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Author Topic: FPGA development board "Icarus" - DisContinued/ important announcement  (Read 128578 times)
ngzhang
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November 09, 2011, 05:29:57 PM
 #1

important announcement:

3rd batch is over.

if you ordered but have no payment inform response, this may cause by my negligence. first i apologize for the careless.
all bulk order shipped, and there are still a few boards left for small orders, they can be shipped in 2-3 days.
if you still want it, please sent me a PM or email ASAP.

if you payed but didn't get my shipment confirmation (include a tracking NO.), this may cause by my negligence. first i apologize for the careless.
please notice me by PM ASAP!

there will be NO batch4 for Icarus project.
and i still have some boards on my hands, but i will reserve them for testing and replace purpose. if you want one eagerly, please feel free to mail me.  Grin

i will take a month break and put most of energy on my next product. and the improvement the bitsteam.
i'm very happy to announce here. next product will begin to use a new name:

Lancelot

any performance index is still a secret. but will be still an open sourced project. and it's original bitsteam will compatibility with present Icarus.

check it here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=79835.0


regards.

-----------------------------------------------------------separation line--------------------------------------------

After months of work, finally I build a FPGA mining cluster using the board "Icarus".
each board has 2 XC6SLX150 -2FGG484I on it, generates a 380MH/s hashing power. 19.2W (full load working) / 3.4W (idle) power consuming (board input, without fan). here a detail spec table:

Technology: Spartan6 -LX150 -2I (or -3C)
speed (MH/s): 380
$: 569 (1) / 469$ (multiple of 30) (-5$ if you do not need the adapter, recommend for bulk orders, they are heavy)
W: 4.5 for idle / 21 for full load. (notice this is the on wall power, include the adapter losses and fan)





different form other's design, I put much more(100+) GPIOs on this board, and planty of interconnect wires between the 2 FPGAs(50+). most of them are routed as diff-pairs. and this board has a 6 layers PCB.

the core-voltage regulator can offer up to 15A current for each FPGA, and the VCCIO(3.3V)/ VCCAUX(2.5V) is 3A each. All capacitors are solid, even I used 2 Tantalum polymer capacitors (2R5TPE680MFL) for the core_voltage.

a simple USB-UART interface is also on board.





any questions are welcome.

PS: English is really not my native language.  

EDIT@2012/1/2:

By optimized mining script, Icarus now can mining quite stable and efficiency.


notice that worker 21and22 are 2X HD6870s@295MHs/card for compare.

long pool is supported by MPBM 0.04 and cgminer . mining chain connection is only support 2 FPGAs (1 board).

a better mining control logic and script is still under development, but present system really works well.

Icarus is a GPL open sourced project, all data about Icarus was public, include all SCHs, ISE projects, etc. this design in under the Hardware Design Public License Version 0.04.

This is the link:

https://github.com/ngzhang/Icarus

This products is highly recommended for fpga developer and hardcore minners.


pre-order price is 569$/each.
DEV kit is 69$/each.
80pin TE 1734037 and 1734099 connector is 10$/ pair. (no use for mining, just for DIY)

240pin DDR-3 DIMM connector is 5$/ each. (no use for mining, just for DIY)



payment accept:
BTC, by the dynamic exchange rate, no extra fees.
mtgox $, no extra fees.
LR account, no extra fees.
paypal , add 10% charge. (because paypal charges nearly 10%)
no amount discount and edu discount.


order details:

1, read and comprehend sections below:
    A: Icarus is a development platform, and it's a good evaluation board. i designed this hardware not only for bitcoin mining, but also for developers.
    B: I'm not good at software. so the original mining software is not good enough, so i suggest to use 3rd party miner instead .
    C: warranty for this product. before shipping, all boards test for weeks. and please test them in 48Hrs after you received them. if any hardware fault happened, you can send it to me and i'll repair it if i can, you only need pay the parts cost and factory cost and shipment cost.
    D: now, chain mode is not support, so a USB cable is needed for each board.
    E: additional @ any time.

2, the 2nd batch is over, and 3rd batch delivery may start at mid- Feb. ~ end of Feb..

