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Author Topic: ZTEX USB-FPGA Modules 1.15x and 1.15y: 215 and 860 MH/s FPGA Boards  (Read 174231 times)
BR0KK
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March 01, 2012, 02:41:37 PM
 #341

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Do you run the newest version of the mining software ? I had this error for a while but it's gone now. What speeds do you get with that heatsinks ?

I run 120221 so the latest aviable BTC Miner. Im on Firmware ztex_ufm1_15d1.ihx right now

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March 01, 2012, 06:35:36 PM
 #342

I run 120221 so the latest aviable BTC Miner. Im on Firmware ztex_ufm1_15d1.ihx right now

You can try out the d3 firmware. Works very well over here. Perhaps the error goes away.

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March 01, 2012, 07:59:26 PM
 #343

The seenshot in my previous post is actialy made on FW d3a. Ill have to try d3 as soon as i come home.
D1 seems the most stable.

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March 02, 2012, 06:00:37 AM
 #344

I've been testing the Modular Python Bitcoin Miner for a few days and it seems to work very well for a first version. It also has a few nice design features, such as backup pools and it supports different devices at the same time. While I haven't ever worked with Python before, I see it's very simple to modify and add support for new devices. It has a few clear advantages over Java (ie. Xiangfu is running MPBM on his home router).

It currently works with Icarus, X6500 and GPUs. It would be great if somebody could create a worker (or modify an existing worker) for the ZTEX board, do you have any pointers how to get started on this?

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March 02, 2012, 08:09:07 AM
 #345

Hey guys,

We are collecting donations to send a 1.15x board to Con in Australia, so he can make the CGMiner compatible with Ztex boards. Please donate if you feel like this is something you'd wish for/could be useful to you..

http://bountychest.com/bountychest/ztex-support-for-cgminer/

Address for donations: 15vVYfwx2cjkYzHB8yKhGeTw1MZz2NdhrJ

Head of Product Development
Bitfury Group
www.bitfury.com
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March 02, 2012, 10:23:38 AM
 #346

I've been testing the Modular Python Bitcoin Miner for a few days and it seems to work very well for a first version. It also has a few nice design features, such as backup pools and it supports different devices at the same time. While I haven't ever worked with Python before, I see it's very simple to modify and add support for new devices. It has a few clear advantages over Java (ie. Xiangfu is running MPBM on his home router).

It currently works with Icarus, X6500 and GPUs. It would be great if somebody could create a worker (or modify an existing worker) for the ZTEX board, do you have any pointers how to get started on this?



I am going to port ztex board support to python for my own egocentric needs but I will give supporting the MPBM a stab. This is, of course, something I do with my spare time, and that mythical creature "parco tempus" has been making itself almost extinct as of late... So if someone else has started on this I'll be glad to help with what I already have, but I'm not yet making my code public as it would probably take me more time explaining than fixing and cleaning.

I anyone is doing this too let me know and I'll help in any way I can.
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March 02, 2012, 10:39:43 AM
 #347

Hey guys,

We are collecting donations to send a 1.15x board to Con in Australia, so he can make the CGMiner compatible with Ztex boards. Please donate if you feel like this is something you'd wish for/could be useful to you..

http://bountychest.com/bountychest/ztex-support-for-cgminer/

Address for donations: 15vVYfwx2cjkYzHB8yKhGeTw1MZz2NdhrJ

5 coins sent.

I am sure if ZTEX would place a board or two into the right hands (TheSeven who writes the MPBM etc) support by those miners is almost guaranteed.
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March 02, 2012, 10:56:00 AM
 #348

There is an Open Source discount program: http://www.ztex.de/os_discount_program.e.html

For the implementation of ZTEX FPGA Board support for other Open Source bitcoin mining software I'm willing to give up to 100% OS discount for a single board.

But this is a lot of work because the ZTEX FPGA boards are more complex then competitor boards. Not just BTCMiner needs to be ported (host software is about 1800 lines) also a part of the SDK (host API is about 4700 lines)  needs to be rewritten if another language than Java is used.

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March 02, 2012, 11:10:15 AM
 #349

There is an Open Source discount program: http://www.ztex.de/os_discount_program.e.html

For the implementation of ZTEX FPGA Board support for other Open Source bitcoin mining software I'm willing to give up to 100% OS discount for a single board.

