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Author Topic: 1GH/s, 20w, $700 (was $500) — Butterflylabs, is it for real? (Part 2)  (Read 138736 times)
O_Shovah
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December 21, 2011, 08:10:28 AM
 #361


Icarus = 0.6 MH/$ --- Ships from China, does not include enclosure. Does ship with power supply and fans (although some say fans are loud)



Hi, bro.

Ships from China: sorry, i'm proud of Icarus as a MADE IN CHINA product, and i put my name on it. i think of Icarus as my son.

does not include enclosure: 1st batch shipped with a full dev kit, include a platform cable, software in a 8GB usb stick, cables, adapter and standard heatsink and fan. the fan is made by japanese manufacturers and is ball-bearing.

(although some say fans are loud): i can sleep with 2 boards mining in my bedroom. why not try to sleep with 2 mining HD5850s. Cheesy



I meant no offense on being from China, it sounds as if you took offense to that. For me, shipping products from China to the US has always been a nightmare, and so I usually avoid it. Thanks for the other info, but you never confirmed (or I may have missed it) that ALL future batches will also ship with the 8gb USB stick and other cables.

As for all the other FPGA's I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to do an apples-to-apples PERFORMANCE / PRICE comparison using the data we have confirmed to date. I do not make purchases or accusations based on emotions as it seems others have done in these crazy threads.  The more people scream SCAM!!! SCAM!! and WOLF!!! WOLF!!! without first having hard evidence, the less attractive bitcoin becomes to folks that are on the fence about it as a legitimate currency.  

Can someone provide me with solid proof, and not opinions, as to why Inaba's observations were not indeed true?  It also seems BFL has been running a legit operation so far. Granted, they have not come through with the expectations, but they were definately not trying to hide anything.  They also have been refunding all the money back to the skeptics that cancel their pre-orders.
Does anyone have any physical proof that BFL has indeed frauded anyone to date? I mean, have they taken money and ran? Have they not refunded the funds to the first group of people that wanted out due to the missed expectations?

I am asking these questions legitimately, since I am looking at investing a good bit of cash with an FPGA maker soon.

Also, what do you think BFL's competition will do once these units hit the market and perform great? Will they drop their prices to get more inline with the MH/$ that the Bitforce unit does? Will they try to develop a better FPGA?

BFL, have you guys copyrighted and/or patented your designs to keep other makers from copying your units once they are in the public?
I second that view.
I highly sympatisate with all enthusiastic FPGA board developers here on the forum since i started the same way,but BFL is still the only purely commercial solution on the market, am I right ?
So if it really would turn out to be easy to outperform them,we will certainly see another commercial competitor on the field soon.But i doubt that will happen within the next months.

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worldinacoin
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December 21, 2011, 10:57:43 AM
 #362


Icarus = 0.6 MH/$ --- Ships from China, does not include enclosure. Does ship with power supply and fans (although some say fans are loud)



Hi, bro.

Ships from China: sorry, i'm proud of Icarus as a MADE IN CHINA product, and i put my name on it. i think of Icarus as my son.

does not include enclosure: 1st batch shipped with a full dev kit, include a platform cable, software in a 8GB usb stick, cables, adapter and standard heatsink and fan. the fan is made by japanese manufacturers and is ball-bearing.

(although some say fans are loud): i can sleep with 2 boards mining in my bedroom. why not try to sleep with 2 mining HD5850s. Cheesy



Ipads, Iphones etc are all made in China, do not see anything wrong about Made in China products.  Though for me with regards to food, I would rather give China a miss after all those food scares, but for electronics, there is no way to escape the "Made In China" products.
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December 21, 2011, 11:41:18 AM
 #363

Still no news about the chip inside. I ( like many others on here, I suspect ) will not buy a product if I don't understand or know what is "under the hood". Good luck with the sales before somebody else much more serious comes on the scene and with reliable 28nm tech.
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December 21, 2011, 12:28:21 PM
 #364

I highly doubt we will see any FPGA board based on 28 nm FPGA in the near and midterm.
Currently the Spartan 6 is becoming widely avaidable for low volume customers.
It was officially launched two years ago.