3, each buyer can buy 5 boards at most. each board include a USB cable, standard cooling system(heatsink and fan), a 12V/2A wall adapter. boards are programmed and open-box can use.

4, DEV kit include a XILINX platform cable USB, a USB stick with XILINX ISE 13.2/ altium 10/ synplify 2011.03, modelsim 10, all with crack but use as your own risk, commercial use is  illegal in my country (but legal for personal use in my country )) .

5, shipment cost and tax is pay by customer. shipping is using EMS, you can inquire the shipping cost at China EMS official  site:

http://www.ems.com.cn/serviceguide/zifeichaxun/e_zi_fei_cha_xun.html

6, only first batch buyers enjoy a 10% discount. 512$/each!

7, if you want to pre-order, write an e-mail to:  ngzhang1983@msn.com   at any time.
    Chinese is the preferred langue, if you can not type chinese, please write it in simple english. any loses caused by mis-understanding will assume by you. in this email, give me your shipment address, i will check it for the shipment cost. please follow this format:

A: what you want, and quantity.
B: your address:
       name:
       company(optional):
       house number, street number, district:
       city:
       province:
       country:
       ZIP:
       TEL:
C: pre-order fee is 0 now/ each

i reserve the rights to choice my customers.

8, the hardware design file is released, so check it and buy it as your own risk. (check my signature)

9, the theory mining hash rate is 380MH/s, guarantied. but will lose some speed lie in network issues. at a good network connection, a real world hashing speed is around 375+ MH/s, and low stale rate.

10, new miner code and software code will release @ github.

11, 1st and 2nd batch boards are all shipped out!

12, small orders payment is BTC or LR or mtgox$. Paypal is supported too, but will cost a extra fee. bulk orders ( >1000$ ) i suggest use wire transfer.

13, before shipment, Icarus has already write a original firmware in its config flash rom, this firmware can be updated using a xilinx platform cable and impact software.  i'm very happy to see third party firmwares and additional components .

14, shipment require a paid in full. if you has doubts ,please use paypal. or "alipay" (some thing like paypal and origin in china ).

15, if you send me a pre-order email, but don't receive a reply in 24H, there must be some trouble on the mail system, i'm  in china ,you know. so please give me a PM.

16, 12V/2A adapter is really enough now. and a 12V/3.33A adapter is prepared for the future.

ADD@1/19

a simple GUIDE for the new firmware and miner. notice that all 2nd batch boards shipped out with the new firmware.
1, download and install python 2.7

http://python.org/getit/

2, install serial / jsonrpc / curses lib into the python27/Lib folder. if you can not find them on the internet , please email me, i will give you them via email.

3, download and install the USB_UART driver, it's PL2303HXD:

http://www.prolific.com.tw/eng/downloads.asp?id=31

4, edit the miner.bat and start to mine!


ADD@1/28

some proposal of heat control.

the boards and standard cooling system is tested under the ambient temperature of 23 centigrade. if your temp is over 30 centigrade, an additional cooling is recommended. an airflow pass the whole board is a good choice.

notice the power module is very heatproof, but the FPGA will generate error data when they reach a high temperature. a simple method to sense if the temperature is touch the back side of the PCB, just under the FPGA chip. notice before do this you need a electro static discharge.
if you can not hold your finger at  the back side of the FPGA for 3 seconds. then a additional cooling is needed.
the FPGA chip uses whole PCB for heat dissipation, so an airflow passing the PCB is more important than the fan above the heat-sink.


