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Author Topic: 1GH/s, 20w, $500 — Butterflylabs, is it a scam?  (Read 116473 times)
RandyFolds
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November 15, 2011, 09:56:23 PM
 #561

So one company is SCI  http://www.sciengines.com

They use high numbers of standard FPGA's.

Some new field they apply fore are also Scientific highly paralled computing.

I have to look up the other companys name,but i guess SCI is the major one.
 


This isn't grammar trolling, just a friendly correction; 'for' is the word you are looking for, 'fore' is a nautical term referring to the front of a vessel (like fore and aft)...not that it really matters...I just want to see more of these crazy code-breaking machines!

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November 15, 2011, 10:02:27 PM
 #562

So one company is SCI  http://www.sciengines.com

They use high numbers of standard FPGA's.

Some new field they apply fore are also Scientific highly paralled computing.

I have to look up the other companys name,but i guess SCI is the major one.
 


 'fore' is a nautical term referring to the front of a vessel (like fore and aft)...not that it really matters

Or what you yell when your golf ball is about to hit someone!

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RandyFolds
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November 15, 2011, 10:06:05 PM
 #563

So one company is SCI  http://www.sciengines.com

They use high numbers of standard FPGA's.

Some new field they apply fore are also Scientific highly paralled computing.

I have to look up the other companys name,but i guess SCI is the major one.
 


 'fore' is a nautical term referring to the front of a vessel (like fore and aft)...not that it really matters

Or what you yell when your golf ball is about to hit someone!

Which is kind of funny...you yell 'Fore!' to get someone to look in front of them, but odds are you are smacking golf balls at someone with their back to you...unless you are like me and putting it in the next fairway on half your shots.

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November 15, 2011, 10:16:02 PM
 #564

And maybe to bring this thread back onto a more reasonable path.

Let us just asume the development by BFL is no scam.( personally I think its technically mostly possible)

Wich additional questions regarding the upcoming Bitforce Box and Rigbox would be interesting for you ?

Maybe we will be fed with some more details here.

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November 15, 2011, 10:20:13 PM
 #565


Wich additional questions regarding the upcoming Bitforce Box and Rigbox would be interesting for you ?


I have a big one...how does 2+2=5? What system would see a 70% increase in performance through repackaging? What will the price points be on the units? Why won't they let the guy that lives across the street come and see one in action? I doubt his goal is industrial espionage, and I am sure he is happy to sign an NDA (as long as he is allowed to tell us if it actually works) to reassure them.

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November 15, 2011, 10:23:07 PM
 #566


Wich additional questions regarding the upcoming Bitforce Box and Rigbox would be interesting for you ?


I have a big one...how does 2+2=5? What system would see a 70% increase in performance through repackaging? What will the price points be on the units? Why won't they let the guy that lives across the street come and see one in action? I doubt his goal is industrial espionage, and I am sure he is happy to sign an NDA (as long as he is allowed to tell us if it actually works) to reassure them.

They have emailed me saying that the Rig Box has additional performance improvements, being 32 clustered boards instead of 1 single, that enable it to reach 54 GH/s.

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P4man
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November 15, 2011, 10:38:56 PM
 #567

I stumbled upon his:
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.148.7900&rep=rep1&type=pdf

It goes way above my head, but it proposes some mechanisms to allow rather extreme performance gains compared to traditional FPGA for SHA hashing.  The abstract:

Abstract—This paper presents a new set of techniques for hard-
ware implementations of Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) hash func-
tions. These techniques consist mostly in operation rescheduling
and hardware reutilization, therefore, significantly decreasing the
critical path and required area. Throughputs from 1.3 Gbit/s to
1.8 Gbit/s were obtained for the SHA implementations on a Xilinx
VIRTEX II Pro. Compared to commercial cores and previously
published research, these figures correspond to an improvement in
throughput/slice in the range of 29% to 59% for SHA-1 and 54%
to 100% for SHA-2. Experimental results on hybrid hardware/soft-
ware implementations of the SHA cores, have shown speedups up
to 150 times for the proposed cores, compared to pure software im-
plementations.


Can someone with a higher clocked brain than me glance over that, and tell if its feasible BFL did a similar thing?

edit: seems they refer to FPGAs as "hybrid".  So scratch the 150x, but I still wonder if these kinds of optimization have already found their way to our  DIY "garage FPGA builders" (no offense guys, I have the greatest respect for you!).

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November 15, 2011, 10:49:39 PM
 #568

They have emailed me saying that the Rig Box has additional performance improvements, being 32 clustered boards instead of 1 single, that enable it to reach 54 GH/s.