The current 28 nm devices from Xilinx and Altera are announced for Q1 2012
and every IC producer is currently besieging TSMC to get some 28nm products(Ti, AMD,Xilinx,Altera,Nvidia ,....).
So make your own guess when we will see both competable prices and general avaidability.

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December 21, 2011, 12:44:26 PM
 #365

I second that view.
I highly sympatisate with all enthusiastic FPGA board developers here on the forum since i started the same way,but BFL is still the only purely commercial solution on the market, am I right ?
So if it really would turn out to be easy to outperform them,we will certainly see another commercial competitor on the field soon.But i doubt that will happen within the next months.

Um what does "purely commercial solution" mean?  Two guys in a loft w/ a corporation and domain name that didn't exist 6 months ago registered through a rent-an-agent service that anyone can use for $99 a year?

BTW ztek is a "commercial" entity and has been selling FPGA for years before Bitcoin even existed. 

http://www.ztex.de/
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December 21, 2011, 05:41:38 PM
 #366

I second that view.
I highly sympatisate with all enthusiastic FPGA board developers here on the forum since i started the same way,but BFL is still the only purely commercial solution on the market, am I right ?
So if it really would turn out to be easy to outperform them,we will certainly see another commercial competitor on the field soon.But i doubt that will happen within the next months.

Um what does "purely commercial solution" mean?  Two guys in a loft w/ a corporation and domain name that didn't exist 6 months ago registered through a rent-an-agent service that anyone can use for $99 a year?

BTW ztek is a "commercial" entity and has been selling FPGA for years before Bitcoin even existed. 

http://www.ztex.de/

so a prof website design is very important

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December 22, 2011, 02:45:28 AM
 #367

Still no news about the chip inside. I ( like many others on here, I suspect ) will not buy a product if I don't understand or know what is "under the hood". Good luck with the sales before somebody else much more serious comes on the scene and with reliable 28nm tech.
I wouldn't demand, nor expect, that BFL divulge that. What would be the benefit? Do you know what video processing chip is in your Dell U3011 monitor? What the model number is of the optical drive in your Oppo BDP-83 blu-ray player? What cpu powers your Siemens Gigaset cordless phone? I didn't think so.

But guess what: we buy those things anyway. And why? Because they are very good relative to their competition. In the end, it doesn't matter HOW a device achieves its performance; the key is simply that it DOES, and does so under favourable conditions (of price, noise, heat, size, etc.).

Really, does it really matter what FPGAs BFL uses in their product? If they manage to get 850+MHash/s @ <80W (and low noise and high reliability) isn't that what's really important? Does it matter if they use an Altera XYZ or a Xilinx QRS? I can understand being curious about it, but not to the point of NEEDING to know.

I'm sure once they start shipping, someone will do a "tear down", remove the heatsinks, and we'll all know what chip is being used. And 28nm tech? The unfortunate reality is that we're unlikely to see affordable 28nm FPGAs of any kind before the end of 2012.

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December 22, 2011, 03:02:50 AM
 #368

Really, does it really matter what FPGAs BFL uses in their product? If they manage to get 850+MHash/s @ <80W (and low noise and high reliability) isn't that what's really important? Does it matter if they use an Altera XYZ or a Xilinx QRS? I can understand being curious about it, but not to the point of NEEDING to know.
If we assume the product actually ships, we're looking at about 10 months mining to break even. What's the warranty, 6 months? How is that "high reliability"? There's a good chance they are driving the circuits so hard that it won't even last till break even.

That's why knowing what the chips are is necessary. Since they have less than no reputation, what chips they are using becomes partial validation to their claims.

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December 22, 2011, 03:18:24 AM
 #369

Really, does it really matter what FPGAs BFL uses in their product? If they manage to get 850+MHash/s @ <80W (and low noise and high reliability) isn't that what's really important? Does it matter if they use an Altera XYZ or a Xilinx QRS? I can understand being curious about it, but not to the point of NEEDING to know.
If we assume the product actually ships, we're looking at about 10 months mining to break even. What's the warranty, 6 months? How is that "high reliability"? There's a good chance they are driving the circuits so hard that it won't even last till break even.

