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Author Topic: Why can't we group buy fpga and get a discount?  (Read 3669 times)
Transisto
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September 22, 2011, 09:31:03 PM
 #1

I know it must have been asked before,

Why can't we group buy fpga and get a discount ?

I would invest in any effort to get an ASIC made, currently the only thing that would be holding me back on FPGA is mhs/$ and the threats of an ASIC batch being made.

Can someone in the semi industry describe a best case scenario for a cheap ASIC + packaging,  For arround ~300 000$, what are possible options ?

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322i0n
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September 22, 2011, 09:34:15 PM
 #2

still most of this discussion is in another language for me but i am looking forward to the day that normal humans can use fpga's.

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September 22, 2011, 11:07:36 PM
 #3

I know it must have been asked before,

Why can't we group buy fpga and get a discount ?

I would invest in any effort to get an ASIC made, currently the only thing that would be holding me back on FPGA is mhs/$ and the threats of an ASIC batch being made.

Can someone in the semi industry describe a best case scenario for a cheap ASIC + packaging,  For arround ~300 000$, what are possible options.

It's either:
A. There's no one in this community that we can trust $300,000 with.
B. People don't have enough trust to give this person/organization $300,000.

Given Bitcoin mining's anonymous nature, there's really no way of knowing whether the chip designer/chip maker/chip packager/PCB assembler is ripping you off or not. The designer and foundry could secretly start their own cluster. The packager and PCB assemblers could be profitting from the "rejects". And when we're getting ripped off I doubt anyone in their right mind would donate another $300,000 to assemble a legal team to sue the offender.
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September 23, 2011, 12:52:16 AM
 #4

I know it must have been asked before,

Why can't we group buy fpga and get a discount ?

I would invest in any effort to get an ASIC made, currently the only thing that would be holding me back on FPGA is mhs/$ and the threats of an ASIC batch being made.

Can someone in the semi industry describe a best case scenario for a cheap ASIC + packaging,  For arround ~300 000$, what are possible options.
Given Bitcoin mining's anonymous nature, there's really no way of knowing whether the chip designer/chip maker/chip packager/PCB assembler is ripping you off or not. The designer and foundry could secretly start their own cluster. The packager and PCB assemblers could be profitting from the "rejects". And when we're getting ripped off I doubt anyone in their right mind would donate another $300,000 to assemble a legal team to sue the offender.
The designer ? He does not have to touch any chip, it can be open-sourced, and taken from good a fpga design.

The foundry can already do this, I doubt foundries would be running with the money.  They usually do what they're paid to do, it's not of their concern what the chip does, except checking for IPs.
Packager ?  They could be required to give back every bad chip they get.
Suing is not usually the way bicoiners solve their problems.

Anyhow, that doesn't stop us from elaborating technical details.


A handful of people would benefit as much from securing the network/investment that they would mining for coins with this hardware.


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September 23, 2011, 01:18:54 AM
 #5

The designer ? He does not have to touch any chip, it can be open-sourced, and taken from good a fpga design.
Obviously this can't be open-sourced due to its very nature, because if we pooled together $300,000 for a group buy, most of it will go into the IP. Someone who didn't participate in the group buy can just run to the fab with the open source design and spend his $300,000 entirely on the hardware.

The foundry can already do this, I doubt foundries would be running with the money.  They usually do what they're paid to do, it's not of their concern what the chip does, except checking for IPs.
If AMD's fab, TSMC, started selling a CPU that perform exactly like Bulldozers, everyone would notice immediately.
If this group buy goes through and the global hash rate sky rockets, no one will suspect that TSMC is behind the scenes pumping out more chips than what we ordered. Even if such suspicions do arise, nothing can be proven due to the anonymous nature of mining. So TSMC has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Packager ?  They could be required to give back every bad chip they get.
That would work if you're willing to patrol the floor and audit every shift. Packagers have no incentives to steal now because selling the stolen goods would be very difficult like I mentioned above. However mining chips are different because they don't need to be sold. They can used to generate profit legally and anonymously.   
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September 23, 2011, 03:25:57 AM
 #6

RE the FPGA group buy, it's a good idea but IMO will need to hit qty 250-1,000 per order
to even get 10 minutes attention from the senior execs with the power to approve a
real discount [30-50%+]

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
Silverpike
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September 23, 2011, 09:35:52 AM
 #7

RE the FPGA group buy, it's a good idea but IMO will need to hit qty 250-1,000 per order
to even get 10 minutes attention from the senior execs with the power to approve a
real discount [30-50%+]

-rph


Higher than that actually.  1k parts isn't even close to being considered enough volume to get any real discount.