Does that make sense to you?

Do 32 GPU have 54x the performance of 1 GPU?
Do 32 CPU have 54x the perofrmance of 1 GPU?

If 1 board was capable of 1.7GH wouldn't it make sense to just apply those magical unicorn optimization and make the single board 1.7GH too.  They could sell it for 70% more right?  Unless 70% higher revenue per sale is a bad thing.
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November 15, 2011, 10:52:57 PM
 #569

Then again, if this where a scam, why would they come up with numbers that dont make sense on first sight? Lets just 2 weeks.

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November 15, 2011, 10:56:20 PM
 #570

Then again, if this where a scam, why would they come up with numbers that dont make sense on first sight? Lets just 2 weeks.

Well sadly they seem to be "good" to some people.

Still we will know in 2 weeks.  Although their website says 4-6 weeks just like it did 3 weeks ago so my guess is in 2 weeks pre-orders will be shipping in 4-6 weeks.
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November 15, 2011, 10:58:37 PM
 #571

They have emailed me saying that the Rig Box has additional performance improvements, being 32 clustered boards instead of 1 single, that enable it to reach 54 GH/s.

Does that make sense to you?

Do 32 GPU have 54x the performance of 1 GPU?
Do 32 CPU have 54x the perofrmance of 1 GPU?

If 1 board was capable of 1.7GH wouldn't it make sense to just apply those magical unicorn optimization and make the single board 1.7GH too.  They could sell it for 70% more right?  Unless 70% higher revenue per sale is a bad thing.

Yes it makes sense that 32 specialized boards can run together and achieve improvements you wouldn't otherwise get with a single board.

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November 15, 2011, 10:59:46 PM
 #572

They have emailed me saying that the Rig Box has additional performance improvements, being 32 clustered boards instead of 1 single, that enable it to reach 54 GH/s.

Does that make sense to you?

Do 32 GPU have 54x the performance of 1 GPU?
Do 32 CPU have 54x the perofrmance of 1 GPU?

If 1 board was capable of 1.7GH wouldn't it make sense to just apply those magical unicorn optimization and make the single board 1.7GH too.  They could sell it for 70% more right?  Unless 70% higher revenue per sale is a bad thing.

Yes it makes sense that 32 specialized boards can run together and achieve improvements you wouldn't otherwise get with a single board.

You are going to need to explain that a little further.

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November 15, 2011, 11:03:01 PM
 #573

They have emailed me saying that the Rig Box has additional performance improvements, being 32 clustered boards instead of 1 single, that enable it to reach 54 GH/s.

Does that make sense to you?

Do 32 GPU have 54x the performance of 1 GPU?
Do 32 CPU have 54x the perofrmance of 1 GPU?

If 1 board was capable of 1.7GH wouldn't it make sense to just apply those magical unicorn optimization and make the single board 1.7GH too.  They could sell it for 70% more right?  Unless 70% higher revenue per sale is a bad thing.

Yes it makes sense that 32 specialized boards can run together and achieve improvements you wouldn't otherwise get with a single board.

You are going to need to explain that a little further.

Best guess of what he's going for here:

Scenario 1: You're using FPGAs. Each board has one FPGA that you're utilizing 80% of. There's not enough room to fit anything useful in that remaining 20% unless you're using a large array of many FPGAs in which case some logic could be crammed into the extra 20% that might be useful in tandem with other "wasted" space.

Scenario 2: The data on the site isn't entirely accurate and the cards in the larger rig aren't *exactly* the same as the single rigs. What I said in Scenario 1 about wasted FPGA gates also applies to wasted PCB space.

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November 15, 2011, 11:04:01 PM
 #574

Quote
Still we will know in 2 weeks.  Although their website says 4-6 weeks just like it did 3 weeks ago so my guess is in 2 weeks pre-orders will be shipping in 4-6 weeks.

You know, having been involved in 2 startups,  I can imagine they have other things to do right now besides updating their website 3x per week and keeping a 30 page thread full of conspiracy theorists happy, considering they are only about to actually launch their first product.  It also makes complete sense they dont want to spill all the beans here yet. Cant blame them for wanting to build some anticipation for their official unveiling.

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November 15, 2011, 11:05:17 PM
 #575

They have emailed me saying that the Rig Box has additional performance improvements, being 32 clustered boards instead of 1 single, that enable it to reach 54 GH/s.

Does that make sense to you?

Do 32 GPU have 54x the performance of 1 GPU?
Do 32 CPU have 54x the perofrmance of 1 GPU?

