

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October 03, 2011, 08:05:32 PM
 #41

Just a quick update - I've started work on a new multi-FPGA carrier design.
Time to stop messing around, and build something badass. Grin

-rph


something bad ass we can buy!

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October 03, 2011, 08:51:43 PM
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Just a quick update - I've started work on a new multi-FPGA carrier design.
Time to stop messing around, and build something badass. Grin

-rph


The anticipation is palpable.
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October 03, 2011, 10:04:56 PM
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The anticipation is palpable.

agreed.....too bad all of my funds went towards gpus, I will have to wait for a while even after they are ready.

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October 03, 2011, 10:59:04 PM
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Speculators paid me about $700 for the use of my 4 5830s in the past few months.   I'd be willing to throw some of that away on a similar project if only I thought I had the know-how.
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October 04, 2011, 04:18:51 AM
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Thanks for all the comments guys. Dunno if I'm gonna productize/sell this stuff..
I'm doing it for fun, to sharpen my engineering skills and push the technology...
and of course to build a low-cost rig for myself..

ztex, big-chip-small-board, and the fpgaminer product are the best options ATM for fully assembled/tested HW

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 04, 2011, 12:31:55 PM
 #46

ztex, big-chip-small-board, and the fpgaminer product are the best options ATM for fully assembled/tested HW

-rph


Those guys are all really on to something for the end users; but for people like myself, who have at least some hardware knowledge and feel confident taking risks, I would gladly pay you for comprehensive build guide.
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October 08, 2011, 11:02:19 PM
 #47

ztex, big-chip-small-board, and the fpgaminer product are the best options ATM for fully assembled/tested HW

-rph


Those guys are all really on to something for the end users; but for people like myself, who have at least some hardware knowledge and feel confident taking risks, I would gladly pay you for comprehensive build guide.

+1

im good @ soldering, and confident in hacking stuff
but building something this complex without a guide? no can do Cheesy

i bet that a build guide would sell pretty good

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October 09, 2011, 03:02:51 PM
 #48

ztex, big-chip-small-board, and the fpgaminer product are the best options ATM for fully assembled/tested HW

-rph


Those guys are all really on to something for the end users; but for people like myself, who have at least some hardware knowledge and feel confident taking risks, I would gladly pay you for comprehensive build guide.

+1

im good @ soldering, and confident in hacking stuff
but building something this complex without a guide? no can do Cheesy

i bet that a build guide would sell pretty good

good @ BGA soldering? pretty good.

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October 11, 2011, 02:20:37 PM
 #49

Just a quick update - I've started work on a new multi-FPGA carrier design.
Time to stop messing around, and build something badass. Grin

-rph


rph, great work, I have finally find courage to subscribe to this thread...

I have couple of comments/suggestions.

Have you though of adding ETH PHY and SD card modules to the carrier board so once the bit-stream is uploaded (written on the SD), the unit could be set to survive hardware reset and run fully autonomously?

I am sure implementing compact TCP/IP stack and HTML server on the FPGA would not be that difficult (many available open source examples out there), and the required Bitcoin function, to feed the hashes to the FPGA and then feed the result back to a pool, should be relatively easy to code, re-write one of the better Python miner-scripts.

Also, with regards to the efficiency of the core - correct me if I understand this wrong - I see that professional outlets achieve 2.4 Gh/s with a Spartan 6 -3 (at least that is what I conclude after reading the document posted here http://www.heliontech.com/downloads/fast_hash_xilinx_datasheet.pdf#view=Fit - and that is way more efficient compared to the various FPGA implementations discussed on the bitcointalk.

Otherwise - the mere fact that you guys already achieved capital cost of $1/Mh in single chip quantities (that's what my highly-cost-optimised GPU rigs cost me, in QTY>10) indicates that you are on the right track - and things can only improve from here.


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October 11, 2011, 03:00:58 PM
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Just a quick update - I've started work on a new multi-FPGA carrier design.
Time to stop messing around, and build something badass. Grin

-rph


rph, great work, I have finally find courage to subscribe to this thread...

I have couple of comments/suggestions.

Have you though of adding ETH PHY and SD card modules to the carrier board so once the bit-stream is uploaded (written on the SD), the unit could be set to survive hardware reset and run fully autonomously?

I am sure implementing compact TCP/IP stack and HTML server on the FPGA would not be that difficult (many available open source examples out there), and the required Bitcoin function, to feed the hashes to the FPGA and then feed the result back to a pool, should be relatively easy to code, re-write one of the better Python miner-scripts.

Also, with regards to the efficiency of the core - correct me if I understand this wrong - I see that professional outlets achieve 2.4 Gh/s with a Spartan 6 -3 (at least that is what I conclude after reading the document posted here http://www.heliontech.com/downloads/fast_hash_xilinx_datasheet.pdf#view=Fit - and that is way more efficient compared to the various FPGA implementations discussed on the bitcointalk.

Otherwise - the mere fact that you guys already achieved capital cost of $1/Mh in single chip quantities (that's what my highly-cost-optimised GPU rigs cost me, in QTY>10) indicates that you are on the right track - and things can only improve from here.


if your refering to  "max SHA-1 rate 2041 Mbps 1542 Mbps 2578 Mbps"


I am not sure if Mbps equates to Mhash/s .  first I dont know if they mean Mega bytes per sec, or mega bits per sec, but it is definitely not mega hashes per sec.

Please someone jump in here who knows...  because this helion chip would be HUGE>



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October 11, 2011, 03:35:51 PM
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No, in the table, in the "Max SHA256 rate" for "Spartan-6 -3" indicates 1,225 Mbps and elsewhere at that site, they claim "one clock per algorithm round" - I am calculating that if one hash is 512 bytes then 1,225 / 0.5 = 2,392 Mhash/sec.

[EDIT] Wait a minute - I think I found my mistake  - the hash is in bytes and the bandwidth is in Mbps - which means I should divide the 2,392 by 8 - still 299 Mhash/s - much better than what we see in these forums.

[EDIT AGAIN] I not very good with these bits/bytes, but from this source http://www.s2cinc.com/product/pd.asp?id=278 it looks like the hash is actually 512 bits, hence the original calculations apply and the performance would stand at 2,392 Mhash/sec.

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October 11, 2011, 04:39:43 PM
 #52

No, in the table, in the "Max SHA256 rate" for "Spartan-6 -3" indicates 1,225 Mbps and elsewhere at that site, they claim "one clock per algorithm round" - I am calculating that if one hash is 512 bytes then 1,225 / 0.5 = 2,392 Mhash/sec.

[EDIT] Wait a minute - I think I found my mistake  - the hash is in bytes and the bandwidth is in Mbps - which means I should divide the 2,392 by 8 - still 299 Mhash/s - much better than what we see in these forums.

[EDIT AGAIN] I not very good with these bits/bytes, but from this source http://www.s2cinc.com/product/pd.asp?id=278 it looks like the hash is actually 512 bits, hence the original calculations apply and the performance would stand at 2,392 Mhash/sec.



Not quite.

1225 Mbps = 1,225,000,000 bit/s.  1 SHA256 hash is 512 bits.
1225 Mbps = 1,225,000,000 bit/s / 512 = 3,392,578 hashes/s.  
1225 Mbps = 2.4 MH/s  However bitcoin algorith requires 2 hashes not 1 hash per bitcoin hash.  So that's 1.2 MH/s.

That number is still likely high because they are showing streaming performance (where key in static) and you are streaming huge amounts of data through the chip.  Bitcoin doesn't work that way so you have the setup and takedown overhead on each hash.  Likely performance for bitcoin applications would be 10% to 20% lower.

I have looked most FPGA commercial designs are optimized for streaming (massive input and output to hash large amounts of data).  Totally outclassed by any FPGA design prototypes on bitcointalk.

Edit: fixed math.
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October 11, 2011, 05:26:55 PM
 #53

The VHDL/Verilog guys in this community are top-notch and are getting results way
beyond what's possible with general-purpose SHA256 cores.

In Mbps terms, my design is around 159,744 Mbps [2 SHA256 cores * 512 bits per hash * 156 MH/s].

That 2041Mbps core is 2041/(512*2)= 1.99MH/s. You could fit maybe 30-50 of them in 6s150.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 11, 2011, 05:39:17 PM
 #54

I am sure implementing compact TCP/IP stack and HTML server on the FPGA would not be that difficult

It's possible but takes engineering time, and FPGA resources away from the miner.
Better to use a $3-4 USB microcontroller IMO. Or a $10 ethernet MCU if you really, really need
a standalone device. But I prefer using a $50 Atom PC to connect USB FPGA miners to the net.

PCs are cheap and most people here have one running 24/7 anyway.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 11, 2011, 10:11:16 PM
 #55

still looking to buy a few of these!

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October 11, 2011, 10:28:14 PM
 #56


1225 Mbps = 1,225,000,000 bit/s.  1 SHA256 hash is 512 bits.
1225 Mbps = 1,225,000,000 bit/s / 512 = 3,392,578 hashes/s.  
1225 Mbps = 2.4 MH/s  However bitcoin algorith requires 2 hashes not 1 hash per bitcoin hash.  So that's 1.2 MH/s.


1,225,000,000 bit/s / 512 = 3,392,578 2,392,578 hashes/s. 

  Grin
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October 12, 2011, 01:42:59 AM
 #57

And a Bitcoin "hash" is really sha256(sha256(x)). So when most devs here say 120MH/s it
really means 240 million SHA256 computations per second.

Each SHA256 hash covers 512 bits of data. So, as you guys have said:

To convert "Mbps" to "Bitcoin MH/s" divide by 1024.
To convert "Bitcoin MH/s" to "Mbps" multiply by 1024.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 12, 2011, 02:55:13 AM
 #58

And a Bitcoin "hash" is really sha256(sha256(x)). So when most devs here say 120MH/s it
really means 240 million SHA256 computations per second.

Each SHA256 hash covers 512 bits of data. So, as you guys have said:

To convert "Mbps" to "Bitcoin MH/s" divide by 1024.
To convert "Bitcoin MH/s" to "Mbps" multiply by 1024.

-rph


So when people talk about Deepbit or the entire network for example, do they mean bitcoin hashes or sha256 hashes?
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October 12, 2011, 03:06:37 AM
 #59

Bitcoin Hashes

Now when they talk about it compared to... Folding for example

I'd have to assume SHA256
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October 12, 2011, 03:21:38 AM
 #60

1,225,000,000 bit/s / 512 = 3,392,578 2,392,578 hashes/s. 

