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Author Topic: 1GH/s, 20w, $500 — Butterflylabs, is it a scam?  (Read 116481 times)
Dexter770221
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October 24, 2011, 08:03:44 PM
 #121

The funny think about these PCB photos is: The I/O bandwidth bitcoin needs is absolutely pathetic even not worth mentioning. If that were actually a made product they would be very, very stupid to use such a expensive (many pins) packaging for the chips if there were ASICs inside and use it as a bitcoin miner.

Not to mention need for 6 layer PCB... That's quiet expensive in small amounts. It should be possible to fit that design on 4 layer PCB, easily. With some troubles on 2 layer...

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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P4man
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October 24, 2011, 09:18:04 PM
 #122

4 layers is considered the minimum for a (single) spartan 6 PCB. 16+ layers is fairly common, a SP601 evaluation board has 16,  although that many is not likely needed for bitcoin because IO requirements are extremely low. 6 sounds about right to me, and its really not that expensive at all.

eldentyrell_old
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October 24, 2011, 09:25:42 PM
 #123

The funny think about these PCB photos is: The I/O bandwidth bitcoin needs is absolutely pathetic even not worth mentioning. If that were actually a made product they would be very, very stupid to use such a expensive (many pins) packaging for the chips if there were ASICs inside and use it as a bitcoin miner.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a scam.

However, BGA packages aren't just about I/O.  The chip actually dissapates a lot of heat through the pins -- there's a direct all-metal thermal path from the die surface to the PCB through those pins.  More pins means more heat dissapation.  More pins also means more power entry points on the die surface, so less current per pad, which improves reliability.

So, this is a scam, but even non-scam bitcoin chips would probably come in BGA packages -- but all those pins would be for bringing power in and heat out, not for I/O.
makomk
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October 24, 2011, 09:31:31 PM
 #124

The funny think about these PCB photos is: The I/O bandwidth bitcoin needs is absolutely pathetic even not worth mentioning. If that were actually a made product they would be very, very stupid to use such a expensive (many pins) packaging for the chips if there were ASICs inside and use it as a bitcoin miner.
If they were using a structured ASIC from somewhere like Altera or Xilinx, those are only available in specific BGA packages (at least if the marketing material is correct). It looks to be about the right number of balls for one of their FPGAs or sASICs too.

Edit: If it is a scam, I doubt you'll be able to catch them out on any of the technical details; everything so far seems to be just within the bounds of possibility.

Quad XC6SLX150 Board: 860 MHash/s or so.
SIGS ABOUT BUTTERFLY LABS ARE PAID ADS
eldentyrell
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October 24, 2011, 09:32:14 PM
 #125

4 layers is considered the minimum for a (single) spartan 6 PCB.

Nah, just if you're part of a big organization (or lazy).

If you have the same person do both the schematic and layout you can get away with two layers.  You just need the freedom to be able to tweak the schematic to make the layout easier.  Most big-time projects farm out the layout work to "grunts" who aren't allowed to change the schematic... so they need four layers to make up for the lack of flexibility.  If you're making a bazillion boards this is sometimes the right way to go.

By the way, not sure if anybody's mentioned this, but those PCB landing sites are not for Spartan-6 chips; they're missing a pin on each corner, whereas the Spartan footprint is a perfect rectangle with no irregularities like that (and you can't just "leave out" a pad -- the chip won't reflow).

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.
P4man
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October 24, 2011, 09:42:00 PM
 #126

4 layers is considered the minimum for a (single) spartan 6 PCB.

Nah, just if you're part of a big organization (or lazy).

Or you dont want to spend too much time (and therefore money) optimizing for what will be a low volume product. And more importantly, especially in a first batch you likely want extra test and measurement features. Regardless if 2 layers is theoretically possible, 6 aint unreasonable at all.

Quote
By the way, not sure if anybody's mentioned this, but those PCB landing sites are not for Spartan-6 chips; they're missing a pin on each corner, whereas the Spartan footprint is a perfect rectangle with no irregularities like that (and you can't just "leave out" a pad -- the chip won't reflow).

I dont think anyone ever said they use a spartan 6. I was just using that as a reference, I have no clue what they are using. Could you make an educated guess from that PCB and their claimed specs?

makomk
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October 24, 2011, 09:49:15 PM
 #127

By the way, not sure if anybody's mentioned this, but those PCB landing sites are not for Spartan-6 chips; they're missing a pin on each corner, whereas the Spartan footprint is a perfect rectangle with no irregularities like that (and you can't just "leave out" a pad -- the chip won't reflow).
There's too many pins for that really, too - you basically want the smallest pin-count version of the device you can get, and for Spartan-6 that's a lot smaller. I count 780 pins, which coincidentally is the smallest pincount that Altera Stratix III and IV and their HardCopy versions are available in. (The highest-pincount version of Cyclone III and IV E is also 780.) Though as I've said it's somewhat unlikely anyone will prove this is a scam based on technical details.

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SIGS ABOUT BUTTERFLY LABS ARE PAID ADS
ElectricMucus
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October 24, 2011, 10:23:59 PM
 #128

The funny think about these PCB photos is: The I/O bandwidth bitcoin needs is absolutely pathetic even not worth mentioning. If that were actually a made product they would be very, very stupid to use such a expensive (many pins) packaging for the chips if there were ASICs inside and use it as a bitcoin miner.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a scam.

However, BGA packages aren't just about I/O.  The chip actually dissapates a lot of heat through the pins -- there's a direct all-metal thermal path from the die surface to the PCB through those pins.  More pins means more heat dissapation.  More pins also means more power entry points on the die surface, so less current per pad, which improves reliability.