But this is a lot of work because the ZTEX FPGA boards are more complex then competitor boards. Not just BTCMiner needs to be ported (host software is about 1800 lines) also a part of the SDK (host API is about 4700 lines)  needs to be rewritten if another language than Java is used.


That is why I considered using MPBM. I already control my single ztex board using python, but lack firmware config atm. There are a lot of safety checks and code handling libusb oddities in ztex's sources that I'm completely ignoring, but need to go in to make this feature complete.
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March 02, 2012, 03:52:43 PM
 #350

Some extra Pics from my mining rig:


The last picture is the power consumption (it reads 106.04w) with a mac mini Server (I7DC 16GB 500GB) that acts as the host for my Windows VM (witch cares for the FPGAs) and a 7 Port USB Switch. Works great and i do not get any usb connection losses.

I will change that to a ARM Computer like RasberryPI, Beagleboard or Pandaboard if possible some day.

I do get an USB Lib error when i start my BTCminer. Something like "high speed configuration failed...." but it works without that.
I'm crying now here. You're running a Mac Mini Server... but put ***Windows*** on the poor thing?Huh Why in $(DEITY)'s name did you do that?Huh

You know it's really unhappy inside, don't you....

Top tip - if you want to minimise power usage, then get the Mac Mini Server to control your FPGAs directly, so you're only running one operating system at a time. Even better - and something that brings an ENORMOUS performance boost to the Mini Server (if you're actually running OS X Server as a full mail / web / Open Directory server and the thing does loads of file I/O) - is to rip out those two lame laptop mechanical discs (which will fail faster than you imagine under server loads, unless you've swapped them with enterprise units which run too hot for the Mini's cooling system), and replace them with two decently regarded SSDs.

My entire network is run by my Mac Mini Server, and due to the timing and prices of *good* SSDs when I bought it (the SandForce controllers hadn't been brought out, neither the Crucial series, and the OCZ Vertex was the only performance alternative but the chipset was developed by a small, little-known firm, Indilinx IIRC), it has two Intel X25-M SSDs in RAID-0. Running a main server on 'suicide RAID' would make most sysadmins foam at the mouth, but it's different with SSDs, since their failure mode is read-only. If the SSD dies, then you can still read your data off the broken RAID and copy onto new drives. And besides, we're all backing up our servers aren't we?

(incidentally - Mac OS X Server can get enormously bogged down if it's trying to backup using Time Machine at the same time as running an active mail server or web server. All the small file writes (I get thousands of spam messages a day - the server filters them out for me, but still has to write a file for each message received) can cause Time Machine to get into a race condition and block on I/O. If you monitor the I/O queue of a Mini Server using mechanical drives under high load (esp. email), and kick off Time Machine backup, the queue goes sky high. Solid state drives get the I/O out of the way an order of magnitude faster and make Time Machine a viable backup strategy along with full incremental scheduled backups (e.g. using CCC to remote storage).


Go on - get rid of that Windows VM, it's wasting power - control your FPGAs from Mac OS X Server itself. Are you running Snow Leopard Server? If you are, I can help since I'm running my FPGA off one of my Macs (not the Mini Server, though). I don't have Lion here yet and there are definitely Java changes in Lion that would affect the Ztex SDK IIRC. I'll have a go at that later Smiley

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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March 02, 2012, 06:48:56 PM
 #351

Quote from: catfish
My entire network is run by my Mac Mini Server, and due to the timing and prices of *good* SSDs when I bought it (the SandForce controllers hadn't been brought out, neither the Crucial series, and the OCZ Vertex was the only performance alternative but the chipset was developed by a small, little-known firm, Indilinx IIRC), it has two Intel X25-M SSDs in RAID-0. Running a main server on 'suicide RAID' would make most sysadmins foam at the mouth, but it's different with SSDs, since their failure mode is read-only. If the SSD dies, then you can still read your data off the broken RAID and copy onto new drives. And besides, we're all backing up our servers aren't we?
Not really related to FPGA but here goes :

That is total BS mate. You need to do some research.

The main thing that dies in current SSDs is the actual controller.