I was framed I tell you.  Someone must have moved my 2 key.  Seriously that happens a lot w/ me.  My brain is computing faster than the I/O bus can handle the data stream.
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October 12, 2011, 03:36:22 AM
 #61

rph I have a vision.  A someday vision if I ever made a million via bitcoin this is what I would like to see (don't worry it isn't completely off topic).

Take a FPGA miner like what you have, maybe downclock it some so it can be passively cooled.  Integrate a powersupply, some flash ram, and ethernet jack as well as "smarts" for it to be able to connect to a server (not a traditional mining pool) to get current block data to create it's own block header with a hardcoded bitcoin address.  Now integrate all this into a nice box, w/ power plug on the backside so it simply plugs into the wall.

In essence it would be a self contained hasher, connect the network cable and it would without any configuration connect to a server, download any updates, and start hashing current block.

Now you likely are saying this would be horribly inefficient.  That isn't the point.  I would see these as "hashers of last resort".  They would be independent, autonomous, and never part of any pool.  They would provide a hedge against the deepbits of the world.  For a 100K maybe I could get 200 of these.  Have people donate the power and network connectivity (being a FGPA it would use less than $2 per year) so you would have 30GH of independent autonomous hashing power.  Any revenue from block rewards (no need for a pool because we aren't concerned about volatility) would be paid into a wallet which splits it 50% to build more "hashers of last resort" and 50% to fund bitcoin development projects.

Would such a plan be feasible given say $100K in funding?  I don't have $100K but maybe someday some bitcoin nonprofit could.  I think the idea of a distributed autonomous network of non-profit hashers would be a good counterbalance to the growing influence of super pools (top 10 pools have combined 70% of hashing power).
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October 12, 2011, 04:16:02 AM
 #62

That's a cool dream and for $100k you could get a lot more than 30GH/s from a spartan6 cluster

Even though Xilinx is playing hardball on price, we can at least get the "everything-except-Xilinx"
costs waaay down. And there is a lot of hard work going into this. I think 2012 is going to be awesome
for FPGA mining..

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 12, 2011, 05:32:13 AM
 #63

That's a cool dream and for $100k you could get a lot more than 30GH/s from a spartan6 cluster

Even though Xilinx is playing hardball on price, we can at least get the "everything-except-Xilinx"
costs waaay down. And there is a lot of hard work going into this. I think 2012 is going to be awesome
for FPGA mining..

-rph



agree.

And these maybe come to a huge business.

I wondering about the fpga mining system venders' competition will lead fpga mining to which direction. All know the fpga mining performance is highly related with the mining code. Approx all the guys who working with fpga mining systems put at least half effort on the mining code, and hide the code. The hardware seems not important on the contrary.
good or bad?

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October 12, 2011, 08:37:22 AM
 #64

The VHDL/Verilog guys in this community are top-notch and are getting results way
beyond what's possible with general-purpose SHA256 cores.

In Mbps terms, my design is around 159,744 Mbps [2 SHA256 cores * 512 bits per hash * 156 MH/s].

That 2041Mbps core is 2041/(512*2)= 1.99MH/s. You could fit maybe 30-50 of them in 6s150.

-rph


great reply, thanks!

as I wrote, I was not sure if I understood that correctly, obviously I have not.

I don't doubt the ability of the bitcoin community, in fact I have entered this field with understanding that there will be very low (if any) level of commercial support into supporting the Bitcoin for some time, and the community of enthusiast must therefore support themselves with indigenous know-how.

And I did not thought for a second that the commercial outlets are more professional than the community.

Although I have build number of successfully business in the past, my roots are in hobby level experimentation (I am a microelectronics engineers) and not the formal R&D.

So I appreciate the long nights a self-motivated and thought person spends tackling an impossible to solve problem, where the commercial operations spend more of their day-times planing their time rather than productively solving the problem at hand.

rph, my hat goes off to you (and the others who work hard moving the FPGA projects forward)

cheers!

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October 12, 2011, 09:30:04 AM
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Really? I would like to buy some.

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October 15, 2011, 09:23:37 AM
 #66

Some fun reading for the VHDL/Verilog guys: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.157.8865&rep=rep1&type=pdf

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 16, 2011, 06:56:49 AM
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Neat, but since you don't need adders with more than three inputs and you have to carry-complete every single round (in order to do the right-rotate-and-xor), I'm not sure it makes a big difference for SHA-256...

The real killer is the shared-subfunction rule for LUT6_2 that forces you to use a slow switchbox route for one of the two carry-chain inputs when doing ternary addition.

The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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October 16, 2011, 08:44:58 AM
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more here, will this be of any value?

http://www.wseas.us/e-library/conferences/2005corfu/c1/papers/498-498.pdf

http://www.nsklavos.gr/Papers/%5BJ08%5D.pdf

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October 17, 2011, 01:53:23 AM
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Neat, but since you don't need adders with more than three inputs and you have to carry-complete every single round (in order to do the right-rotate-and-xor), I'm not sure it makes a big difference for SHA-256...

Well, I am currently trying to speed up the 1-cycle-per-SHA256-stage design, which has a 5-input adder.
The 2-cycle-per-stage design is proving difficult to cool  Undecided

-rph

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October 17, 2011, 05:12:12 AM
 #70

BTW.. not much other news on this project.. I've been working on the multi-FPGA design,
trying to get an FPGA discount, and negotiating with PCB and assembly houses for
my build.

Meanwhile the BTC price is dropping way faster than difficulty.. which is troubling..
I had to turn off my GPUs as they are heavily underwater at $0.15/kWh

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 19, 2011, 06:38:55 AM
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The 2-cycle-per-stage design is proving difficult to cool  Undecided

Ah, yes, I was having that problem back when I went uber-hog-wild with SRL32s.

In all seriousness, do you mean that as a euphemism for "draws too much power" or do you literally mean you're having trouble cooling it?  A copper northbridge heatsink (like the one in the photos of my prototype board) and a fan can sink a pretty insane amount of heat.

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October 19, 2011, 06:40:57 AM
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Meanwhile the BTC price is dropping way faster than difficulty.. which is troubling..

Indeed, troubling for me too.  It's annoying how the network hashrate (to say nothing of the difficulty, which lags it) rises rapidly with the price but falls back so slowly.

I guess at some point we'll find out how many people really, truly are getting "free electricity".

The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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October 20, 2011, 05:36:58 AM
 #73

I guess at some point we'll find out how many people really, truly are getting "free electricity".

Yeah, seems like a much larger number than I expected.

Unfortunately BTC is still a currency in search of an economy..

-rph

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October 20, 2011, 05:57:54 AM
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I guess at some point we'll find out how many people really, truly are getting "free electricity".

Yeah, seems like a much larger number than I expected.

Oh, I don't think the current hashrate is indicative of that just yet.

The hashrate is decaying slowly; once it stays still for a whole week I'll start to try to infer things from it.

One factor behind the slow-as-molasses reaction to price is that there are also a lot of people who bought these silly 6-month "mining contracts" with some company that warehouses the machines.  The customer has basically paid for 6 months worth of electricity in advance, even if that electricity is now being basically wasted.  The mining company doesn't want to let the customer out of the contract because at this point they'll never get anybody else to take their place, and the capital cost situation would be even worse for them than it already is.  So the completely wasteful mining goes on and on... but eventually it will stop.

Unfortunately BTC is still a currency in search of an economy..
-rph

Ah, just wait...

The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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October 20, 2011, 07:36:00 AM
 #75

I guess at some point we'll find out how many people really, truly are getting "free electricity".

Yeah, seems like a much larger number than I expected.

Unfortunately BTC is still a currency in search of an economy..

-rph


Just wait until "extended bank holidays" start happening.

Fiat no more.
Δοκιμάστε το http://multibit.org - Bitcoin client τώρα και στα Ελληνικά
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October 20, 2011, 07:19:26 PM
 #76

I guess at some point we'll find out how many people really, truly are getting "free electricity".

Yeah, seems like a much larger number than I expected.

Oh, I don't think the current hashrate is indicative of that just yet.

The hashrate is decaying slowly; once it stays still for a whole week I'll start to try to infer things from it.

One factor behind the slow-as-molasses reaction to price is that there are also a lot of people who bought these silly 6-month "mining contracts" with some company that warehouses the machines.  The customer has basically paid for 6 months worth of electricity in advance, even if that electricity is now being basically wasted.  The mining company doesn't want to let the customer out of the contract because at this point they'll never get anybody else to take their place, and the capital cost situation would be even worse for them than it already is.  So the completely wasteful mining goes on and on... but eventually it will stop.

Unfortunately BTC is still a currency in search of an economy..
-rph


I'm unaware of the mining contracts. Where does one go to buy them?
How many have been sold? How much time before they expire?

thanks.

I'm also watching the total hash rate. When stabilizes as well as the price, would be a good investing moment in my opinion.

Ah, just wait...
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October 25, 2011, 07:14:33 AM
 #77

While I'm waiting on PCBs and parts.. here's some eye candy from the VHDL design.
The first SHA256 pipeline is a nested figure-8  Grin



-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 25, 2011, 07:50:14 AM
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While I'm waiting on PCBs and parts.. here's some eye candy from the VHDL design.
The first SHA256 pipeline is a nested figure-8  Grin

-rph

Wow, almost looks like a smiley-face!

What software did you use to generate that?  Doesn't look like fpga_editor...

The printing press heralded the end of the Dark Ages and made the Enlightenment possible, but it took another three centuries before any country managed to put freedom of the press beyond the reach of legislators.  So it may take a while before cryptocurrencies are free of the AML-NSA-KYC surveillance plague.
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October 25, 2011, 09:23:36 AM
 #79

What software did you use to generate that?  Doesn't look like fpga_editor...

PlanAhead.. it's OK, but I do miss fpga_editor

We should start an FPGA screenshot thread.. I'd love to see what ArtForz's 195MH/s design
looks like..

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 25, 2011, 06:24:35 PM
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I'd be interested in this as well
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October 26, 2011, 04:48:54 PM
 #81

What software did you use to generate that?  Doesn't look like fpga_editor...

PlanAhead.. it's OK, but I do miss fpga_editor

We should start an FPGA screenshot thread.. I'd love to see what ArtForz's 195MH/s design
looks like..

-rph


it looks like MR. Zetx generated a nearly 200M design.....

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October 26, 2011, 10:53:19 PM
 #82

We should start an FPGA screenshot thread..

I started one:  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49971.0

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October 27, 2011, 05:02:38 AM
 #83

Just wondering, what OS, programs, and other stuff are you running.  Let's say I have the hardware (which I obviously don't).  How would you set this up from a flash drive?

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October 27, 2011, 06:43:48 AM
 #84

Is it available for sale?

