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Author Topic: Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner - 175MH/s @ $1/MH  (Read 121743 times)
DeathAndTaxes
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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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rph
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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
 #65

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
 #67


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
 #68


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
 #69

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

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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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
 #71

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.

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 19, 2011, 06:40:57 AM
 #72

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

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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October 20, 2011, 05:57:54 AM
 #74

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.
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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
 #78

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
 #80

I'd be interested in this as well
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