Also, endurance of the NAND ( how much charge remains in the NAND cells without them being powered ) decreases as you go through the P/E cycles.

This means that if you "burn" through the cycles ( often 5000 or 3000 for 34nm and 25nm NAND ) and keep the drives powered off for like a week then no data can be recovered at all as the cells lose their charge.

The read-only SSD death is a total myth AFAIK.

When it dies, it dies.
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March 02, 2012, 10:53:46 PM
 #352

It currently works with Icarus, X6500 and GPUs. It would be great if somebody could create a worker (or modify an existing worker) for the ZTEX board, do you have any pointers how to get started on this?

https://github.com/nelisky/Modular-Python-Bitcoin-Miner/tree/ztex

This is a very crude first attempt, many things are still missing, the devices need to be preflashed and the bitstreams must match the firmware. Only one device is supported (it does filter by serial, but then uses only the first device found) and the freq change algorithm from the error rate is much, much simpler than ztex's, and I only implemented the low speed FPGA config so far.

Next step would be multiple device suport but as I only have one currently I'm not going to blindly implement that. I might add to the code base to support more of ztex's original java source goodies ported to python, like the high speed config, but I'll be happy to pass that anyone else wanting to lend a hand.

Have fun (I'm mining on p2pool with my single ztex using this code right now).
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March 03, 2012, 03:40:04 AM
 #353

It currently works with Icarus, X6500 and GPUs. It would be great if somebody could create a worker (or modify an existing worker) for the ZTEX board, do you have any pointers how to get started on this?

https://github.com/nelisky/Modular-Python-Bitcoin-Miner/tree/ztex

This is a very crude first attempt, many things are still missing, the devices need to be preflashed and the bitstreams must match the firmware. Only one device is supported (it does filter by serial, but then uses only the first device found) and the freq change algorithm from the error rate is much, much simpler than ztex's, and I only implemented the low speed FPGA config so far.

Next step would be multiple device suport but as I only have one currently I'm not going to blindly implement that. I might add to the code base to support more of ztex's original java source goodies ported to python, like the high speed config, but I'll be happy to pass that anyone else wanting to lend a hand.

Have fun (I'm mining on p2pool with my single ztex using this code right now).

Job well done to get this kick started! I have downloaded your tree and tried to get it to work to no avail. It seems the fact that I am using Python 3.2.2 _may_ be the problem, since "invisible syntax" is no longer allowed with version 3. Or possibly it's because I am on Windows.

Code:
 File "C:\Users\master\Modular-Python-Bitcoin-Miner\worker\fpgamining\ztexdev.py", line 187
    self.checkCapability("CAPABILITY_FPGA");
                                           ^
TabError: inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation

As mentioned above, I am new to many things here, including Java and Python development. At first I copy and pasted your changes and files manually into my miner files, then I installed github to clone the complete tree. Same result. I also ran into some problems finding the modules, but adding the import statement (for ztexdev with path) into ztexworker.py fixed that.

I suggest to post this on the Modular-Python-Bitcoin-Miner thread as well, makes more sens to continue this over there without creating unnecessary clutter over here.

On a more positive sidenote, I have two more ZTEX 1.15x in the mail Wink
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March 03, 2012, 10:14:14 AM
 #354

There is an Open Source discount program: http://www.ztex.de/os_discount_program.e.html

For the implementation of ZTEX FPGA Board support for other Open Source bitcoin mining software I'm willing to give up to 100% OS discount for a single board.

But this is a lot of work because the ZTEX FPGA boards are more complex then competitor boards. Not just BTCMiner needs to be ported (host software is about 1800 lines) also a part of the SDK (host API is about 4700 lines)  needs to be rewritten if another language than Java is used.


I wonder why you ignored my inquiry about implementing MPBM support a couple of weeks ago then...

My tip jar: 13kwqR7B4WcSAJCYJH1eXQcxG5vVUwKAqY
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March 03, 2012, 12:15:54 PM
 #355

Job well done to get this kick started! I have downloaded your tree and tried to get it to work to no avail. It seems the fact that I am using Python 3.2.2 _may_ be the problem, since "invisible syntax" is no longer allowed with version 3. Or possibly it's because I am on Windows.

