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Author Topic: Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner - 175MH/s @ $1/MH  (Read 121735 times)
heavyb
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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
 #42

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
 #43

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
 #44

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
 #45

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
 #50

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
 #51

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.
rph
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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
rph
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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
heavyb
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October 11, 2011, 10:11:16 PM
 #55

still looking to buy a few of these!

kloinko1n
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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
rph
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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
helloworld
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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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