Icarus communication protocol

this specification is for anyone who want to write their own miner or want to add support for icarus.

this device is designed as  "the simplest is the best" idea.
the FPGAs on board or even in chain mode (under development) , act as a single miner to the uart port. when the board connect to a PC, it recognized as a ttyUSB device, or "COM*" on windows PC.
how to operate:
1, no detection is needed (no special command for this).  
2, sending work data:
  each data packet is 512bit (64 byte) length. the format is : 256bits MIDSTATE + 160bits fill bits(can be any value) + 96bits data (last 12 bytes of block header). over.
3, sending back the results:
  if the fpga found a valid nonce, they will send back the 32bits nonce result immediately. no any query protocol is implemented here.

so a simple work process is described below:

send a work pass the COM port, start a timer and a listener on the COM port.
if any data send back by the COM port, then this is a valid nonce. push a new work to the FPGA and send the result back to the pool.
if no data send back in 11.3 seconds (a full cover time on 32bit nonce range by 380MH/s speed), send another work.

some point:
1,FPGA will start the calculate when you push a work to them, even they are busy. that means if a block has been found, the miner could push a new immediately to overlap the old work in the fpga.
2,the 2 fpgas on one board will distribute the 32bit nonce to calculate. one will calculate the 0 ~ 7FFFFFFF, and the other will cover the 80000000 ~ FFFFFFFF. so if you want to do any performance measure on this device, please notice this feature.
3,FPGA will stop work when: a valid nonce has been found or 32 bits nonce range is completely calculated. notice that it's possible for 2 FPGA both find valid nonce in the meantime, the 2 valid nonce will all be send back.

ADD@2/2/2012
3rd batch is going smoothly. the production will start around Feb.14, and the shipment will start around Feb.20. maybe sooner or later.
due to lack of spartan-6 LX150 FPGA chips, order a large quantity of FPGAs take a longer time.
all other components are on their way and will on my hand this week.
i delayed some bulk orders, so if you just order for a few boards, you will not be affected. the shipment date will around Feb.20
i will inform you when the boards are come out, if you pre-ordered before. in order to simplify the ordering process, I decide to cancel the pre-order payment flow for small quantity orders . I just start the production, and you just need to pay once after the final test, when the boards are ready for shipping.

ADD@2/15/2012
sorry every one. my plan is start and finish the production today (100+ boards only need 1-2 days for production), but one of my spartan6 package(120 chips) stuck at the customs until now, it should be in my hands the day before yesterday.
i contact with my supplier and they sad the pack will arrive my home around next Tuesday.
so it looks like our plan must delay for about 1 week.

I am very sorry for the delay caused by force majeure. Embarrassed

ADD@2/18/2012
3rd batch production start today. SMT is over, and the DIP soldering needs 2 more days. at my request, i got 5 of them today, and will test them tonight. 3rd batch have some BOM change.

ADD@2/20/2012
5 boards running happily.

ADD@2/29/2012

i already send out mails to any pre-order BEFORE 2/5 . shipment is over today.

i will start to process pre-order after 2/6 soon.

may additional @ any time.

CEO of Canaan-creative, Founder of Avalon project.
All PMs will be unread.
http://avalon-asics.com/      http://downloads.canaan-creative.com/
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November 09, 2011, 05:34:07 PM
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sounds really great!

keep us informed!

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November 09, 2011, 05:34:50 PM
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 Cheesy sexy. Good work !

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November 09, 2011, 05:40:35 PM
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Icarus will for sell in a few days.

price?  just guess.

Hopefully <$500 per unit?

Any plans to have volume pricing?

Gerald Davis  CEO, Tangible Cryptography Inc.
BitSimple. A simpler way to buy and sell bitcoins
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November 09, 2011, 06:09:59 PM
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Good to see the results of your work  Smiley
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November 09, 2011, 07:53:40 PM
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the slot is to connect to a motherboard? so would not need either USB and power cable?

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November 09, 2011, 07:58:45 PM
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This looks great. Wouldnt it be possible to run this with passive cooler?
Whats the price going to be?

Design a cool Bitcoin-shirt but screw it up because of your bad orthography. Then, sell it on Amazon! *lol*

Guide: Mine Bitcoins with free electricity using a custom build solar-power-plant
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November 09, 2011, 07:59:53 PM
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WOW should have told us this is NSFW geek pron Grin !

Will it be able to compete with BFL creation though Huh

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=48863.0 Grin
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November 09, 2011, 08:38:16 PM
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the slot is to connect to a motherboard? so would not need either USB and power cable?

