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Author Topic: 1GH/s, 20w, $500 — Butterflylabs, is it a scam?  (Read 116558 times)
P4man
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December 01, 2011, 03:34:43 PM
 #1181

t is almost impossible to keep every market liquid in that type of betting

Im sure you could attract the bitcoinica folks - who might actually make  some money on average!

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December 01, 2011, 03:43:13 PM
 #1182

What is the expected hash rate and power draw from simulations of some of these? It seems that everything is assumed to be 45nm because of cost, but what if...?

It isn't assumed to be 45nm because of cost.  Eventually 28nm will be the same price as 45nm chips are now and delivery double the performance at half the wattage (roughly).

It is just 28nm FPGA aren't available anywhere for anyone other than test samples to well connected clients.  Even if a company got a test sample they wouldn't get the hundreds required for production.  Even in 2012 supply will be tight for a while.  By well connected clients I don't mean two guys in low-income housing I mean companies w/ decade long history w/ Xilinix and who do 8 figures in purchases each year.
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December 01, 2011, 03:44:21 PM
 #1183

I don't really presume to speak for BFL in regards to shipping dates or specs, so I can't really comment on that one way or another. As far as I know, they still have a target date for shipping product prior to the end of the year.  

My statement about it being a cluster fuck was more about the conditional issues, such as an independent customer with community trust - who is that?  Do I qualify?  What if i don't decide to purchase a unit until Jan 4th?  What if the first batch goes to private companies/individuals that wish to remain anonymous and we don't see a public unit until later - or alternately, what if they are shipped to a bunch of unknown people with no community trust?  Joe Bitpack can post here saying he got a unit and it works as advertised, but who is he?  Ultimately, what if there is a quantity problem?  If there's only 3 unit available prior to Jan 3rd and all three go to anonymous people - and all three happen to satisfy the requirements - the bet would be false, yet no way to confirm that.  

I'm not saying any of these things are true or that's what will happen, I'm just illustrating the problems with the conditions of the bet.  Also the precision of the bet is somewhat difficult.  What if one measurement is a peak of 1.04 GH/s or max draw of 19.9w?  But if someone else measured it, they'd likely get different numbers.

Conditions should probably be in a range, not specific numbers.  Verification should probably be handled differently (not sure how off the top of my head, though).

That's all I meant.

EDIT -

Also, admittedly, I can't quite wrap my head around how the weighting system works as far as payouts go.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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December 01, 2011, 04:07:13 PM
 #1184

Statements are submitted by the users and we will do our best to decide with the publicly available knowledge at the event date. I think anyone betting implicitly accepts this. If the company ships to some anonymous people and nobody knows about it, we'll assume it didn't happen. I agree that the specifications are rather strict but it was like that since the beginning and everybody knew that. You are welcome to open a new statement with different conditions if you like.

Did you read the example on our help page about the weighted betting? Simply 45% of the losing bets are distributed to winers proportional to their bets and 45% will be distributed proportional to time weighted bets. 5% goes to submitter, 5% goes to the site.

Bets of Bitcoin
http://betsofbitco.in/
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December 01, 2011, 05:04:33 PM
 #1185

Question: what are smaller (faster) processes than 45nm? 32, 28, 22?

What is the expected hash rate and power draw from simulations of some of these? It seems that everything is assumed to be 45nm because of cost, but what if...?
28nm FPGAs are apparently starting to become available in small production quantities now for well-connected clients, though good luck getting your hands on any. There's some evidence that the Butterfly Labs boards might be using a 65nm FPGA though.

Quad XC6SLX150 Board: 860 MHash/s or so.
SIGS ABOUT BUTTERFLY LABS ARE PAID ADS
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Gerald Davis


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December 01, 2011, 05:07:59 PM
 #1186

There's some evidence that the Butterfly Labs boards might be using a 65nm FPGA though.

What evidence would that be?
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December 01, 2011, 05:33:34 PM
 #1187

What evidence would that be?
Based on the silkscreen on one of the test points, they're running at an unusual core voltage of 1.1 volts. There's not a lot of chips that run at that voltage.