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October 27, 2011, 08:29:55 PM
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The LX25 is just for testing a new layout and reflow process. If it doesn't work it was cheaper than a LX150. If it does work you get a LX25 on a nice 0.1" breakout board.
And yea, at low qty and without assembly $175 for LX150+discretes+board looks pretty much right.

I've looked at the LX150 on exilinx.com at it seems that the processor alone costs 175. for the cheap one.  It doesn't look like the board comes with it, or other stuff.  Am I missing something?

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October 27, 2011, 10:03:17 PM
 #86

*Whistle*
Looks pretty. Smiley

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October 28, 2011, 04:56:21 AM
 #87

I've looked at the LX150 on exilinx.com at it seems that the processor alone costs 175. for the cheap one.  It doesn't look like the board comes with it, or other stuff.  Am I missing something?

Yup, $175 for the fastest 6s150 in qty 1. If you are building a large enough miner, you can -
with effort and time - get a quantity discount on it.

In a large miner: the PCBs, power supplies, passives, assembly fees, and other costs
are a low percentage of the total cost. Definitely well under 20%. 80%+ goes to the FPGA vendor.

-rph

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October 28, 2011, 05:11:40 AM
 #88

Got the first batch of production PCBs. Still working on the FPGAs...

With the recent RTL advances this is enough for a 35GH/s+ miner.




-rph

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October 28, 2011, 07:04:46 AM
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Nice!
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October 28, 2011, 09:33:54 AM
 #90

Just wondering, what OS, programs, and other stuff are you running.  Let's say I have the hardware (which I obviously don't).  How would you set this up from a flash drive?

OK, here's how it works

Connect power and USB to the FPGA board. Run a program to download the FPGA image over USB.
Then start TheSeven's python miner. That's it.

You could build a Linux flash stick to do all of this automatically. A single $100 Atom PC, or hacked router,
can run several hundred FPGAs.

-rph

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October 28, 2011, 09:44:43 AM
 #91

what is with the limit of 127 on a pc per usb?

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October 28, 2011, 09:50:13 AM
 #92

limit of 127 on a pc per usb?

I'm working on a high-density carrier that controls multiple FPGAs per USB Device
So it's not a problem in practice.

-rph

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October 28, 2011, 07:43:45 PM
 #93

please sell these.

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October 29, 2011, 01:15:20 AM
 #94

Got the first batch of production PCBs. Still working on the FPGAs...

With the recent RTL advances this is enough for a 35GH/s+ miner.
-rph

Is that just the boards to put the processor on?  (The Spartan6-LX150) . 
I would really like a picture of the individual parts that were used before you built it.  That would show these people how difficult it really is, and you might get some more people buying them.  Like me, but probably only 1 at first.

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October 29, 2011, 06:17:21 AM
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I'd really appreciate a actual guide to putting all the stuff together <3
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October 29, 2011, 01:53:31 PM
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Did you hear from that vendor I gave you, rph?

 Grin
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October 30, 2011, 04:58:48 AM
 #97

Did you hear from that vendor I gave you, rph?

Not yet.. been busy coordinating the FPGA order..

-rph

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October 30, 2011, 09:30:13 PM
 #98

Great blog post on Spartan-6 ternary adders:

http://myfpgablog.blogspot.com/2011/10/ternary-adder-in-lut62.html

The guy who writes that blog works for Xilinx.

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October 31, 2011, 11:21:39 PM
 #99

subscribing to this..  very interesting

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October 31, 2011, 11:43:13 PM
 #100

I'm not convinced FPGAs are worthwhile right now, but I think it will be awesome if the electricity costs can't be made up.

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November 01, 2011, 03:45:28 AM
 #101

Without releasing too many details - my FPGA cluster will pay for itself in under 10 months
at current price and difficulty, after power costs.

No GPU will ever pay for itself, with socal power costs, at current price/difficulty.

Basically: FPGAs have already won, unless you are getting free or almost-free power somehow.

-rph

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November 01, 2011, 03:48:35 AM
 #102

Without releasing too many details - a 100 FPGA cluster will produce its own cost in about 8 months
at current price and difficulty, after power costs.

No GPU will ever pay for itself, with my (socal) power costs, at current price/difficulty.

Basically: FPGAs have already won, unless you are getting free or almost-free power somehow.

-rph


I'm also in Socal.  GPU mining hasn't been profitable here for many months, so I moved all of my equipment north 1,000 miles.  GPU's do give me the benefit of being able to easily sell the equipment when I decide to exit mining.   But I would easily invest $10-20k in FPGA's if they could hit the right price/performance ratio.

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November 01, 2011, 03:58:46 AM
 #103

I'm also in Socal.  GPU mining hasn't been profitable here for many months, so I moved all of my equipment north 1,000 miles.  GPU's do give me the benefit of being able to easily sell the equipment when I decide to exit mining.

GPUs do have a better, more liquid resale market than FPGAs, but you also need to upgrade them more often.
5830s will be totally useless for BTC mining, once 28nm GPUs in $0.05/kWhr areas are driving the difficulty.

Whereas, 45nm FPGAs will be profitable for 3+ years, as long as difficulty is driven by GPUs.
They're 8-10X more power efficient. So basically there is much less risk of them becoming unprofitable
before they pay for themselves. Set it up, forget about it, and cash the checks each month.

I think that as awareness grows, there will be a decent secondary market for FPGA miners.

-rph

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November 01, 2011, 04:53:51 AM
 #104

Updated the pics, since people were making fun of the tangled-wire prototype  Tongue

It's almost professional-looking now. And I got the full-size heatsinks.

The next step is a carrier that accepts a crapload of these FPGA modules.







-rph

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November 01, 2011, 04:57:56 AM
 #105

Looks AWESOME.  I like how small it is and how you made a "FPGA socket".  Any plans in the future to make larger board that have multiple FPGA sockets?

What is the timeline for taking orders?  Are you still getting 175MH/s?  Estimated pricing?  Discounts for bulk orders?

I think 2012 might be the year for FPGA.

2009 - Bitcoin prototype, unoptomized miners, mostly solo mining
2010 - Rise of the pools and optimized miners.
2011 - GPU take over
2012 - Commercial FPGA miners make their entrance Huh

I have no more power unless I have an electrician run a new 230V line for my garage.  10GH is a lot of load and heat.  I couldn't do another 10GH of GPU if I wanted to without getting some commercial space.  However 10GH of FPGA ....  Grin
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November 01, 2011, 05:08:45 AM
 #106

Any plans in the future to make larger board that have multiple FPGA sockets?

Yes absolutely.

What is the timeline for taking orders?  Are you still getting 175MH/s?  Estimated pricing?  Discounts for bulk orders?

I'm not planning to sell these fully assembled -- I'd rather be designing stuff than setting up a web store, handling
end user support, etc. I might sell bare PCBs and/or write a build guide though.

I'm at about 180MH/s now in 6s150 -2 (without overclocking). Most of this progress came from ztex
(who is a Verilog and ISE-tuning God). That guy's really on a whole different level..

-rph

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November 01, 2011, 05:16:29 AM
 #107

Any plans in the future to make larger board that have multiple FPGA sockets?

Yes absolutely.

What is the timeline for taking orders?  Are you still getting 175MH/s?  Estimated pricing?  Discounts for bulk orders?

I'm not planning to sell these fully assembled -- I'd rather be designing stuff than setting up a web store, handling
end user support, RMAs, etc. I might sell bare PCBs and/or write a build guide though.

I'm at about 180MH/s now in 6s150 -2 (without overclocking). Most of this progress came from ztex
(who is a Verilog and ISE-tuning God). I thought I was pretty good.. but that guy.. god d*mn.

-rph

I like the idea of a guide and/or selling the PCB.  It's a lot more fun (and meaningful) if you can build it yourself.

It seems like the FPGA is costing around $175.  What do you expect the all-in cost to be?

For the multiple FPGA what do you think is the limit?  Could you have 16, 32, 512??

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November 01, 2011, 08:46:41 AM
 #108

Nice, I've had similiar plans.  But I wanted to place goldpins (2 rows) only on two sides of the board. On one side power and programming pins, on opossite side few I/O's. Then angle goldpins should allow to place boards like cards into motherboard, or straight one just like in your idea (2 possibilities of doughterboard).
How many of those goldpins are for power? Didn't you notice significant voltage drop?

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November 01, 2011, 11:15:20 AM
 #109


I like the idea of a guide and/or selling the PCB.  It's a lot more fun (and meaningful) if you can build it yourself.

It seems like the FPGA is costing around $175.  What do you expect the all-in cost to be?

For the multiple FPGA what do you think is the limit?  Could you have 16, 32, 512??

  This.

  And, any plans to daisy chain the usb so there is less to plug into the carrier? Even 10 to 1 cabling would save a lot of headache.

  Looks friggin aweome and mad props to Ztex on the Verilog work.

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November 01, 2011, 06:24:30 PM
 #110

The next step is a carrier that accepts a crapload of these FPGA modules.

+1 for crapload, do want !
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November 01, 2011, 08:52:13 PM
 #111

Btw... what is the full cost for a running miner right now?

Still just 175?
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November 03, 2011, 04:53:48 AM
 #112

Still just 175?

It's more than $175 per FPGA in qty 1. But significantly lower if you're building a 10GH+ cluster.

-rph

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November 03, 2011, 04:57:59 AM
 #113

Nice, I've had similiar plans.  But I wanted to place goldpins (2 rows) only on two sides of the board. On one side power and programming pins, on opossite side few I/O's. Then angle goldpins should allow to place boards like cards into motherboard, or straight one just like in your idea (2 possibilities of doughterboard).
How many of those goldpins are for power? Didn't you notice significant voltage drop?

Yeah, I probably should have made them usable with just 2 of the 4 headers installed.
It would have made the PCB routing much harder though.

There are 6 VCC and 6 GND pins for the core supply which is more than enough for 10A+.

-rph

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November 05, 2011, 07:53:01 PM
 #114

It occurred to me that with this daughter-board design you could bolt a large number of the daughterboards directly to a large monolithic heatsink then attach the host board, allowing the gold fingers to eat any of the placement error.    That should eliminate the interface problems that often come up with using a single heatsink with multiple chips. (Perhaps you were planning this already?)

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November 06, 2011, 01:44:46 AM
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It occurred to me that with this daughter-board design you could bolt a large number of the daughterboards directly to a large monolithic heatsink then attach the host board, allowing the gold fingers to eat any of the placement error.    That should eliminate the interface problems that often come up with using a single heatsink with multiple chips. (Perhaps you were planning this already?)

I looked into using a big CU or AL plate as a heatsink. It works OK for a prototype/one-off if you have
one lying around, but to machine a custom one for low vol production is actually pretty expensive. My plan right
now is to use those individual heatsinks in the pics above, with a 120mm fan per 4 FPGAs.