Code:
 File "C:\Users\master\Modular-Python-Bitcoin-Miner\worker\fpgamining\ztexdev.py", line 187
    self.checkCapability("CAPABILITY_FPGA");
                                           ^
TabError: inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation

As mentioned above, I am new to many things here, including Java and Python development. At first I copy and pasted your changes and files manually into my miner files, then I installed github to clone the complete tree. Same result. I also ran into some problems finding the modules, but adding the import statement (for ztexdev with path) into ztexworker.py fixed that.

I suggest to post this on the Modular-Python-Bitcoin-Miner thread as well, makes more sens to continue this over there without creating unnecessary clutter over here.

On a more positive sidenote, I have two more ZTEX 1.15x in the mail Wink


Thanks for spotting these, I have been lazy and copied much of the code from Ztex Java and then adapted in place, leaving some cruft behind. My branch has been updated with those removed.

But I'm confused, did you get it working at all? I don't yet do python 3 (too much critical code that breaks so it will not be an easy migration) but I might start using it for this Smiley
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March 03, 2012, 01:22:28 PM
 #356

@catfish:

I'm a windows guy and i need the windows 7 installation for other reasons:) It runs fine with the VM Config. I did it because my unix or linux (linux hates me .... every time i install it something unexplainable happens that i myself can't fix..... which annoyes the hell out of me and i end up using windows instead) skills are not that good and i do not have a clue how to compile BTCMiner for mac osx 10.7.3.

BTW if you use Snow Leopard Server DO NOT UPGRADE Lion..... Lion Server App is crap compared to Snow leopard. Apple messed it up completely.

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March 05, 2012, 12:46:26 AM
 #357

I have updated https://github.com/nelisky/Modular-Python-Bitcoin-Miner/tree/ztex with high speed FPGA configuration (which appears to be just as slow from my tests) and multi device hotplug support, though I only tested with my single board. Anyone having multiple ztex boards and wanting to experiment with MPBM, please give this a try and let me know.
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March 05, 2012, 10:38:06 AM
 #358

I wonder why you ignored my inquiry about implementing MPBM support a couple of weeks ago then...

Sorry, I did not ignored it. I read it as announcement.

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March 05, 2012, 06:32:58 PM
 #359

I wonder why you ignored my inquiry about implementing MPBM support a couple of weeks ago then...

Sorry, I did not ignored it. I read it as announcement.

Well, I don't remember the exact wording, but I think I asked for interface documentation and possibly access to a board back then.

MPBM v0.1.x is slowly maturing, if things go very well some preview release might be released during the next week. If not, it might have to wait until some time in May (I have some exams ahead...).
Currently I have to deal with the ztex worker module as a 3rd party worker module, I can't maintain it myself because I don't have a ztex board. This means that it's likely to not work anymore in v0.1.x (which is a radical redesign).

There are 3 options now:
  • Keep the ztex module as a community-maintained worker module (and hope nelisky will keep maintaining it)
  • Make it an official 3rd party worker module (maintained by ztex)
  • Make it a core MPBM module (maintained by me (I might need a board for that), and shipped with the official MPBM package)

@ztex: btw, does the USB core used in that cypress chip support interrupt endpoints? I'd really like to get rid of polling...

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March 06, 2012, 09:04:14 AM
 #360

There are 3 options now:
  • Keep the ztex module as a community-maintained worker module (and hope nelisky will keep maintaining it)
  • Make it an official 3rd party worker module (maintained by ztex)
  • Make it a core MPBM module (maintained by me (I might need a board for that), and shipped with the official MPBM package)

For me there is no reason to participate in development of some kind of software that does the same as BTCMiner. I will only support your software in frame of the OS discount program, see  http://www.ztex.de/os_discount_program.e.html for the conditions.

There is even a con:  ZTEX FPGA boards allow frequency scaling. Improper use of this feature may cause damage. This is mainly a warranty issue. (For that reason logging will become mandatory in the next BTCMiner release.)

Quote
@ztex: btw, does the USB core used in that cypress chip support interrupt endpoints? I'd really like to get rid of polling...

Interrupt transfers are supported by the SDK. But they (as any USB transfers) are initiated by the host, i.e. they do not avoid polling. Interrupt transfers only guarantee a certain latency.



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