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Author Topic: FPGA Information.  (Read 4242 times)
tnkflx
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March 14, 2012, 10:01:11 AM
 #1

Hi,

I was wondering 2 things regarding FPGAs:
- What is their resale value?
- What can you do with these boards besides mining?

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Dexter770221
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March 14, 2012, 01:58:29 PM
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-Depends on board. If it can be used to something else then resela value increases, someone want to buy for other purposes than mining.
-Again, depends on board. For sure you may crack WEP,WPA passwords on every board. On boards with lots of I/Os routed to external connectors (like Icarus) you may develop many useful designs. Simple game console, intelligent home computer, web serwer, router and so on, and on, and on...

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Wandering Albatross
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March 14, 2012, 04:01:01 PM
 #3

I got my hands on an FPGA just couple weeks ago. No experience before then. Mostly intellectual curiosity, which brought me to BTC too.
Anyway the description that made the most sense to me was to think of an FPGA as a processor with no instruction set, you design that and program the FPGA with your design. Where as a CPU, for example AMD Athlon, comes with an instruction set that's immutable/unchangeable.

Here's what I have gleaned regarding resale value of FPGAs, if the device has been programmed with an encrypted bitstream then only the original programmer can alter the design and so the FPGA has that limitation. BFL falls into this category from what I've read but not the other FPGA miners.

As for uses, they are limited by the device capabilities, as was said, and are practically infinite.

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pinarphan
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March 14, 2012, 04:28:59 PM
 #4

The investment payback is nearly 2 years on these boards unless I'm doing something wrong.  Seems nuts with Bitcoin's volatility....
Jay_Pal
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March 14, 2012, 07:51:53 PM
 #5

Well, you could make an MP3 player Tongue (Expensive one, although!)

http://hackaday.com/2012/03/13/playing-mp3s-from-an-fpga/

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n4l3hp
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April 02, 2012, 03:45:38 AM
 #6

Will all these FPGA boards run fine with a Pentium III system with 1.1 USB? I think my old P3S-1.4 is still around somewhere in the basement. The CPU according to CPU-World is only 30w.
bulanula
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April 02, 2012, 09:36:39 AM
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-Depends on board. If it can be used to something else then resela value increases, someone want to buy for other purposes than mining.
-Again, depends on board. For sure you may crack WEP,WPA passwords on every board. On boards with lots of I/Os routed to external connectors (like Icarus) you may develop many useful designs. Simple game console, intelligent home computer, web serwer, router and so on, and on, and on...

BS. BFL and encrypted bitstream = not possible "for sure"

Also, unless they explicitly provide the special WPA cracking bitstream then they are useless.

I don't know how to make my own bitstream and I doubt many of us here do ...
silverbox
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April 02, 2012, 02:52:36 PM
 #8

Hi,

I was wondering 2 things regarding FPGAs:
- What is their resale value?
- What can you do with these boards besides mining?

Your asking the wrong questions.  The resale value of FPGA's is about 100% at the present.  If bitcoin were to self destruct then, it would go down to maybe 10% Wink

Nothing of significance can be done with FPGA's besides mine.
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April 02, 2012, 02:59:42 PM
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Nothing of signifcance can be done with FPGA's besides mine.
Quite false. FPGAs are not only for mining, they can be programmed to do (almost) anything you want them to do. Indeed, products such as what Ztex sells, and the Icarus board are designed primarily as development boards. Others such as X6500 and BFL are more suited to mining only, but the chip can do many other things once it has been reprogrammed.

BS. BFL and encrypted bitstream = not possible "for sure"

Also, unless they explicitly provide the special WPA cracking bitstream then they are useless.

I don't know how to make my own bitstream and I doubt many of us here do ...
BS to you. While we don't know for certain what chip is in BFL's product, that does not mean that all FPGAs are single purpose. Even if an encrypted bitstream is used, it is possible to flash the chip with a non encrypted one. The purpose of the encryption is to prevent others from copying the bitstream, NOT to prevent the chip from being used for other purposes.

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April 02, 2012, 03:11:40 PM
 #10

Nothing of significance can be done with FPGA's besides mine.
Quite false. FPGAs are not only for mining, they can be programmed to do (almost) anything you want them to do. Indeed, products such as what Ztex sells, and the Icarus board are designed primarily as development boards. Others such as X6500 and BFL are more suited to mining only, but the chip can do many other things once it has been reprogrammed.