I definitely don't want 50 $8 northbridge heatsink/fans in a 50 FPGA cluster. Not cost effective,
they'd increase the PCB size, produce a lot of noise, and have a poor MTBF and CFM.

-rph

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November 07, 2011, 09:04:34 PM
 #116

It would be interesting to publish some schemes to duplicate the same type of circuit on breadboard or soldering, surely we could come up with new ideas like a fpga interconnect modules or try extreme overclocking with liquid cooling.

I personally am much more interested in developing the technology rather than wasting time manufacturing and distributing something.
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November 08, 2011, 02:00:39 AM
 #117

Why is your design so cheap?  I think other ones are about 3$/Mh above.  Huh

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November 08, 2011, 03:12:15 AM
 #118

Why is your design so cheap?  I think other ones are about 3$/Mh above.  Huh

  The other designs have a lot of costs tied into the pcb licensing, more complex pcb designs and daughter boards, etc.

  His cost of $175 is what it would cost you to buy the chip yourself and build it, plus a few buks for the pcb and components.

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
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November 08, 2011, 04:27:48 AM
 #119


  The other designs have a lot of costs tied into the pcb licensing, more complex pcb designs and daughter boards, etc.

  His cost of $175 is what it would cost you to buy the chip yourself and build it, plus a few buks for the pcb and components.
thanks.

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November 09, 2011, 04:13:15 PM
 #120

Why not release the circuit diagram? so could be developed between all, not everyone is interested in buying, there are those who want to work in hardware.

PD:we would like to see photos of the prototype that had first.
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November 10, 2011, 06:39:52 AM
 #121

Why not release the circuit diagram?

IMO open source hardware (of this complexity) doesn't work economically. To build qty 1 would cost probably
$400+ due to the low-volume PCB fabrication, low volume BGA assembly (unless you do this yourself),
2-3X higher pricing on low qty parts orders, shipping costs from 3-4 different distributors, etc.

To get good $/MH you really need a single entity building the design in high quantity --
either an individual building a large 10GH/s+ rig, or a company willing to invest the capital and
accept the risk and customer support issues/etc to resell them in lower qtys.

-rph

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November 10, 2011, 06:43:46 AM
 #122

Sneak peak at the next carrier..



-rph

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November 10, 2011, 07:05:39 AM
 #123

What program is that?

Also, is that 1, or 4 FPGAs?
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November 10, 2011, 07:16:03 AM
 #124

Also, is that 1, or 4 FPGAs?

kicad, and 4 sockets for the FPGA modules.

-rph

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November 10, 2011, 07:43:18 AM
 #125

Also, is that 1, or 4 FPGAs?

kicad, and 4 sockets for the FPGA modules.

-rph


Hmm... never heard of it /me adds to growing list of circuit building software

And... wow /nerdgasm

I really, really wish I had more disposable income, because something like this would be awesome to be able to support
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November 10, 2011, 11:15:49 AM
 #126

Why not release the circuit diagram?

IMO open source hardware (of this complexity) doesn't work economically. To build qty 1 would cost probably
$400+ due to the low-volume PCB fabrication, low volume BGA assembly (unless you do this yourself),
2-3X higher pricing on low qty parts orders, shipping costs from 3-4 different distributors, etc.

To get good $/MH you really need a single entity building the design in high quantity --
either an individual building a large 10GH/s+ rig, or a company willing to invest the capital and
accept the risk and customer support issues/etc to resell them in lower qtys.

-rph


I do not think we understand each other, to begin forgiveness for my English translator ...

Releasing the diagram to the research staff member, not that any company produce it.
There are some ideas that we could certainly provide interesting, your idea of ​​making an adapter between the chip and the motherboard seems very good but not larger than 4 FPGAs would be interesting to reduce the number of pins? or if not possible, it would be better aligned horizontally or use a vertical slot type?

I say this because I love to participate in the development of an FPGA cluster but I see that everyone develops their own hardware and not much collaboration.
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November 11, 2011, 05:14:00 AM
 #127

I say this because I love to participate in the development of an FPGA cluster but I see that everyone develops their own hardware and not much collaboration.

There was an open source FPGA miner effort, but it pretty much stalled when some of the
most talented contributors left & started their own project.

-rph

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November 15, 2011, 04:07:32 AM
 #128

A couple people asked about the PCB vendors I've been using -
here are the two main ones:

DorkbotPDX
Seeedstudio

Dorkbot uses a US fab, with gold-plating, extremely high quality, 2 wk turn, and they
have a 4-layer service, but they are pretty expensive for large boards.
I'll be using Seeedstudio for the carriers.

It's awesome to have two options for low cost, low vol PCBs now.

-rph

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November 15, 2011, 04:34:50 AM
 #129

After some quality time with the Xilinx build tools, I'm up to 192MH/s in -3.
I think this is the second-fastest published result (about 8MH/s behind ztex).

I'm on track to have the cluster built in around 3-4 weeks. Would have been
like late Oct, but the business/sales side of buying the FPGAs took foreeeeeever.

-rph

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November 15, 2011, 04:37:10 AM
 #130

After some quality time with the Xilinx build tools, I'm up to 192MH/s in -3.
I think this is the second-fastest published result (about 8MHz behind ztex)

I'm on track to have the cluster built in around 3-4 weeks. Would have been
like late Oct, but the business/sales side of buying the FPGAs took foreeeeeever.

-rph


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November 15, 2011, 04:38:45 AM
 #131

smartXplorer   Grin

Indeed. But that only removes the last 20-30k of the timing score. The rest is attempting random
VHDL tweaks until you magically trigger an efficient placement. It is very time consuming work.

-rph

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November 15, 2011, 04:47:42 AM
 #132

smartXplorer   Grin

Indeed. But that only removes the last 20-30k of the timing score. The rest is attempting random
VHDL tweaks until you magically trigger an efficient placement. It is really time consuming work.

-rph


my experience is manually limit the running time to less than 2hr, i discovered when the "magically table" has been triggered, the P&R will finish very fast. so a i7-2600 with 16GB ram can finish 0-100 table in 1-2days.  Grin


ADD:

but be careful, when you run @ 190 Mhz, the chip will easily to get over heat, any heat dissipation method form chip's top is useless . particularly you are using a 2 layers PCB.

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November 15, 2011, 05:08:18 AM
 #133

but be careful, when you run @ 190 Mhz, the chip will easily to get over heat, any heat dissipation method form chip's top is useless . particularly you are using a 2 layers PCB.

Yup, that is good advice. xpa gave me a max ambient of -47.4C with no heatsink. 21.6W with 50% toggle rate.  Shocked

-rph

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November 15, 2011, 06:13:14 AM
 #134

so a i7-2600 with 16GB ram can finish 0-100 table in 1-2days.  Grin
Did you run 4 smartXplorer iterations on a same CPU taking advantage of the quad-core? Or a single iteration took 16GB of RAM to implement a single Spartan-6 design?

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November 15, 2011, 06:26:34 AM
 #135

so a i7-2600 with 16GB ram can finish 0-100 table in 1-2days.  Grin
Did you run 4 smartXplorer iterations on a same CPU taking advantage of the quad-core? Or a single iteration took 16GB of RAM to implement a single Spartan-6 design?

i run 5 smartXplorer iterations one time, and each take 2~2.5GB of RAM

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November 15, 2011, 01:59:22 PM
 #136

have you decided to sell these yet?

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November 15, 2011, 02:24:30 PM
 #137

have you decided to sell these yet?

MR. heavyb looks like seek for a fpga mining system for quite a while.  Grin

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November 15, 2011, 05:16:17 PM
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i run 5 smartXplorer iterations one time, and each take 2~2.5GB of RAM
Thank you for your input. I resolved to stop using my 4GB RAM machines for any serious future work. Because of my stupidity I installed the FPGA design software on a laptop that cannot be upgraded beyond 4GB. I need to re-think my planned computer purchases.

This is a link for future reference:

http://www.xilinx.com/ise/products/memory.htm

I wish I read and understood it before I rushed to install the Design Suite.

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November 16, 2011, 06:14:09 AM
 #139

have you decided to sell these yet?

If you're interested in a 10GH/s+ cluster - that could start to make sense - PM me and we can discuss.
I don't want FPGAs to become too widely available.. I want to compete with 45nm GPUs forever   Grin

-rph

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November 25, 2011, 06:53:29 PM
 #140



FPGA mining has come a long way since September.
Arsbitcoin needs to fix their service  Tongue but with multi-pool support it's not a big issue.
Thanks again to TheSeven for his awesome miner SW.

-rph


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November 25, 2011, 09:08:56 PM
 #141

Honestly, this is the only serious and well thought out project that exists now to create a cluster bitcoin FPGA.
I hope you continue to finish up, we are eager to reproduce your configuration somehow.
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November 25, 2011, 09:18:03 PM
 #142

we are eager to reproduce your configuration somehow.

heh, the more the merrier!

-rph

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November 26, 2011, 04:57:24 AM
 #143

What is that program you are running?  Looks neat and cool!



FPGA mining has come a long way since September.
Arsbitcoin needs to fix their service  Tongue but with multi-pool support it's not a big issue.
Thanks again to TheSeven for his awesome miner SW.

-rph


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November 26, 2011, 07:14:57 PM
 #144

What is that program you are running?  Looks neat and cool!

It's called mpbm and it's GPL'd. It's pretty sweet!

-rph

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November 27, 2011, 04:00:44 AM
 #145

What is that program you are running?  Looks neat and cool!

It's called mpbm and it's GPL'd. It's pretty sweet!

-rph


please give me a link... i cannt find it... Huh

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December 03, 2011, 06:44:40 AM
 #146

 Heya RPH, any good news on the multi carrier design?

  Cheers

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December 03, 2011, 09:44:44 AM
 #147

We have to all like a child waiting for Santa Claus to see your working quad-core design.
Tip: You could put a power connector of this type to facilitate the use of ATX.

And also use a simple pin to usb conection, so you can use a regular cable and connect the circuit to the PC motherboard.

Greetings, new hope Wink
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December 04, 2011, 02:38:27 AM
 #148

Thanks guys. There's some crazy stuff in the works!  Cool

-rph

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December 04, 2011, 04:03:29 AM
 #149

We have to all like a child waiting for Santa Claus to see your working quad-core design.
Tip: You could put a power connector of this type to facilitate the use of ATX.

And also use a simple pin to usb conection, so you can use a regular cable and connect the circuit to the PC motherboard.

Greetings, new hope Wink

Negative, what a silly idea.