Doesn't look like any of the traces from DIMM connector reach the USB microcontroller.  It does look like it could get power from the edge connector though.  That combined with a convenient way of mounting multiple cards would make the backplane worth it.  If backplane handled data to well that would just be awesome.

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BitSimple. A simpler way to buy and sell bitcoins
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November 09, 2011, 09:21:16 PM
 #10

This really is an exciting development. Board looks very nice compared to other hacks.

What is price ?

What is memory connector for ? I think it is just for the power and the data uses USB.
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November 09, 2011, 10:00:35 PM
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I'm hoping this will be the unit that puts us at $2/Mhash... so $600 would be perfection Wink

EDIT: Math fail Wink
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November 09, 2011, 10:01:51 PM
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I'm hoping this will be the unit that puts us at $2/Mhash... so $200 would be perfection Wink

Those two sentences do not computer.  $2/MH * 360MH = ? ? ?

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November 09, 2011, 10:04:43 PM
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$600 is too damn high LOL Shocked

Hoping for maximum of $360 so it gets that magical $1/Mh rate.
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November 09, 2011, 10:08:18 PM
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When this is intended as a bitcoin miner, why the 6 layer pcb?

Heck, I can imagine it would be doable on a double layer board with minimal I/O, if not even single layer if the power for both chips can be supplied by a single power converter. The thing I want is a pcie card with nothing on it except 2 fpgas, and the power circuit.

I am willing to bet this can be done with double layer and around USD 1/mhash.

From the immortal Dumb and Dumber "Were in a hole... We just gotta dig ourselves out"
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November 09, 2011, 10:19:37 PM
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Great work.
For a such heavy routing 6 layer PCB its necessary. I'm waiting for a price...
I like the idea for routing I/Os, maybe I buy one... If you will sell those..
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November 09, 2011, 11:32:27 PM
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  Excellent work, Ngzhang!!


  Speculation on price; Those particular spartans are $158 for <60, the boards have a LOT of components and the PCBs not cheap. High amp regulator $30+. Maybe saved a few bukcs on a low end uart? Not seeing it but am not real familiar with them. Not sure if he has a license fee attached but will add it in case.


  builders markup included result = XLX $386, PCB+License $145, Components $110, usb and power cable $7

 =   ~$648  or $1.80/MH 

Did I miss any thing?

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 09, 2011, 11:35:29 PM
 #17

  Excellent work, Ngzhang!!


  Speculation on price; Those particular spartans are $158 for <60, the boards have a LOT of components and the PCBs not cheap. High amp regulator $30+. Maybe saved a few bukcs on a low end uart? Not seeing it but am not real familiar with them. Not sure if he has a license fee attached but will add it in case.


  builders markup included result = XLX $386, PCB+License $145, Components $110, usb and power cable $7

 =   ~$648  or $1.80/MH 

Did I miss any thing?

IMHO that is enormous price if it were true. I was hoping $1/Mh was the maximum price point. Guess not ... Sad
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November 09, 2011, 11:37:46 PM
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  Excellent work, Ngzhang!!


  Speculation on price; Those particular spartans are $158 for <60, the boards have a LOT of components and the PCBs not cheap. High amp regulator $30+. Maybe saved a few bukcs on a low end uart? Not seeing it but am not real familiar with them. Not sure if he has a license fee attached but will add it in case.


  builders markup included result = XLX $386, PCB+License $145, Components $110, usb and power cable $7

 =   ~$648  or $1.80/MH 

Did I miss any thing?

IMHO that is enormous price if it were true. I was hoping $1/Mh was the maximum price point. Guess not ... Sad

  I am hopefully wayy off.  My price speculation is bloated so I don't get my hopes up too much. ;p

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 09, 2011, 11:43:23 PM
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IMHO that is enormous price if it were true. I was hoping $1/Mh was the maximum price point. Guess not ... Sad

The FPGA alone is going to be $150 ea.  So @ 180MH just the FGPA is $0.83 per MH.  Kinda unlikely that everything else including PCB, minor components, USB interface, assembly, and retail markup are <$0.17 per MH.

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November 10, 2011, 12:57:05 AM
 #20

Oooo, those are sexy
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