Fine, write me a contract to buy all my FPGA boards for full price in the event that Bitcoin goes belly up.  
lame.duck
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April 02, 2012, 09:07:21 PM
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Nothing of significance can be done with FPGA's besides mine.
Quite false. FPGAs are not only for mining, they can be programmed to do (almost) anything you want them to do. Indeed, products such as what Ztex sells, and the Icarus board are designed primarily as development boards. Others such as X6500 and BFL are more suited to mining only, but the chip can do many other things once it has been reprogrammed.


Fine, write me a contract to buy all my FPGA boards for full price in the event that Bitcoin goes belly up.  

So try to sell a used GPU that you used for mining at full price, and if you can't, we come to the conclusion that a GPU can't  be used for other purposes besides mining?

silverbox
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April 02, 2012, 09:53:17 PM
 #12

Used GPU's do sell for pretty much full price.

Lately used GPU's have been selling for somewhere between the new and the refurb price.  Especially 5 series cards.
bulanula
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April 03, 2012, 10:39:54 AM
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Nothing of signifcance can be done with FPGA's besides mine.
Quite false. FPGAs are not only for mining, they can be programmed to do (almost) anything you want them to do. Indeed, products such as what Ztex sells, and the Icarus board are designed primarily as development boards. Others such as X6500 and BFL are more suited to mining only, but the chip can do many other things once it has been reprogrammed.

BS. BFL and encrypted bitstream = not possible "for sure"

Also, unless they explicitly provide the special WPA cracking bitstream then they are useless.

I don't know how to make my own bitstream and I doubt many of us here do ...
BS to you. While we don't know for certain what chip is in BFL's product, that does not mean that all FPGAs are single purpose. Even if an encrypted bitstream is used, it is possible to flash the chip with a non encrypted one. The purpose of the encryption is to prevent others from copying the bitstream, NOT to prevent the chip from being used for other purposes.

Excuse my ignorance.

FPGA is the best thing ever.

GPUs are for people that don't know any better.

Anybody that is buying GPUs right now is pretty short sighted. Even with free electricity you can already see the effects of FPGA.

Difficulty insanely high at relatively low prices and also I believe we will see a FPGA on 28nm that will make the GPUs obsolete just like CPU ( even with cheap electric prices ).

Buy them all !!!
lame.duck
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April 03, 2012, 07:35:59 PM
 #14

Especially 5 series cards.

And now the question: do you really think this will be true if the bitcoin goes belly up? Or even in the mining reward drops to 25 BTC/Block (given the btc price will not  rise)?

silverbox
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April 03, 2012, 07:58:36 PM
 #15

nope.  GPU's will probably drop to 50-60% of new price on ebay for a few months then rise back to 70-80%.   


Thats not my point, my point is FPGA's will crash to ~zero value, because they have virtually no other use of significance..

If anyone thinks otherwise, feel free to write me a contract to purchase my fpga's in the event that bitcoin goes belly up.

dropt
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April 03, 2012, 10:02:05 PM
 #16

FPGA's will crash to ~zero value, because they have virtually no other use of significance..

That's not exactly true.  As rjk already pointed out, they have virtually no other use of significance outside of bitcoin if they're attached to the PCB's that we're using for mining (with the exception of Icarus).  FPGAs weren't invented to mine bitcoins, they were just adapted for that purpose.  Oddly enough, being adaptable for various purposes is *exactly* what FPGAs were designed for.  Pop the spartan chip off of there and attach it to some other purpose built PCB with an appropriate bitstream loaded onto it and it's a completely different functional unit.

They may be useless outside of mining to *you*, but I guarantee there's a whole other industry out there who will find value in them for more than crunching hashes. 
silverbox
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April 03, 2012, 10:49:44 PM
 #17

You seriously think a once used BGA FPGA has any value ??

Name one institution/entity that will pay any signifcant sum for a used BGA FPGA that has already been soldered in place.
Inspector 2211
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April 03, 2012, 11:15:21 PM
 #18

You seriously think a once used BGA FPGA has any value ??

Name one institution/entity that will pay any signifcant sum for a used BGA FPGA that has already been soldered in place.


One of them would be fairly useless.

Take 100, or better, 500, and they can be desoldered with a rework station, reballed and sold in bulk.
silverbox
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April 03, 2012, 11:55:23 PM
 #19

I agree in lots of 100 they may have some value, but the cost of reworking them, along with the fact that they are old tech, and newer better FPGA's are arriving will drive their price down to virtually nil.

dropt
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April 04, 2012, 12:28:58 AM
 #20

I agree in lots of 100 they may have some value, but the cost of reworking them, along with the fact that they are old tech, and newer better FPGA's are arriving will drive their price down to virtually nil.



Obviously you've done case study on the resale value of second hand FPGAs, care to link me to it?

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