You limit yourself with a desktop components that use ATX PSU and USB pin header?

What about mobile computers?


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December 04, 2011, 12:13:42 PM
 #150





This will be all right? trying to reduce production costs of the pcb, then each can adapt it to specific cases.
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December 05, 2011, 01:51:00 PM
 #151

This is very nice.  Grin

I live off peanuts though (Like some/alot of the people fascinated with Bitcoins), so are you sure this will go cheap? (I realize I may contradict myself a bit in another FPGA thread, but I am assuredly willing to chip in the money to see this through)

EDIT: Hmm, could you possibly sell the PCB specs of the FPGA and carrier, under a non-redistributable license? Or is home-fabrication of these still a pipedream? With traces being as thin as they are.
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December 05, 2011, 02:39:01 PM
 #152

have you decided to sell these yet?

If you're interested in a 10GH/s+ cluster - that could start to make sense - PM me and we can discuss.
I don't want FPGAs to become too widely available.. I want to compete with 45nm GPUs forever   Grin

-rph


haha nah, I was thinking more like one board. I would like to learn to reproduce them as well. I am a Web Design and Programming teacher, and learning this interests me.

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January 02, 2012, 05:29:22 AM
 #153

Skillet-reflowed and ultra cheap. No need to pay $500+ for an eval board or $50+ per chip to an assembly house;
high performance FPGAs can be soldered at home in 5 minutes with some flux and a $20 skillet. Grin

It's a xc6slx25 on there now to validate the PCB + asm process; building xc6slx150 soon.







-rph

sorry for the dumb question
where do I buy the two boards?
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January 02, 2012, 04:04:03 PM
 #154

Skillet-reflowed and ultra cheap. No need to pay $500+ for an eval board or $50+ per chip to an assembly house;
high performance FPGAs can be soldered at home in 5 minutes with some flux and a $20 skillet. Grin

It's a xc6slx25 on there now to validate the PCB + asm process; building xc6slx150 soon.







-rph

sorry for the dumb question
where do I buy the two boards?

You don't.  They aren't for sale.  Smiley  I wish rph would offer it for sale though.  The daughter board setup would be useful for making much larger boards (something no other FPGA developer seems interested).  For example he could design a 6 socket board powered by a single PCIe connector and then the daughter boards seperately.  So say $100 for the base board and then $175 per FGPA socket.  You could expand your miner from 175MH to 1GH as your budget allows.

Alas rph has no interest in retail product it seems.
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January 02, 2012, 05:12:53 PM
 #155

For example he could design a 6 socket board powered by a single PCIe connector and then the daughter boards seperately.
I don't think anyone is going to offer PCI or PCIe solutions at least in 2012 because
1) It will make the board much more complicated.
2) It will require more complex drivers.
3) It will require a computer with enough expansion slots. Mostly dedicated miners are going to use FPGA/ASIC hardware, not your average gamers/overclockers, so it's not like "just add a board", they will need many of them with as small overhead expenses as possible. Also building big farms with only a few boards per case is not space-efficient.

Why place a board inside if one can just connect an arbitrary number of external boards ?
But actually I don't like USB and can expect Ethernet-connectible solutions, may be even with autonomous mode, not requiring a computer at all.

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January 02, 2012, 06:04:14 PM
 #156

For example he could design a 6 socket board powered by a single PCIe connector and then the daughter boards seperately.
I don't think anyone is going to offer PCI or PCIe solutions at least in 2012 because
1) It will make the board much more complicated.
2) It will require more complex drivers.
3) It will require a computer with enough expansion slots. Mostly dedicated miners are going to use FPGA/ASIC hardware, not your average gamers/overclockers, so it's not like "just add a board", they will need many of them with as small overhead expenses as possible. Also building big farms with only a few boards per case is not space-efficient.

Why place a board inside if one can just connect an arbitrary number of external boards ?
But actually I don't like USB and can expect Ethernet-connectible solutions, may be even with autonomous mode, not requiring a computer at all.

So what about using a http://beagleboard.org/bone as your host/computer.  It has Ethernet and USB it might be a little slow for a python or tcl "controll" software but in c it should be fast enough.

-IT
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January 02, 2012, 06:33:49 PM
 #157

So what about using a http://beagleboard.org/bone as your host/computer.  It has Ethernet and USB it might be a little slow for a python or tcl "controll" software but in c it should be fast enough.
If you need just one then it's fine, but for larger quantities onboard ethernet controller would be cheaper.

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January 02, 2012, 06:34:27 PM
 #158

For example he could design a 6 socket board powered by a single PCIe connector and then the daughter boards seperately.
I don't think anyone is going to offer PCI or PCIe solutions at least in 2012 because
1) It will make the board much more complicated.
2) It will require more complex drivers.
3) It will require a computer with enough expansion slots. Mostly dedicated miners are going to use FPGA/ASIC hardware, not your average gamers/overclockers, so it's not like "just add a board", they will need many of them with as small overhead expenses as possible. Also building big farms with only a few boards per case is not space-efficient.

Why place a board inside if one can just connect an arbitrary number of external boards ?
But actually I don't like USB and can expect Ethernet-connectible solutions, may be even with autonomous mode, not requiring a computer at all.

I think you misunderstood.  I was speaking of the ATX PCIE power connector.  It can supply up to 75W which should be sufficient for 8 FPGA.  Given most large clusters will be powered by a high efficiency ATX power supply having a larger board w/ support for multiple chips powered by a single plug makes sense right?  Nobody is going to want 50+ dinky low efficiency wall wart power supplies (at $10 ea = $500) to power a large array.

Take ztek board for example.  He provide instructions to mod an ATX PCIe power connector to 6 single DC plug connectors and then connect them to 6 individual boards.   Now imagine instead of doing that you have:

A) a "motherbaord" w/ 6 FPGA sockets, an PCIe 6pin power connector, an onboard motorolla ARM CPU (think rasberry Pi) and ethernet connectivity.

B) individual daughtercards for 1 FPGA each.

A single 80-Plus Gold PSU could power 4 to 8 of these boards.  Each board could be loaded w/ 1 to 6 (maybe Cool FPGA daughter cards.  Giving you a high hashing density.

Alternatively instead of having the CPU on the board you could make it a separate board (Rasberry Pi would work and is only $35) and connect to multiple FPGA boards via USB or serial interface.
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January 02, 2012, 06:41:59 PM
 #159

I think you misunderstood.  I was speaking of the ATX PCIE power connector.  It can supply up to 75W which should be sufficient for 8 FPGA.  Given most large clusters will be powered by a high efficiency ATX power supply having a larger board w/ support for multiple chips powered by a single plug makes sense right?  Nobody is going to want 50+ dinky low efficiency wall wart power supplies (at $10 ea = $500) to power a large array.
Oh, you were talking about power, it makes sense then.
Actually the more important is the low-voltage supply. ATX PSU can only provide most of it's power as 12 V and FPGAs need something around 1.2V, so additional regulators are required. But using one 1.2 regulator for many boards will require expensive high-current connectors, so multiple chips per board would be effective solution (of course if you won't need to replace bad/faulty chips :)

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January 02, 2012, 06:54:52 PM
 #160

Oh, you were talking about power, it makes sense then.
Actually the more important is the low-voltage supply. ATX PSU can only provide most of it's power as 12 V and FPGAs need something around 1.2V, so additional regulators are required. But using one 1.2 regulator for many boards will require expensive high-current connectors, so multiple chips per board would be effective solution (of course if you won't need to replace bad/faulty chips Smiley

Yeah that was my thinking.  Most (all) of the boards I have seen take 12V DC and then use internal regulator to drop that down to voltage used by FPGA.  Using one voltage regulator per FPGA "socket" is like a good design decision.  It means a failure would "only" destroy one FPGA.  Given the low cost of 10W 12V to ~1.2V power supplies and the high cost of FPGA "compartmentalizing" the board is good insurance.

Even at $1 per MH.  A 1GH board is ~$1000.  I would feel more comforable driving $1000 in electronics off a high quality ATX power supply than some wallwart made in China at the lowest possible cost.  If we are taking about an array of say 6x 1GH boards (300W total) I wouldn't want to use anything other than an ATX powersupply or better.

I think if someone could make a 6 socket board which is less than 15" by 7" you could mount them in a 19" 4U industrial rack w/ 3" spacing between boards.  They make "industrial" chassis which are nothing but expansion slots (no motherboard).  They have a 5x 90mm set of fans in the midplane which provides uniform cooling.  Airflow is front to back and the nicer chassis have redundant fans (2x5 90mm).  This wouldn't be a traditional "PC" but would provide a safe method for racking up cards.  Given the cost of a large array ($6000 for GH) I would want some physical and electrical protection rather than just cards laying on a desk.  Hell w/ the low power consumption you could put it in a datacenter and insure it against loss as any other industrial asset.  ~6GH in a 4U rack. 60GH per data center rack and it would only draw 12 amps on a 240V circuit. Smiley
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January 02, 2012, 09:06:11 PM
 #161

What is that program you are running?  Looks neat and cool!

It's called mpbm and it's GPL'd. It's pretty sweet!

-rph


Any way to get a link for this? I've been hacking around with the pyminer v0.0.2 but this looks much more polished
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January 04, 2012, 04:58:01 AM
 #162

Hey, rph do you think it be possible for a Arduino to do the same as that modified Leaf Maple board (well i assume its a Leaf Maple). If so then the cost could be cut and it could be made much smaller.
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January 04, 2012, 07:54:34 AM
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An Arduino would work as the USB interface/controller but I prefer the ARM Cortex-M3 - it's $2, 48MHz+, 32 bit, and has native USB
leading to a very powerful, compact, low-part-count design.

-rph

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January 04, 2012, 09:12:40 AM
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Hey, rph do you think it be possible for a Arduino to do the same as that modified Leaf Maple board (well i assume its a Leaf Maple). If so then the cost could be cut and it could be made much smaller.

Is the Leaf the controller? Does anyone have more information about this?

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January 05, 2012, 05:20:35 AM
 #165

An Arduino would work as the USB interface/controller but I prefer the ARM Cortex-M3 - it's $2, 48MHz+, 32 bit, and has native USB
leading to a very powerful, compact, low-part-count design.

-rph

Is the added power of the ARM Cortex-M3 needed that the Arduino doesn't have?
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January 06, 2012, 03:29:14 AM
 #166

have you decided to sell these yet?

If you're interested in a 10GH/s+ cluster - that could start to make sense - PM me and we can discuss.
I don't want FPGAs to become too widely available.. I want to compete with 45nm GPUs forever   Grin

-rph


How much it would cost for a 10GH cluster? PM you?