So, this is a scam, but even non-scam bitcoin chips would probably come in BGA packages -- but all those pins would be for bringing power in and heat out, not for I/O.
Of course but QFP packages come with a heat pad too and supplying power (ground) can usually archived through these.
Think of it for each of these pins you need to pay for the assembly robot to do one or two repetitions. Internal losses from wires are also not that of an issue if the smallest package dimensions are chosen so the wiring is short.

I mean if those were 20GH 100W chips I could be convinced that those are power pins but even then GPUs come in smaller packages.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they keep laughing, then they start choking on their laughter, and then they go and catch their breath. Then they start laughing even more.
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October 24, 2011, 11:47:23 PM
 #129

Ok, so my initial research shows that this may be legit. Numbers are very possible, and  multiple sources say they have heard of butterfly labs in regards to other products. So dont bash it yet. But buyer beware.

I'm curious, what other products were they known for? It doesn't look like they list any other products on their website.

RandyFolds
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October 24, 2011, 11:55:32 PM
 #130

Ok, so my initial research shows that this may be legit. Numbers are very possible, and  multiple sources say they have heard of butterfly labs in regards to other products. So dont bash it yet. But buyer beware.

I'm curious, what other products were they known for? It doesn't look like they list any other products on their website.

You mean vistaprint coffee cups and mousepads don't count?

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓▓ ONEDICE.ME ▓▓▓▓▓ BEST DICE EXPERIENCE ▓▓▓▓ PLAY OR INVEST ▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
shakaru
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October 24, 2011, 11:56:21 PM
 #131

Ok, so my initial research shows that this may be legit. Numbers are very possible, and  multiple sources say they have heard of butterfly labs in regards to other products. So dont bash it yet. But buyer beware.

I'm curious, what other products were they known for? It doesn't look like they list any other products on their website.

I was told by someone who works in a PCB production facility out here in SoCal that they had heard of the name before and I am waiting to hear a confirmation on this. Also a member here told me something to the like.

rph
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October 25, 2011, 06:10:56 AM
 #132

If it's not a scam - Altera Hardcopy seems like the most reasonable explanation.
But the pricing is still suspiciously low..

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
Inaba
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October 28, 2011, 06:56:09 PM
 #133

I live in Kansas City and run the EMC bitcoin pool. I also work downtown. 

I can check this out any day of the week fairly easily.  I'll keep an eye on the thread, but there's no need to fly some out out here or ship a product out when I can just stop by at any time.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
sadpandatech
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October 28, 2011, 07:04:55 PM
 #134

I live in Kansas City and run the EMC bitcoin pool. I also work downtown. 

I can check this out any day of the week fairly easily.  I'll keep an eye on the thread, but there's no need to fly some out out here or ship a product out when I can just stop by at any time.


  You do realise this is in Kansas City, Missouri and not Kansas City, Kansas, right? 

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
Inaba
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October 28, 2011, 07:05:41 PM
 #135

I live in Kansas City and run the EMC bitcoin pool. I also work downtown.  

I can check this out any day of the week fairly easily.  I'll keep an eye on the thread, but there's no need to fly some out out here or ship a product out when I can just stop by at any time.


  You do realise this is in Kansas City, Missouri and not Kansas City, Kansas, right?  

You do realize it's the same city, right?

I work about 4 minutes walk from the address listed.  I can connect the miner to my pool so I know there's no hinky business going on on the pool end, either.

............. KANSAS CITY METRO AREA ...........

....Inaba works here.... | | .... Inaba Lives here ....
...............|................. | | ...............|..................
...............v................ | | ...............v..................
...............X................ | | ...............X.................
................^................ | | ...............^.................
................|................. | | ...............| .................
.....Kansas City, Mo.....| | ....Kansas City, Ks.......
..................................| |....................................
..................................^...................................
................................. | ...................................
................................/  \ ..................................
............................Main Street..........................
<----- Dragons   ................................... Vampires ->
...................................................(Not sparkly kind)


*EDIT* - Actually, I just looked out the window.  The restaurant is across the street.  It would take me exactly 63 seconds to walk there from my desk, but only because I'm not on the ground floor and would have to traverse the stairs.



If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
sadpandatech
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October 28, 2011, 07:32:33 PM
 #136

I live in Kansas City and run the EMC bitcoin pool. I also work downtown.  

I can check this out any day of the week fairly easily.  I'll keep an eye on the thread, but there's no need to fly some out out here or ship a product out when I can just stop by at any time.


  You do realise this is in Kansas City, Missouri and not Kansas City, Kansas, right?  

You do realize it's the same city, right?

  I do now.

  I'm ashamed to be one more reason everyone thinks Americans are stupid. ;p  I've been west of the Mississippi one time to help my sister move to Dallas/Ft. Worth and don't think I even looked at a map of anything west of the MS River at that time. Shame on me.  Embarrassed

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
digital
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October 28, 2011, 07:33:05 PM
 #137

Man, and I've always wondered where to find the sparkly kind...

If I help you out: 17QatvSdciyv2zsdAbphDEUzST1S6x46c3
References (bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=): 50051.20  50051.100  53668.0  53788.0  53571.0  53571.0  52212.0  50729.0  114804.0  115468  78106  69061  58572  54747
Inaba
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October 28, 2011, 07:39:38 PM
 #138

Man, and I've always wondered where to find the sparkly kind...

San Francisco.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
DeathAndTaxes
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October 28, 2011, 07:45:29 PM
 #139

You should figure out a way to encode that map into a transaction and put it into the blockchain.
REF
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October 28, 2011, 07:46:17 PM
 #140

well what are you waiting for go check it out and tell us if its real! sure the product isnt ready yet but you should still be able to walk in the building. if its a real company there should be people working and someone to talk to.
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