That's why knowing what the chips are is necessary. Since they have less than no reputation, what chips they are using becomes partial validation to their claims.
Agreed. This is why I said if they manage high reliability. That is something yet to be proven. Ten months to break-even is not a slam dunk, but it's about as good as you can expect right now even with the most cost-efficient tech (putting together an 850MHash/s PC will also break-even in the 10-month ballpark). I also voiced my disappointment of the 6 month warranty; honestly I was surprised to see it that low and I hope BFL reconsiders. And, of course, the PC is likely to have a higher resale value than the BitForce Single.

I think the bottom line is that, whatever these chips turn out to be, many of us in the community won't be convinced of the reliability of these units until a number of them have been in the field for 6-12 months and we have hard numbers about their failure rate during that period.

That's part of why the decision to buy these is a difficult one: Buy now, take a risk, and start mining while the reward is 50BTC/block ... or wait 6-12 months to get clear evidence of their real-world performance and reliability (removing much of the risk) before buying, but hitting the 25BTC/block changeover that much sooner. These units may or may not flop; we simply don't know. And there is no way to know.

Obviously some people in this subforum have already placed preorders; and it is equally clear that some people will not do so until they have evidence that shipping product actually works in the field (and works reliably). I think a case can be made for both points of view.

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December 22, 2011, 03:30:17 AM
 #370

Has anyone looked into the square trade warranty?  Is it possible to get the extended warranty for the BFL Single? $85 for three years is not bad if honored by square trade.
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December 22, 2011, 03:51:04 AM
 #371

Has anyone looked into the square trade warranty?  Is it possible to get the extended warranty for the BFL Single? $85 for three years is not bad if honored by square trade.

Do they warranty random shit a dude builds in his garage?

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December 22, 2011, 03:55:01 AM
 #372

Has anyone looked into the square trade warranty?  Is it possible to get the extended warranty for the BFL Single? $85 for three years is not bad if honored by square trade.
Do they warranty random shit a dude builds in his garage?
That's the reason I'm asking? These insurance guys seem about as honest as bankers.  Once they have your money who knows?  What if they actually have to fulfill their contract?
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December 22, 2011, 05:25:03 AM
 #373

Hi guys,

Regarding the warranty period.  These are solid state devices which aren't 'overclocked' to achieve their performance as some have suggested.  After an initial use burn in test, reliability expectations should be extremely high and no different than a new computer purchase.  

So why are we offering a six month warranty?  Well, let's look at that...  Firstly, I believe 180 days is longer than any other offering in this new class of mining hardware.  (please correct me if I'm wrong, ztex & ngzhang).  Also, right here in this forum, miners are happily snapping up GPU's with less coverage.  See the brand new 5870's advertised in another thread with only 90 days warranty.  (granted, it's a good price but it's still only a 90 day warranty).

I think our six month warranty is pretty good and it goes a long way to establish a high level of confidence in the product. Why not longer then?  Because this is a specialty device in a particularly volatile market who's future is unknown.  It's not inconceivable to imagine a scenario where bogus warranty claims are filed as newer generation units are introduced or market conditions change general interest levels.  As a business, it makes sense to anticipate these factors.  The bottom line is that if your BitForce unit works well for six months under continuous use, there's no reason not to expect it to keep working reliably for the next decade and beyond.

Regards,
BFL

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December 22, 2011, 10:02:08 AM
 #374

for the 5870 its a 90 day warranty by the website it still holds a 2+ year warranty yes its a little harder to get it bc there usally oem vizontek cards wich you need your receipt to get the warranty but ive have had no problem getting my cards warranted.

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December 22, 2011, 10:35:54 AM
 #375

28nm FPGA's are already avaible. Digikey yesterday have few Kintexes XC7K325 (today they gone). Board design, assembly and synthesis of current code shouldn't take more then month. But it not be economical without new code (maybe 500MH/s).

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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December 22, 2011, 01:27:09 PM
 #376

BitForce unit reliability insights:
 
Regarding our units reliability, we must first consider the environment and conditions under which these units have been operating so far. The system actually consumes about 80 watts of power. The 1.1V core voltage regulator on the prototype system was designed with only 50A (around 55Watts) in mind. The power brick is rated at only 48 watts. As is clear, the system has been running over-currented (by some 20A) both on regulator side and PSU side (32 watts on PSU).
 