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January 06, 2012, 07:35:36 AM
 #167

An Arduino would work as the USB interface/controller but I prefer the ARM Cortex-M3 - it's $2, 48MHz+, 32 bit, and has native USB
leading to a very powerful, compact, low-part-count design.

-rph

Is the added power of the ARM Cortex-M3 needed that the Arduino doesn't have?

I don't think so, I think the fact that it's 2 dollars is the reason he's using it
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January 06, 2012, 12:44:20 PM
 #168

Verry cool project, are you using seedstudio for your FPGA adapter boards?? Two layer??

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January 06, 2012, 10:43:53 PM
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A side comment, but earlier in the posts it was mentioned that someone was booting off of a SD card.  I was wondering how that would work, or even if it could be used like a cheap ssd.

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January 06, 2012, 10:46:45 PM
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A side comment, but earlier in the posts it was mentioned that someone was booting off of a SD card.  I was wondering how that would work, or even if it could be used like a cheap ssd.

here, let me google that for you. =)

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
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January 07, 2012, 12:42:22 AM
 #171

A side comment, but earlier in the posts it was mentioned that someone was booting off of a SD card.  I was wondering how that would work, or even if it could be used like a cheap ssd.

here, let me google that for you. =)

Thanks. I hadn't actually seen that before.
But I could rephrase my question to how can I actually boot from it and run it.  I can boot from a usb drive, but the sd card slots that I have used were never a bootable option in the BIOS.  Would it just be easier to use the usb drive on the mobo?

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January 07, 2012, 12:46:23 AM
 #172

A side comment, but earlier in the posts it was mentioned that someone was booting off of a SD card.  I was wondering how that would work, or even if it could be used like a cheap ssd.
here, let me google that for you. =)
Thanks. I hadn't actually seen that before.
But I could rephrase my question to how can I actually boot from it and run it.  I can boot from a usb drive, but the sd card slots that I have used were never a bootable option in the BIOS.  Would it just be easier to use the usb drive on the mobo?
"SD card slot" (reader) looks like a USB device to the BIOS.

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January 07, 2012, 03:53:14 AM
 #173

A side comment, but earlier in the posts it was mentioned that someone was booting off of a SD card.  I was wondering how that would work, or even if it could be used like a cheap ssd.
here, let me google that for you. =)
Thanks. I hadn't actually seen that before.
But I could rephrase my question to how can I actually boot from it and run it.  I can boot from a usb drive, but the sd card slots that I have used were never a bootable option in the BIOS.  Would it just be easier to use the usb drive on the mobo?
"SD card slot" (reader) looks like a USB device to the BIOS.
truth, this man(?) speaks it. The only exception being some of your built in notebook sd slots do not show up in bios as 'native' usb. As long as your pc/netbook has an sd slot that is recognized as usb storage and assuming you format the sd card correctly, it will work.


On Topic; For the love of god, will someone please release some schematics for building low cost fpga mining boards already? Even if you sold them for a few BTC or started a thread and asked for donations. I'd happily pay. And would imagine many more would as well.

cheers

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January 07, 2012, 08:27:09 AM
 #174

Schematics were published by ngzhang in his topic about Icarus.

Under development Modular UPGRADEABLE Miner (MUM). Looking for investors.
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January 07, 2012, 09:39:40 AM
 #175

Schematics were published by ngzhang in his topic about Icarus.

 and you can use them as your own risk under GPL license. Grin

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January 07, 2012, 01:49:47 PM
 #176

Schematics were published by ngzhang in his topic about Icarus.

and those are very nice, but very expensive design for diy.  Undecided

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
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January 07, 2012, 06:57:21 PM
 #177

Would the OP be selling these eventually?

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January 09, 2012, 12:26:17 AM
 #178

Hey guys,

I might start a new thread for this, but though I would gage interest here first. I too am very keen on a DIY FPGA mining kit. I have a few designs conceptually done up and am actively working on a "low cost" rig. Currently I am mining on a number of x6500's, and while these are great, I think there is a place in the market for a rig that people can assemble themselves (at their own risk). The basic concept is:

  • The design should be compatible with current FPGA Mining software and bitstreams - atleast initially.
  • The FPGA will be mounted on a daughterboard - to allow for upgrades, or if the baseboard supports multiple FPGA's, will allow for incremental adding of them.
  • All components should be mounted on the top side of the board only (less header pins).
  • All components should be capable of being hand soldered. - Less the FPGA to daughterboard - although skillet soldering is an option
  • As many component functions should be put to daughterboards as possible - to allow for component re-use and ease of upgrade (eg the communications could be provided by an USB FTDI to JTAG board, maybe one of the sparkfun boards - or a bus pirate board)
  • Would be interested in having the power regulators as daughterboards as well - I note that the x6500 does have these as daughterboards, but I am unsure if these are COTS or a custom board.
  • I am keen to see as many pins brought forward as possible - from the FPGA - to allow for other uses of the board

If there is keen interest in this - I willing to share the work load and outcomes, if not I will develop alone. If it does work, I would be interested in selling the boards as kits - or even just the PCB's individually (I imagine most of the cost for this will be in the PCB fab, less the FPGA... larger orders = lower cost, all other components should be able to be sort cheep from digikey/mouser/rs). I understand some people might have already started work on something similar - if you have I am keen to here from you, I hate laying out PCB's.....

PM me if your interested in working on this...
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January 09, 2012, 07:53:10 AM
 #179


I've been toying with the idea of making as sort of FPGA socket, just using board vias.
By using redundancy for the communication it can tolerate some balls not having proper connection.

For the FGG484 package the balls are 0.6mm +/-0.1mm . Perhaps 0.4mm vias (finished hole) would be best.
A test board with 0.3, 0.35, 0.4 and 0.45mm via "sockets" would be nice and then try some cheap parts having the same package.
The board must have gold surface coating. Don't worry it's not expensive and only applied to open areas in the soldermask.

Then take an aluminium sheet slightly thinner than the FPGA height with squares cut out slightly larger than the FPGA.
This is screwed in place on top of the PCB to take care of the package alignment and provide additional thermal coupling.
Next is one large sheet of thermal heat pad say 3mm thick (compressing to ~1.5mm).
Then a heat sink on top for cooling and to apply pressure, squeezing the FPGA balls down into the vias.

There is of course the question of longevity, but since the current per ball is not that high and using gold plating I think this could work.


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January 09, 2012, 09:21:58 AM
 #180

I`m on it
PM send
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January 09, 2012, 11:41:54 PM
 #181

so is this a FPGA miner of programmer?

Thanks
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January 10, 2012, 02:27:52 AM
 #182

This would be an FPGA Miner - although custom mining software may be required (as per every other FPGA Miner out there).

My main issue with FPGA Mining is the cost - with ASIC's on the way... cost price for a single LX150 is about $170, and that will get you ~200MH tops. So unless there is a breakthrough in the software, or a price drop in FPGA's then just look at what Butterfly Labs is offering.... (and take into account you are still looking at another $50 to $100 for PCB's and other components for the FPGA rig... that said I also use FPGA's for rainbow table generation and a few other things so for me its worth it, I cant say that will be the case for people just after a mining rig.
 

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January 10, 2012, 11:09:12 PM
 #183

ASIC's on the way? Who? Where? When?

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January 10, 2012, 11:29:16 PM
 #184

This would be an FPGA Miner - although custom mining software may be required (as per every other FPGA Miner out there).

My main issue with FPGA Mining is the cost - with ASIC's on the way... cost price for a single LX150 is about $170, and that will get you ~200MH tops. So unless there is a breakthrough in the software, or a price drop in FPGA's then just look at what Butterfly Labs is offering.... (and take into account you are still looking at another $50 to $100 for PCB's and other components for the FPGA rig... that said I also use FPGA's for rainbow table generation and a few other things so for me its worth it, I cant say that will be the case for people just after a mining rig.

Do you have any idea what the upfront capital, expertise (labor costs), and timelines involved for an ASIC run.

ASICs aren't on the way.  Not in 2012 likely not in 2020.  If Bitcoin gets as big as Paypal there may be ASICs but you won't see them.  Initial runs will be used by private mining consortium to rack up incredible ROI% before releasing them to the general public.
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January 11, 2012, 01:02:18 AM
 #185

You are right! Edit 2015: NOT Wink

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January 13, 2012, 08:56:34 AM
 #186

ASICs aren't on the way.  Not in 2012 likely not in 2020.  If Bitcoin gets as big as Paypal there may be ASICs but you won't see them.  Initial runs will be used by private mining consortium to rack up incredible ROI% before releasing them to the general public.

I have to disagree on the last point - if you build an ASIC you are probably going to do everything you can to sell as many as possible
as early as possible to recover the massive one-time engineering costs. No matter how many you want for private mining -
you can always sell more by also selling to others. Of course you rate limit it at first to avoid spiking difficulty and
to allow people to re-buy the exact same silicon, increasingly unlocked, over 4-5 generations Smiley

-rph

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January 13, 2012, 09:03:35 AM
 #187

just look at what Butterfly Labs is offering....

BFL has less than half the MH/W of a 45nm FPGA design today so basically - if they take over the network
and start driving difficulty, almost every Spartan6 FPGA will continue to be profitable, while the
BFL units will make themselves barely profitable like 45nm GPUs are today (only usable in areas with very low power costs)
BFL units in areas like socal will go straight to eBay.

If 45nm (or 28nm) FPGAs take over - the BFL units will begin losing money every day due to their lower efficiency.
Buying something with a higher MH/$ but a much worse MH/W is betting that nobody else will invest significantly in the more
expensive, but more efficient technology. That is like the penny betting against the steamroller: a good way to get crushed.

-rph

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January 15, 2012, 05:12:16 AM
 #188

just look at what Butterfly Labs is offering....

BFL has less than half the MH/W of a 45nm FPGA design today so basically - if they take over the network
and start driving difficulty, almost every Spartan6 FPGA will continue to be profitable, while the
BFL units will make themselves barely profitable like 45nm GPUs are today (only usable in areas with very low power costs)
BFL units in areas like socal will go straight to eBay.

If 45nm (or 28nm) FPGAs take over - the BFL units will begin losing money every day due to their lower efficiency.
Buying something with a higher MH/$ but a much worse MH/W is betting that nobody else will invest significantly in the more
expensive, but more efficient technology. That is like the penny betting against the steamroller: a good way to get crushed.

