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Author Topic: 1GH/s, 20w, $500 — Butterflylabs, is it a scam?  (Read 116490 times)
rph
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November 27, 2011, 08:12:06 PM
 #901

Don't get fooled by xilinx S6 perf/power, those are the worst of all 45/40nm FPGAs by a long shot; we pretty much only use them because they're cheap-ish and readily available in small qty.

S6 is worse than V6 on perf/W, but it's still optimal on perf/$ even in qty 100+.

A7 should be a very good fit when it arrives

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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BitcoinPappi
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November 27, 2011, 08:22:02 PM
 #902

Hmm, this is getting better. Looking forward to the results
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November 27, 2011, 10:22:36 PM
 #903

Why does picture 6 have the atmega markings on the chip etched out while the others don't? Is it the angle?
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November 27, 2011, 10:59:16 PM
 #904

U5 on that board is atmel AT45DB642D, a 2.5V dataflash.
for the FPGA config steam storage? (so not hard-copy?)
I had a feeling it was going to be something like that but couldn't quite read the markings. Almost certainly bitstream storage for an FPGA of some kind then - nothing else would need that much storage.

Quad XC6SLX150 Board: 860 MHash/s or so.
SIGS ABOUT BUTTERFLY LABS ARE PAID ADS
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November 27, 2011, 11:31:29 PM
 #905

U5 on that board is atmel AT45DB642D, a 2.5V dataflash.
for the FPGA config steam storage? (so not hard-copy?)
I had a feeling it was going to be something like that but couldn't quite read the markings. Almost certainly bitstream storage for an FPGA of some kind then - nothing else would need that much storage.

So is this or is this not using that Altera hardcopy chip ?

Could other people also use that magical altera sASIC chip or the $$$ needed is just too much for the average bitcoin fpga designer etc. ?

What is going to happen if this is indeed real ? Will all the other FPGA garage designers quit and let BFL have a hardware monopoly etc. ?
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November 28, 2011, 12:01:18 AM
 #906

U5 on that board is atmel AT45DB642D, a 2.5V dataflash.
for the FPGA config steam storage? (so not hard-copy?)
I had a feeling it was going to be something like that but couldn't quite read the markings. Almost certainly bitstream storage for an FPGA of some kind then - nothing else would need that much storage.

So is this or is this not using that Altera hardcopy chip ?

Could other people also use that magical altera sASIC chip or the $$$ needed is just too much for the average bitcoin fpga designer etc. ?

What is going to happen if this is indeed real ? Will all the other FPGA garage designers quit and let BFL have a hardware monopoly etc. ?

A dataflash chip would indicate it isn't an sASIC.  sASIC are mask programmed at the fab not flash programmed in the field.  Maybe the chip is used for something else but its presence indicates an FPGA under the heatsink.
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November 28, 2011, 12:04:04 AM
 #907


What is going to happen if this is indeed real ? Will all the other FPGA garage designers quit and let BFL have a hardware monopoly etc. ?

  Not much. The guys that spend big bucks now to buy high end GPU's will spend big bucks to buy these. The current devs that are approaching their developments from a business perpective will adapt, modify and move on from there.

  It would be nice if the release of such a device would bring all the hardware devs in the community together to design their own competing product.  If you guys do I'll manage the IPO for you.  Grin I've got almost 0 experience in releasing my own but can't count the number of Bplans I have drawn up for others.. >.<

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
Matthew N. Wright
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November 28, 2011, 12:13:57 AM
 #908

Question: Why is butterflylabs using the same logo as asynclabs which subsequently closed this year? Coincidence?

Both created in 2009, both WHOISs are blocked.

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November 28, 2011, 12:36:08 AM
 #909

I guess the two questions we should be asking are these :

1. are the quoted figures ( price, power, performance ) possible and achievable with a current sASIC or FPGA out in the market right now ( eg Hardcopy )

2. should we be scared ? I certainly am.

Think about it. A startup like BFL Labs can come up with a custom ASIC or a sASIC or whatever new revolutionary hashing technology and do a 51% on the network with just 4-5 million USD ( eg current network of slow GPUs is about 8000 ghash and one rigbox supposedly does 50 ghash and costs 25000 USD ). I wonder what the US government could come up with to take us out, spending less than 10 million in the process ( bet they have spent much more than that fighting the war on drugs etc. ). In any case I still think it would be cheaper for them to drive the price under $1 and every miner quits then they attack with server farms etc. but my point still stands.

My point is that the network right now is mostly GPU while in the past was mostly CPUs. If somebody makes a custom ASIC / product like BFL Labs that gets each unit minimum of 1 Ghash/s until we all upgrade to that technology the network is vulnerable to a 51% by the guys with the new tech etc. Can someone confirm ? Thanks. 
rjk
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November 28, 2011, 12:40:18 AM
 #910

Where's the demo please, Inaba?

EDIT: I guess I should calm down  Grin
It has only been 3/4 of an hour since he said he would commence testing.

*jumps in anticipation*

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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November 28, 2011, 12:47:41 AM
 #911

2. should we be scared ? I certainly am.

No.  Even w/ GPU one can 51% attack the network w/ roughly 20M invested.  This brings the cost closer to 10M (be sure to include labor, warehouse space, electricity, cooling, security, etc).

It simply isn't worth it for someone to spend that kind of money to destroy Bitcoin.  20M or 10M.  If/when Bitcoin becomes larger the network will hopefully be even larger thus as the potential of Bitcoin rises the cost to destroy it rises also.

No blockchain will ever be immune to the threats of governments.  Even if the cost is $100M it is "nothing".  The US has wasted something like $500,000 million on the three decade long failed war on drugs and almost $1,00,000 million on the war against terror.  (Side note wars against nouns are usually futile).