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Gerald Davis


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December 01, 2011, 05:38:58 PM
 #1188

What evidence would that be?
Based on the silkscreen on one of the test points, they're running at an unusual core voltage of 1.1 volts. There's not a lot of chips that run at that voltage.

Hmm.  And they got price so low because they acquired a bulk lot of some end of life FPGA.  Plausible but what about power consumption.

It would need to be a pretty large (LUT count) FPGA to push 500MH/s per chip.  No chip that large is going to draw <10W under load.  Not based on 65nm design right?  Of course they would have to know that which makes the power claim silly.  I mean maybe you think "hey we can push this chip to 500MH/s" but then it turns out you can't so you are light on the performance spec.  Not a good idea to promise something you can't deliver but the reason for falling short is certainly plausible right?  However it is harder to explain away a mistake of 100% of the power load.  How does a company get the power draw that wrong?

For the board to pull 19.8W we got to figure PSU inefficiency is going to eat up 15% and regulator maybe another 5%.  That leaves a budget of ~15.8W.  If the fan, and non FPGA components draw 2W our budget is down to ~13.8W.  That's <7W per FPGA.  I don't believe there is any 65nm FPGA capable of the performance they claim that pulls <7W at any price.  Do you know of any?

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December 01, 2011, 05:40:19 PM
 #1189

What evidence would that be?
Based on the silkscreen on one of the test points, they're running at an unusual core voltage of 1.1 volts. There's not a lot of chips that run at that voltage.

Hmm.  And they got price so low because they acquired a bulk lot of some end of life FPGA.  Plausible but what about power consumption.

It would need to be a pretty large (LUT count) FPGA to push 500MH/s per chip.  No chip that large is going to draw <10W under load.  Not based on 65nm design right?  Of course they would have to know that which makes the power claim silly.  I mean maybe you think "hey we can push this chip to 500MH/s" but then it turns out you can't so you are light on the performance spec.  Certainly plausible right.  However how does a company get the power draw wrong and that much wrong?



  These in reality look to be pulling that 19.8w Per chip, if I am following correctly.

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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December 01, 2011, 06:12:00 PM
 #1190

rph is advertising his boards at ~1$ per MH, but not for sell... Sad

My design is DIY; it's $1/MH if you build it at home with hobby techniques and don't
have to pay someone to license the design, populate and solder the board,
test/debug it, etc.

A fully assembled/tested miner w/ 1-2 45nm FPGAs is going to cost more than that.

A fully assembled/tested miner w/ 100 45nm FPGAs can cost less than that.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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December 01, 2011, 06:51:29 PM
 #1191

rph is advertising his boards at ~1$ per MH, but not for sell... Sad

My design is DIY; it's $1/MH if you build it at home with hobby techniques and don't
have to pay someone to license the design, populate and solder the board,
test/debug it, etc.

A fully assembled/tested miner w/ 1-2 45nm FPGAs is going to cost more than that.

A fully assembled/tested miner w/ 100 45nm FPGAs can cost less than that.

-rph



how about your cool miner... Embarrassed

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P4man
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December 01, 2011, 07:09:30 PM
 #1192

It would need to be a pretty large (LUT count) FPGA to push 500MH/s per chip.  No chip that large is going to draw <10W under load.  Not based on 65nm design right?  

...s...asic

And perhaps the prototype they gave inaba still had a regular fpga.

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December 01, 2011, 07:22:34 PM
 #1193

It would need to be a pretty large (LUT count) FPGA to push 500MH/s per chip.  No chip that large is going to draw <10W under load.  Not based on 65nm design right? 

...s...asic

And perhaps the prototype they gave inaba still had a regular fpga.


a AT45DB642 (U5) tells us a lot. It is a FPGA and needs up to  64Mbits for config data storage. So, it's 1.1V and it's 29*29mm (approx), so, it is altera EP3SL150F780 for near 100% possibility. this fpga's config bit steam is  47Mbit.

or

EP3SL110F780, also 47Mbit


hardcopy is impossible, because they are still working at the code. a hardcopy need a freezed RTL, fully tested.