-rph

BFL is a scam. Just because its posted it on a cheesy website does not make it so.The specs don't even match up or make sense. Power costs are only at 5% mining on a gpu right now, and you can actually sell them if bitcoin goes belly up. FPGA's will only lower the value of bitcoins and greatly increase the investment risks.
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January 15, 2012, 04:19:18 PM
 #189

Power costs are only at 5% mining on a gpu right now

FAIL. (and BTW i have >10GH/s of GPU and 0 GH/s of FPGA right now)
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January 15, 2012, 04:57:12 PM
 #190

Power costs are only at 5% mining on a gpu right now

FAIL. (and BTW i have >10GH/s of GPU and 0 GH/s of FPGA right now)

another reason is FPGA mining system has smaller size and heat.
here in Beijing, China, the housing price (flat) is about 4500$/m^2 . (*2~*3 for house).
a 5G GPU mining system can take over 1 room with no difficulty. that means wast your 40,000$(for a 8 m^2 room).
and a same hashing speed FPGA system can easily deploy next to your desk with <300w power consuming.

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January 16, 2012, 12:36:29 AM
 #191

Power costs are only at 5% mining on a gpu right now
FAIL. (and BTW i have >10GH/s of GPU and 0 GH/s of FPGA right now)
It's almost not fail. Power cost is less than $0.06 in Russia, down to $0.03 in some other cities/countries with cheap power, so there is still room for effective GPU generation, especially with good USD/BTC rate, even without "stealing" power.

(Fun fact: power cost directly at russian hydroelectric plants is somewhere near $0.0024 per kW*h, but it's hard to get for private buyers)

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January 16, 2012, 01:14:37 AM
 #192

Power costs are only at 5% mining on a gpu right now
FAIL. (and BTW i have >10GH/s of GPU and 0 GH/s of FPGA right now)
It's almost not fail. Power cost is less than $0.06 in Russia, down to $0.03 in some other cities/countries with cheap power, so there is still room for effective GPU generation, especially with good USD/BTC rate, even without "stealing" power.

(Fun fact: power cost directly at russian hydroelectric plants is somewhere near $0.0024 per kW*h, but it's hard to get for private buyers)

Well even at $0.03 which is a minority of users power is STILL more than 5%.

Take 5970.  $300 capital cost
250W over 3 years = 250/1000 *24 * 365 * 3 =  6570 kWh
@ $0.03 per kWh = $197.10
Thus even @ 3 cents per kWh and an efficient card electricity is more like 40%.

Under any more "normal" scenario (less efficient card and higher electrical rate) electricity makes up a greater %.
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January 16, 2012, 01:29:39 AM
 #193

Power costs are only at 5% mining on a gpu right now
FAIL. (and BTW i have >10GH/s of GPU and 0 GH/s of FPGA right now)
It's almost not fail. Power cost is less than $0.06 in Russia, down to $0.03 in some other cities/countries with cheap power, so there is still room for effective GPU generation, especially with good USD/BTC rate, even without "stealing" power.
(Fun fact: power cost directly at russian hydroelectric plants is somewhere near $0.0024 per kW*h, but it's hard to get for private buyers)
Well even at $0.03 which is a minority of users power is STILL more than 5%.

Take 5970.  $300 capital cost
250W over 3 years = 250/1000 *24 * 365 * 3 =  6570 kWh
@ $0.03 per kWh = $197.10
Thus even @ 3 cents per kWh and an efficient card electricity is more like 40%.

Under any more "normal" scenario (less efficient card and higher electrical rate) electricity makes up a greater %.
Why calculate power cost as part of the device ?
Let's try other way:
5970 is generating somewhere near 0.52+ BTC daily, ~16 BTC per month, which is $111.5
If it's eating 250W, then it's 183 kW*h per month, $5.49 at 0.03 or $10.98 at 0.06
So it's 4.9% to 9.8% of income, exactly like he said.

Where is my mistake ?

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January 16, 2012, 02:52:40 AM
 #194

Power costs are only at 5% mining on a gpu right now
FAIL. (and BTW i have >10GH/s of GPU and 0 GH/s of FPGA right now)
It's almost not fail. Power cost is less than $0.06 in Russia, down to $0.03 in some other cities/countries with cheap power, so there is still room for effective GPU generation, especially with good USD/BTC rate, even without "stealing" power.
(Fun fact: power cost directly at russian hydroelectric plants is somewhere near $0.0024 per kW*h, but it's hard to get for private buyers)
Well even at $0.03 which is a minority of users power is STILL more than 5%.

Take 5970.  $300 capital cost
250W over 3 years = 250/1000 *24 * 365 * 3 =  6570 kWh
@ $0.03 per kWh = $197.10
Thus even @ 3 cents per kWh and an efficient card electricity is more like 40%.

Under any more "normal" scenario (less efficient card and higher electrical rate) electricity makes up a greater %.
Why calculate power cost as part of the device ?
Let's try other way:
5970 is generating somewhere near 0.52+ BTC daily, ~16 BTC per month, which is $111.5
If it's eating 250W, then it's 183 kW*h per month, $5.49 at 0.03 or $10.98 at 0.06
So it's 4.9% to 9.8% of income, exactly like he said.

Where is my mistake ?

No you are right.  I was thinking of electricity is x% of MINING COSTS.  You are thinking of electricity is x% of revenue.

A more generalized formula would be:
d = current difficulty (in millions)
r = electrical rate (USD per kWh)
b = block reward amount (in BTC)
e = efficiency (in MH/W)
x = exchange rate (USD:BTC)

megahashes per block = d*(2^32)
megahashes per BTC = d*(2^32)/b
kwh per BTC = (d/(b*e*60*60*1000)*(2^32)
electrical cost (USD) per BTC = (d*r)/(b*e)*(2^32) / (60*60*1000)
electrical cost (USD) per BTC = (d*r)/(1193*b*e)


electrical cost (USD) per BTC = (d*r)/(1193*b*e)
electrical cost (USD) per BTC = (1.25*0.03)(1193*50*2.5)
electrical cost (USD) per BTC = $0.34

$0.34 / $6.95 = ~5%




 

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January 16, 2012, 03:22:32 AM
 #195

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

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January 16, 2012, 04:16:54 AM
 #196

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?
$0.03 was the 2011 price in Khakasia region and Abakan city, most power there is hydroelectric: http://energyfuture.ru/tarify-na-elektroenergiyu-na-2011-god-xakasiya-abakan
(That's for single-tariff meters. With two-tariff meters it's $0.01 at night)

~$0.06 is the average price for 1 kW*h in flats with electric cooking ovens installed and multi-tariff electric meters in Moscow, Russia.
Currently I'm not there, but I know the rates.

Also, I'm sure that there are regions with even cheaper power. And power can be "free" if you can steal it, which is popular is some places.

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January 16, 2012, 04:58:18 AM
 #197

I hope that people continue to build large GPU rigs in low-power-cost areas - means lower difficulty and easier bitcoins for my
FPGAs. But sooner or later I think there are going to be enough FPGAs in low-power-cost areas to completely wipe out the GPUs.

-rph


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January 16, 2012, 05:00:35 AM
 #198

I hope that people continue to build large GPU rigs in low-power-cost areas - means lower difficulty and easier bitcoins for my
FPGAs.

Please explain how if someone added 100 GH/s of new GPU hashing power difficulty would go down and you would profit more?
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January 16, 2012, 05:04:10 AM
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Please explain how if someone added 100 GH/s of new GPU hashing power difficulty would go down and you would profit more?

OK, that was rather poorly worded.  Tongue I'm saying that if the MH/s are going to be added either way - I would rather have
them be GPU powered instead of FPGA powered, because they'll shut down sooner as difficulty rises.

-rph

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January 18, 2012, 08:15:51 PM
 #200

I now have an FPGA up and running Cheesy Is there a good miner client out there supporting usb Blaster and long polling. I cant find the one from TheSeven

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January 18, 2012, 08:27:12 PM
 #201

TheSeven

That's a crew I have not seen spoken of in a longgggg time......

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
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January 18, 2012, 11:42:48 PM
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DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.
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January 18, 2012, 11:58:16 PM
 #203

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.

Sure you do.
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January 21, 2012, 10:37:48 AM
 #204

I now have an FPGA up and running Cheesy Is there a good miner client out there supporting usb Blaster and long polling. I cant find the one from TheSeven
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23683845/mpbm-0.0.3.zip
But it doesn't support anything except for a trivial RS232 protocol out of the box, you'll have to implement a worker module (using the RS232 one as an example).
If this is related to rph's design, he might have a fitting worker module already.

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January 21, 2012, 12:02:00 PM
 #205

so what i need is to modify this great miner to fit Icarus. Grin

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January 23, 2012, 08:16:19 AM
 #206

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.

Sure you do.

Ya, I am sure...and no you can't move here. Only room for one miner in this town....

http://www.douglaspud.org/Service/2011Rates.aspx
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January 23, 2012, 01:44:27 PM
 #207

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.

Sure you do.

Ya, I am sure...and no you can't move here. Only room for one miner in this town....

http://www.douglaspud.org/Service/2011Rates.aspx

Take the amount of your last bill and divide it by the number of KWHs on the bill.

What is that number?
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January 24, 2012, 12:41:17 AM
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DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.

Sure you do.

Ya, I am sure...and no you can't move here. Only room for one miner in this town....

http://www.douglaspud.org/Service/2011Rates.aspx

Take the amount of your last bill and divide it by the number of KWHs on the bill.

What is that number?
It's an honest report of his basic rate. I went and looked into them just a bit more, fully expecting to see the electric providers there either heavily subsidized or just being really nasty sources of fuel. I was pleasantly surprised to read that they are utilizing primarily renewable sources (hydro electric) and make up for the cost difference by selling the massive surplus of power they output to other companies. It's a win win.
http://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2011/jun/01/cheapest-electricity-in-the-entire-country-but/

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January 24, 2012, 12:50:36 AM
 #209

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.

Sure you do.

Ya, I am sure...and no you can't move here. Only room for one miner in this town....

http://www.douglaspud.org/Service/2011Rates.aspx
he doesnt have to move there, just rent an office/servers room. and pay some guy to visit it once a day
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February 01, 2012, 06:07:59 AM
 #210

or just remote manage it with anubis,,,lol

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February 20, 2012, 02:28:10 PM
 #211

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.

Sure you do.

i pay zero Smiley here in sweden we have lots of 'community' areas where you have a standard monthly fee regardless on heat/electricity use. pretty nice
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February 21, 2012, 01:34:57 AM
 #212

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?

I pay .0202 a watt in WA state.