The point of the high cost of a block chain is to make it ECONOMICALLY NONVIABLE for an attacker to spend the amount of money necessary to destroy the network.  It isn't a magic gain auto and unlimited immunity against every govt on the planet.
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November 28, 2011, 01:21:47 AM
 #912

Question: Why is butterflylabs using the same logo as asynclabs which subsequently closed this year? Coincidence?

Both created in 2009, both WHOISs are blocked.

  Very interesting;  Though the logos are different. Very similar though. Gonna go poke through it and see if there is anything revealing..




 Edit1; no related technologies from what I can see..
 Edit2; Async is based out of San Jose. https://github.com/asynclabs
 Edit2; And closed with this statement, "I'm sure that at some point in the future I'll be back at this again, tinkering my way to something else interesting, but for now, my family needs some of my attention (as well as my day employer )."  http://asynclabs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=681

  Edit3; Logo Comparison;
           Async                        BFL

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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November 28, 2011, 01:50:52 AM
 #913

Any news from Inaba ? The live test should be running by now...  Tongue

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November 28, 2011, 02:00:26 AM
 #914

Well the Asynclab products look at least genuine, from common sense.
Arduino clones, even fancy ones are all around.

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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November 28, 2011, 02:05:54 AM
 #915

Any news from Inaba ? The live test should be running by now...  Tongue

Very eager to see what Inaba has to say.  Sadly I expect him to report that there were "problems" that prevented him from seeing advertised performance (or any performance) and they will need to reschedule.

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November 28, 2011, 02:10:18 AM
 #916

Quote
Very eager to see what Inaba has to say.  Sadly I expect him to report that there were "problems" that prevented him from seeing advertised performance (or any performance) and they will need to reschedule.

Indeed you are correct.  There are some technical issues with the timing between the board and the software that they are working out, apparently.  I understand this will probably bring all the conspiracy theorists to the fore, so have at it.  For everyone else, I'm told that they will be ready in a couple days or so for a live demo. 

My week is pretty open as far as being able to do any testing goes, so assuming they work out the problems I will be available any time this week.

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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November 28, 2011, 02:13:50 AM
 #917

Quote
Very eager to see what Inaba has to say.  Sadly I expect him to report that there were "problems" that prevented him from seeing advertised performance (or any performance) and they will need to reschedule.

Indeed you are correct.  There are some technical issues with the timing between the board and the software that they are working out, apparently.  I understand this will probably bring all the conspiracy theorists to the fore, so have at it.  For everyone else, I'm told that they will be ready in a couple days or so for a live demo. 

My week is pretty open as far as being able to do any testing goes, so assuming they work out the problems I will be available any time this week.


  Kinda expected the delay without any need for wacky conspiracies due to the nature of the product in its current form. ;p  Thanks for the update.

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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November 28, 2011, 02:15:44 AM
 #918

My point is that the network right now is mostly GPU while in the past was mostly CPUs. If somebody makes a custom ASIC / product like BFL Labs that gets each unit minimum of 1 Ghash/s until we all upgrade to that technology the network is vulnerable to a 51% by the guys with the new tech etc. Can someone confirm ? Thanks. 

I'm sorry that this was surprising to you.

It's long been known to many other people that if someone wanted to sink a few million in NRE for a fully custom ASIC on a modern process (e.g. 45nm) they could churn out chips that do e.g. 10GH for a marginal cost of tens of dollars per chip (e.g. similar costs to a GPU chip, but massively more hash power. Actual performance figures are fuzzy only because the design of a custom asic would be thermally limited, so it's a question of how cheap you can get good packaging and how well can keep it cool).

This is why the introduction of improved efficiency miners (like the BFL, if it's real) to the public is a good and important thing. It's also a reason why GPU miners are good— while a custom asic would have a big advantage over GPUs their advantage over CPUs is even greater.
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November 28, 2011, 03:04:48 AM
 #919

I'm sorry that this was surprising to you.

It's long been known to many other people that if someone wanted to sink a few million in NRE for a fully custom ASIC on a modern process (e.g. 45nm) they could churn out chips that do e.g. 10GH for a marginal cost of tens of dollars per chip (e.g. similar costs to a GPU chip, but massively more hash power. Actual performance figures are fuzzy only because the design of a custom asic would be thermally limited, so it's a question of how cheap you can get good packaging and how well can keep it cool).

This is why the introduction of improved efficiency miners (like the BFL, if it's real) to the public is a good and important thing. It's also a reason why GPU miners are good— while a custom asic would have a big advantage over GPUs their advantage over CPUs is even greater.


Exactly.  Imagine prior to the first GPU miner.  Network hashing power was <100GH/s.  An attacker who built a GPU farm could easily dominate the CPU based network.  GPU farming made the network more efficient (both in hashes/$ and hashes/W).  While an attacker can use GPU so can defenders and that makes it more of an even fight.

Eventually FGPA/sASICS will achieve >2MH/$ even if BFL production is just scammer garbage.  In time defenders will use them and the Bitcoin network will be even more efficient making an attack against it more difficult.

x86 CPU miner -> OpenCL CPU Miner ->  GPU Miner -> FPGA Miner -> sASIC Miner -> Cell based ASIC miner ->  Full Custom ASIC miner.

IF Bitcoin continues to grow the profit motive will lead to more and more efficient hashing hardware.  The motive is profits (both for research and for deployment) but the advantage is the network grows more secure.  Not just in nominal terms but in efficiency terms.
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November 28, 2011, 03:16:15 AM
 #920

Surprise, surprise. Another delay in the demo. I will be surprised if they actually are able to show inaba it working. In the meantime I wonder if they got any 26k orders for the big box.
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