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December 01, 2011, 07:24:37 PM
 #1194

Well they haven't hit 1k mh/s but around 800 if i read right. That's not too bad for a "scammer" with no real product. Keep it coming guys !

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Gerald Davis


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December 01, 2011, 07:36:28 PM
 #1195

Well they haven't hit 1k mh/s but around 800 if i read right. That's not too bad for a "scammer" with no real product. Keep it coming guys !

The belief in a scam was due to their unbelievable claims.  Claims that turned out to be untrue.

Claimed:
$500
1.05GH/s
19.8W

That's $0.5 per MH and 50MH/W.  Stats that are way beyond what current gen FPGAs can do.

Today we are looking at
$700
~750 to 800MH (simulated performance on static block header)
40 to 50W
That's ~$1 per MH and 15 to 20 MH/W.  Which is inline w/ other FPGA designs and much more believable.

Had they been honest about their performance from the start the reaction likely would be different.  If they can achieve <$1 per MH and ~20MH/W it makes them competitive with other offerings and likely the market leader but it wasn't what was claimed on day 1.

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December 01, 2011, 08:26:35 PM
 #1196

Maybe the were a bit too optimistic. People make mistakes. That's life.

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December 01, 2011, 08:30:41 PM
 #1197

Well they haven't hit 1k mh/s but around 800 if i read right. That's not too bad for a "scammer" with no real product. Keep it coming guys !

The belief in a scam was due to their unbelievable claims.  Claims that turned out to be untrue.

Claimed:
$500
1.05GH/s
19.8W

That's $0.5 per MH and 50MH/W.  Stats that are way beyond what current gen FPGAs can do.

Today we are looking at
$700
~750 to 800MH (simulated performance on static block header)
40 to 50W
That's ~$1 per MH and 15 to 20 MH/W.  Which is inline w/ other FPGA designs and much more believable.

Had they been honest about their performance from the start the reaction likely would be different.  If they can achieve <$1 per MH and ~20MH/W it makes them competitive with other offerings and likely the market leader but it wasn't what was claimed on day 1.
Well they did have a pre-order period with special pricing of $499. True.  If you pre-ordered, you knew the price would rise after the pre-order period.

Their 1.05 GH seems to be based on what they may have been able to do in the past.  The jury is still out, but a preliminary debug version hit ~760 MHash.  Will the shipping version hit 1.05  GH/s? I am willing to believe BFL, they seem capable, and confident that they will hit their numbers.

19.8 vs 19.8 x2. This may be due to a language problem between engineers and marketing. I don't know and speculating will lead to no useful outcome.  Should it be the case that it is a communications problem, it should be rectified by updating the website with the correct numbers, if in fact that is what has happened.

TBH, I can hardly consider this a scam.  Bernie Madoff was a scam, who committed fraud to gain the trust and wealth of his victims.

I just can't conclude the same of BFL, unless they ship bricks to all the pre-order customers. 
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December 01, 2011, 08:48:44 PM
 #1198


19.8 vs 19.8 x2. This may be due to a language problem between engineers and marketing. I don't know and speculating will lead to no useful outcome.  Should it be the case that it is a communications problem, it should be rectified by updating the website with the correct numbers, if in fact that is what has happened.

TBH, I can hardly consider this a scam.  Bernie Madoff was a scam, who committed fraud to gain the trust and wealth of his victims.

I just can't conclude the same of BFL, unless they ship bricks to all the pre-order customers.  

  I agree about the wattage, if that is even the case. I was speculating on it being 2x19.8w. And of course should have included that if that were the case it was likely a language/communication issue between engineers and marketing.

  Yea, pretty likely it is not a scam.  But, just the same I hope they learn that such claims without solid repensentation to back them up will make bulding trust a slower process than admiting they are not sure of performance or what they should state is 'expected' performance, etc.

  Cheers

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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December 01, 2011, 08:51:40 PM
 #1199

The 2x19W is bullshit. Common, think it through.

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December 01, 2011, 08:59:23 PM
 #1200

The 2x19W is bullshit. Common, think it through.
My apologies, I don't have the hardware know-how that other forum members have.  What am I missing, some obvious application of Occam's razor?
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