Sure you do.

i pay zero Smiley here in sweden we have lots of 'community' areas where you have a standard monthly fee regardless on heat/electricity use. pretty nice

That's it.  I'm moving to Sweden!!  Grin

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February 21, 2012, 08:51:10 PM
 #213

haha electricity cheap, everything else expensive. how does $15 for a beer sound?
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February 21, 2012, 09:05:05 PM
 #214

Ok...lets make a party...you'll bring the electricity, I'll bring the beer... Smiley

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February 27, 2012, 10:23:16 AM
 #215

DeepBit: Where are you that you can get $0.03-$0.06 per KwH of electricity?
$0.03 was the 2011 price in Khakasia region and Abakan city, most power there is hydroelectric: http://energyfuture.ru/tarify-na-elektroenergiyu-na-2011-god-xakasiya-abakan
(That's for single-tariff meters. With two-tariff meters it's $0.01 at night)

~$0.06 is the average price for 1 kW*h in flats with electric cooking ovens installed and multi-tariff electric meters in Moscow, Russia.
Currently I'm not there, but I know the rates.

Also, I'm sure that there are regions with even cheaper power. And power can be "free" if you can steal it, which is popular is some places.

Thanks for the info. In Ufa at the same conditions as you described for Moscow, it costs $0,0389. I was wondering how much are solar panels in Australia these days. If you hook up your FPGA cluster to an array of solar panels with batteries (to work 24/7) it will buy itself out, then electricity costs will be $0. I guess it will be feasible only if cheaper version of solar panels are used. Silicon based are quite expensive.

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March 19, 2012, 10:18:33 PM
 #216

So I guess I missed the "Add to cart" link where I buy 36 of these... if you can just point me to it that would be great.
Thx.

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March 24, 2012, 07:22:57 PM
 #217

Were you able to mine btc with the $40 part? Since I've never done anything like this I would rather try with the cheapest parts first.
If I could mine with the cheap parts (i.e. didn't destroy everything in process) then I might do a couple of the cheap ones before graduating my self to the $175 parts.

Are you also mining with the xl150 ($175 part)?

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March 24, 2012, 07:25:22 PM
 #218

Quote from: johnsmith88
i pay zero Smiley here in sweden we have lots of 'community' areas where you have a standard monthly fee regardless on heat/electricity use. pretty nice

But the power company can also shut off your clothes washer remotely, in the middle of a wash, during "peak" times. Is this why it's so cheap?
i.e. they spread the power consumption out evenly over 24-hr period.

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March 24, 2012, 07:26:34 PM
 #219

You can actually do about 200MH/s on the LX150-N3, and if you order bulk quantities of that one (100pcs) you'll get it for as low as $115. That's almost 2 MH/$, so almost on par with GPUs. But you'll have to consider the cost of the board, other components, assembly, and time spent on it as well.

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March 24, 2012, 08:28:37 PM
 #220

[watching]

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March 24, 2012, 08:41:38 PM
 #221

Quote from: TheSeven
You can actually do about 200MH/s on the LX150-N3, and if you order bulk quantities of that one (100pcs) you'll get it for as low as $115. That's almost 2 MH/$, so almost on par with GPUs. But you'll have to consider the cost of the board, other components, assembly, and time spent on it as well.

Destroying a $40 part is about as high as I'd want to go. And if I destroyed the first one I may not try another.

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March 25, 2012, 01:49:26 AM
 #222

You can actually do about 200MH/s on the LX150-N3, and if you order bulk quantities of that one (100pcs) you'll get it for as low as $115. That's almost 2 MH/$, so almost on par with GPUs. But you'll have to consider the cost of the board, other components, assembly, and time spent on it as well.

Where can you get them for $115 in 100 qty?
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March 25, 2012, 02:02:29 AM
 #223

At least that's what pusle posted to the #bitcoin-fpga topic yesterday. Remember however that there's also other cost factors when building a board Smiley

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March 27, 2012, 02:29:41 AM
 #224

So I'm drooling on this totally modular idea, and come up with what I view as the ideal "shoebox" crammed with FPGAs.  I did go to school many years ago for electronics engineering, but have been out of the field since 2001 and went off driving a semi truck instead.

What I'm thinking is a motherboard with maybe 10 or so sockets for LX150 daughtercards, each with its own voltage regulator and heatsink&fan.  The motherboard would have some kind of ARM processor with an Ethernet interface and probably a MicroSD card slot to store a really stripped down OS with web configuration and the bitstream for the FPGAs.  Underneath this mess would be a big beast of a 12V power supply.  The idea being you can start off with the "shoebox" and one or two FPGAs and add more as you see fit.  The shoebox would be self-bootstrapping and, after its initial configuration, would be smart enough to just connect to its pool and start mining with no intervention following a power cut.

Couple stupid questions:  First, it seems everyone is communicating via JTAG.  Is there a better way to do this?  Can any of the system-on-chip solutions (leaning towards the LH7A404 at the moment) talk to ten JTAG devices?  I know, well, jack squat about this bus so you'll have to talk to me like a five year old on this one.  I'm kinda thinking there would be enough GPIO on the bottom of the SOC to handle it, but as far as brains go I dunno if this would be optimal or even doable.

Second, I went and drooled on the Virtex-7 series...after cleaning various sticky things off my monitor I proceeded to pass out when I saw the price tag.  $150,000 per chip?!!?!  But the number of gates and potential clock speed sounds to me like each chip could be pushing in excess of 2GH/S.  Would these possibly be a viable solution, how scalable would Ztex and other code for the LX150 be for this monster, and at what price point could it be made profitable?

To the OP: kudos on making the skillet work!  My first attempt at reflow soldering a QFP in a toaster oven ended up looking an awful lot like this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLRnoYmzhn4

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April 19, 2012, 07:11:55 PM
 #225

i wonder if its still continued...
If it is, i would want to buy some!
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May 04, 2012, 08:14:51 AM
 #226

To the OP: kudos on making the skillet work!  My first attempt at reflow soldering a QFP in a toaster oven ended up looking an awful lot like this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLRnoYmzhn4

Did you try adjusting the rheostat from the 'darker' to a 'lighter' toast setting on a subsequent attempt?
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July 03, 2012, 04:14:59 AM
 #227

This thread is not dead. It's just been hibernating.  Grin

I am very happy to announce I've been working on a full-custom ASIC project for the past 6 months.
We're estimating 1,000TH/s for around $0.14 (intro pricing), using about 20W, shipping in 4-6 weeks.
The HW/SW for that is still Top Secret, but, I do have some new PCB porn to share with you guys.
Here's the latest single-FPGA carrier, pasted and populated, but not yet skillet reflowed:



-rph

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July 03, 2012, 05:05:44 AM
 #228

This thread is not dead. It's just been hibernating.  Grin

I am very happy to announce I've been working on a full-custom ASIC project for the past 6 months.
We're estimating 1,000TH/s for around $0.14 (intro pricing), using about 20W, shipping in 4-6 weeks.
The HW/SW for that is still Top Secret, but, I do have some new PCB porn to share with you guys.
Here's the latest single-FPGA carrier, pasted and populated, but not yet skillet reflowed:



-rph


Can it warm my coffee? If not, I'm not interested...

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July 03, 2012, 05:58:26 AM
 #229

Dibs on the first unit. I'll even prepay while you finish developing it.
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July 03, 2012, 11:29:56 AM
 #230

Hello, I am stunned by the announcement.
Calculate how long now to be operational the first prototype and chopped off at the benefits of our current FPGAs?
Greeting.
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July 03, 2012, 01:49:43 PM
 #231

Hello, I am stunned by the announcement.

Don't be stunned.  The "1,000TH/s for around $0.14 (intro pricing), using about 20W" is a veiled jab at BFL.

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July 03, 2012, 01:55:07 PM
 #232

What is that thing anyway? It looks like an FPGA carrier board (the markings even say FPGA) but I'm not sure which one. Is it custom?

NVM, read the OP this time.

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July 03, 2012, 04:23:16 PM
 #233

Okay so it is veiled...

Can you not see the obvious ( and famous ) 4-6 weeks line ?

Looks more like 4-6 months for real BFL product shots.

Too bad it kill all the FPGA guys like rph ...
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July 03, 2012, 06:36:30 PM
 #234

Okay so it is veiled...

Can you not see the obvious ( and famous ) 4-6 weeks line ?

Looks more like 4-6 years for real BFL product shots.

Fixed that for you... FPGA guys have nothing to worry about Smiley

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July 03, 2012, 07:34:14 PM
 #235

Bump

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July 03, 2012, 07:35:49 PM
 #236

Bump

Why are you bumping a thread that's already in the top 5 on the page?

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July 04, 2012, 08:20:35 PM
 #237

Bump

Why are you bumping a thread that's already in the top 5 on the page?

Hum, sorry, "bump" wasn't the right word...
I wanted to folow...  Embarrassed

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July 04, 2012, 08:43:52 PM
 #238

You can buy second hand fpga units for less than $1/MH.

I got my icarus boards for $0.78/MH

kind regards

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July 05, 2012, 01:01:34 AM
 #239

This thread is not dead. It's just been hibernating.  Grin

I am very happy to announce I've been working on a full-custom ASIC project for the past 6 months.
We're estimating 1,000TH/s for around $0.14 (intro pricing), using about 20W, shipping in 4-6 weeks.
The HW/SW for that is still Top Secret, but, I do have some new PCB porn to share with you guys.
Here's the latest single-FPGA carrier, pasted and populated, but not yet skillet reflowed:



-rph


Is that a typo (1000TH/s)? I would assume yes and that you meant to say 1000 MH/s.

So that's $0.14 per Megahash? If so that would be ridiculously cool and I would love to be your first customer/beta tester, slave, lol, etc  Grin

Can we expect that you'll release this before BFL comes out with their ASIC miner?


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July 05, 2012, 03:18:52 AM
 #240

This thread is not dead. It's just been hibernating.  Grin

I am very happy to announce I've been working on a full-custom ASIC project for the past 6 months.
We're estimating 1,000TH/s for around $0.14 (intro pricing), using about 20W, shipping in 4-6 weeks.
The HW/SW for that is still Top Secret, but, I do have some new PCB porn to share with you guys.
Here's the latest single-FPGA carrier, pasted and populated, but not yet skillet reflowed:



-rph


Is that a typo (1000TH/s)? I would assume yes and that you meant to say 1000 MH/s.

So that's $0.14 per Megahash? If so that would be ridiculously cool and I would love to be your first customer/beta tester, slave, lol, etc  Grin

Can we expect that you'll release this before BFL comes out with their ASIC miner?



It's not a real product. It's a picture taken from the OP in this thread.

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July 05, 2012, 08:31:26 AM
 #241

Ah I see. Thanks for clearing that up.

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July 14, 2012, 05:01:45 AM
 #242

Don't believe everything you read  Wink Bitcoin ASICs are marketing vaporware.
I doubt they will exist at all in a way that threatens the latest FPGAs,
at least not for the next 9 months or so.

-rph