Even if every single Bitcoin miner were to participate in this GB, the volume doesn't justify any real discount.  In the industry, you have to have part volumes > 10-100k (depending on many factors) to get any real leverage, and that applies only to customers who agree to long term business relationships as well.  Bitcoin is a drop in the bucket compared to commercial designs.
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September 23, 2011, 09:44:31 AM
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Higher than that actually.  1k parts isn't even close to being considered enough volume to get any real discount.

Even if every single Bitcoin miner were to participate in this GB, the volume doesn't justify any real discount.  In the industry, you have to have part volumes > 10-100k (depending on many factors) to get any real leverage, and that applies only to customers who agree to long term business relationships as well.  Bitcoin is a drop in the bucket compared to commercial designs.

Exactly. And to make an ASIC you need to invest a lot of money in development. Maybe $1 million?

This may be relevant to the discussion
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September 23, 2011, 09:50:00 AM
 #9

For graphic cards, 100 may seem a lot but for FPGA, the quantities are in production quantity and can be tens of thousands.  If you just need some for pre-production or R&D purposes, some of the companies will want to know where estimated time line.  I doubt we can form a group large enough to take on a substantial quantity for industrial pricing.
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September 25, 2011, 01:37:53 AM
 #10

FPGAs are fairly low-volume devices to begin with. qty 1000 of 6s150 is $150k+
at list price, and for that kind of business, you could probably get a nice discount
directly from Xilinx. The problem is getting enough reliable buyers to reach 1k.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 25, 2011, 01:55:00 AM
 #11

well someone(maybe me if i have time) needs to put in a request to a FPGA manufacturer to get a real number for the price we could expect on a 1k volume of chips, once we have a target we can think of the best and safest way to approach it

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rph
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September 25, 2011, 04:42:00 AM
 #12

Yup go for it, I would be in for at least 5-10 if you can get 30%+ off the Avnet qty 1 pricing. I think all the guys
selling or building boards should pool together.. it's not a big enough market to save much on our own..

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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September 27, 2011, 02:35:34 AM
 #13

Yup go for it, I would be in for at least 5-10 if you can get 30%+ off the Avnet qty 1 pricing.

If you can get a 30% discount I would take at least 50.  But I'm not holding my breath.

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 27, 2011, 04:32:14 AM
 #14

940 to go..  Cool

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
FalconFour
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September 27, 2011, 04:53:38 AM
 #15

Maybe this would help?

http://www.kickstarter.com/

Dunno if this would be seen as very "Creative", though... hmm.

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September 27, 2011, 05:03:32 AM
 #16

AVNET is SHI.T, I repeat, AVNET is SHI.T

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September 27, 2011, 07:07:07 AM
 #17

This may be relevant to the discussion

I read that and saw a link to largecoin.com --- Not many details yet however.

http://www.winbtcs.com/?ref=16M52MjMVUWfiwZfBMBjLqGChM3ensF3mk
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September 27, 2011, 07:12:24 AM
 #18

AVNET is SHI.T, I repeat, AVNET is SHI.T

In the US they're the cheapest for 6s150 -3 qty 1 last I checked. Worked out OK for me.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
DeathAndTaxes
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September 27, 2011, 03:18:42 PM
 #19

AVNET is SHI.T, I repeat, AVNET is SHI.T

So who is not shit?  Who has the lowest prices?  How much lower are they then AVNET?  10%? 20%?

On edit: still waiting...
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September 29, 2011, 02:20:02 AM
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As far as a quick google search goes, Digikey has the same price as AVNET?

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