In one test, under these harsh conditions, our units have been running without the smallest issue for more than 72 hours without interruption. The temperature on chips barely reach 62 Degrees Celsius, and on power-mosfets they reach near 100 degrees (Max Allowable on MOSFETs is 150). The chips are not reaching this temperature by themselves, but it is the heat from the MOSFETs that are transfered to the chips through the power plane.
 
Having passed all our tests without any problem, it is possible to say that the life expectancy of these units surpass an ordinary computer due to all of the safety margins that are taken into consideration. Furthermore, since both power-regulator and PSU are overcurrented in our prototype unit, their efficiency is reduced to under 70% instead of 85%+. This does mean that the chips themselves are not really consuming 80 watts, but more like 60 watts, and the rest of the power is converted into heat (both in power-brick and regulator on board) due to overcurrenting in our actual prototypes.
 
Regarding BitForce vs. GPU reliability, we must say that the GPU has a much greater risk of failure. It is not uncommon to have graphic cards failing without any explanation. Since graphic cards have to regulate huge amounts of current to support their power-hungry processors (exceeding 400 amperes in some cases), their power regulation system is constantly under threat of capacitor failure due to power-surges in switching-cycles or GPU pipeline/shader on-and-off step transitions.
 
Our production system that is currently in manufacture for delivery, has two regulators on board, supporting max 120A of current implemented as a safety margin. The PSU shipped with the units will be equally supporting up to 135 Watts. This large gap between unit consumption and maximum supported power, ensures high-efficiency, less heat generation and extremely low risk of failure.  The production system will be accompanied by a nearly-silent 28dB fan and an on-board temperature giving miners the ability to monitor on-board temperature in real-time as well as providing auto shut down capability in the event of fan failure.

Butterfly Labs  -  www.butterflylabs.com  -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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December 22, 2011, 01:37:33 PM
 #377

We need to know what the chip under the hood is.

Couple of reasons :

-maybe these were sourced from Libya / Egypt and there may be some ethical issues there
-this is not something insignificant but the main component of the Bitforce product
-how reliable is this going to be and how long will it last
-can it be repurposed for some other computation ?

Basically, compared to GPUs, with these you are screwed in terms of warranty and reselling. If you don't get your money off them in time or they break you are royally screwed. Will BFL Labs really afford to honor them warranties when they are still sucking off pre-order money ( around $50 000 ) ? Will the boxes last enough to reach break even ? Only time will tell.

I gotta give them this though : good idea for the swappable 80mm fan. Will opening the unit and changing that dead fan affect the warranty ? Thank you !
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December 22, 2011, 01:49:56 PM
 #378

The PSU shipped with the units will be equally supporting up to 135 Watts.

Hi BFL, what input voltage can the PSUs shipping with the units handle?

My cheapest electricity is at 208v currently and I am hoping your PSUs can handle 120v-240v like a computer PSU.

Thanks.
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December 22, 2011, 01:56:03 PM
 #379

In one test, under these harsh conditions, our units have been running without the smallest issue for more than 72 hours without interruption. The temperature on chips barely reach 62 Degrees Celsius, and on power-mosfets they reach near 100 degrees (Max Allowable on MOSFETs is 150). The chips are not reaching this temperature by themselves, but it is the heat from the MOSFETs that are transfered to the chips through the power plane.

Would you allow Inaba to keep a unit overnight (or weekend) so he can run a 24/72 hour continual usage test.  I trust Inaba testing more than any internal testing you have done.  Your internal testing lead to a claim of 1.05GH @ 19.8W.  Inaba testing revealed the real performance specs

Even better would you consider giving Inaba a unit in compensation for all the work & time he has put into providing third party testing/assurances/validation.
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December 22, 2011, 01:56:59 PM
 #380

The PSU shipped with the units will be equally supporting up to 135 Watts.

Hi BFL, what input voltage can the PSUs shipping with the units handle?

My cheapest electricity is at 208v currently and I am hoping your PSUs can handle 120v-240v like a computer PSU.

Thanks.

Good question although I would imagine they are using an off the shelf switching powersupply and they almost universally support 120v-240v.
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