If 1 board was capable of 1.7GH wouldn't it make sense to just apply those magical unicorn optimization and make the single board 1.7GH too.  They could sell it for 70% more right?  Unless 70% higher revenue per sale is a bad thing.

Yes it makes sense that 32 specialized boards can run together and achieve improvements you wouldn't otherwise get with a single board.

On a problem like SHA-256 hashing which is perfectly parallel?  Really?  Care to hypothesize how that works since you seem convinced.

SHA-256 is a perfectly parallel problem.  A single hash takes only a billionth of a second.  There is no need for boards to work together.  No need for cores to even work together to solve a problem which takes a single clock cycle to solve.   Each hash is independent of the others thus there is no need for cores to even know about each other. 

So to make a cluster faster they aren't working together rather working simultaneously on the same problem.  Like two, or 8, or 32 workers oblivious to the fact that others are also working on the same problem.

32 independent workers don't accomplish 54x the work of a single worker. 
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November 15, 2011, 11:06:14 PM
 #576

Ok so here is the email I received regarding info on the 54 GH/s box:


"The BitForce Rig Box product will cost about 80% of the per mh/s cost established with the pricing of the BitForce SHA256 Single.  The standard post pre-order price of the Single is $599 for 1,050 mh/s (1.2 gh/s), or roughly 60 cents per mh/s.  At 80%, the Rig Box comes in at roughly 50 cents per mh/s.  Although the technology is the same, clustering allows for additional efficiency opportunities which can't be realized in the stand alone single.  Rig Boxes are about $25,000 each with 54 gh/s performance.  They don't come in smaller flavors."


Take it as you will.

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November 15, 2011, 11:07:50 PM
 #577

Quote
Still we will know in 2 weeks.  Although their website says 4-6 weeks just like it did 3 weeks ago so my guess is in 2 weeks pre-orders will be shipping in 4-6 weeks.

You know, having been involved in 2 startups,  I can imagine they have other things to do right now besides updating their website 3x per week and keeping a 30 page thread full of conspiracy theorists happy, considering they are only about to actually launch their first product.  It also makes complete sense they dont want to spill all the beans here yet. Cant blame them for wanting to build some anticipation for their official unveiling.

3x per week? Come on P4Man no need for hyperbole.  How about once a month?  How about changing the pre-order shipping timeframe one time since the website launched?  Not still saying 4-6 weeks? As far as startups did your startup manage to have the wrong company name on the website?  

Given they have updated the website a half dozen times it isn't beyond reason to think they might occasionally put the right company name and shipping date up there.
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November 15, 2011, 11:10:49 PM
 #578

Does that make sense to you?

Do 32 GPU have 54x the performance of 1 GPU?


Actually, at least in games, 2 GPU's can have more than 2x the performance of one. Because you dont only duplicate the processing resources, you also double things like RAM, and not everything has to be duplicated in RAM on each card, at least for games.  its the same idea that 4 GB of Ram is easily more than 4x faster than 1 GB ram if you can avoid swapping. It could be 100x faster or more. No idea how that applies to hashing, but I wouldnt rule out superlinear scaling just because its superlinear.

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November 15, 2011, 11:12:56 PM
 #579

3x per week? Come on P4Man no need for hyperbole.  How about once a month?  How about changing the pre-order shipping timeframe one time since the website launched?  Not still saying 4-6 weeks?

4-6 weeks after ordering. That might still be fairly accurate if you order today.

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November 15, 2011, 11:14:49 PM
 #580

Quote
Still we will know in 2 weeks.  Although their website says 4-6 weeks just like it did 3 weeks ago so my guess is in 2 weeks pre-orders will be shipping in 4-6 weeks.

You know, having been involved in 2 startups,  I can imagine they have other things to do right now besides updating their website 3x per week and keeping a 30 page thread full of conspiracy theorists happy, considering they are only about to actually launch their first product.  It also makes complete sense they dont want to spill all the beans here yet. Cant blame them for wanting to build some anticipation for their official unveiling.

3x per week? Come on P4Man no need for hyperbole.  How about once a month?  How about changing the pre-order shipping timeframe one time since the website launched?  Not still saying 4-6 weeks? As far as startups did your startup manage to have the wrong company name on the website?  

Given they have updated the website a half dozen times it isn't beyond reason to think they might occasionally put the right company name and shipping date up there.
People like you won't be satisfied until they hand deliver the product gift wrapped with cherries on top and a hand written letter stating how awesome you are.

No one is forcing you to pre-order. Let us take the risk!

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