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Author Topic: [ANN] OpenBitASIC : The Open Source Bitcoin ASIC Initiative  (Read 47277 times)
bulanula
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June 19, 2012, 04:06:35 PM
 #181

They actually said "LATE October". I'm pretty sure that means AT BEST a November delivery date - that's if everything goes according to plan. Which I'm pretty sure won't. So late November/December wouldn't be too far-fetched as an estimated delivery date.

Also, keep in mind, the specs could be different than what they announced.

I would be more inclined to believe it means they will be announcing pre-orders at that time. At this point in time their product exists only on software design. And yea, no way to verify specs until they get their first prototype which will likely be some time clsoe to Oct/Nov.


Gusti, did you get a chance to look at the link that Bulana posted for Easic? http://www.easic.com/press-releases/easic-announces-easicopy-asic/

Yeah. Thanks for posting that link again.

Seems I am so ignored nobody in the whole forum reads anything I post anymore.

Maybe I should just stop posting Cry

Does anyone think they are using easic.com Huh
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June 19, 2012, 04:14:58 PM
 #182

sadpandatech@
bulanula@

We talked with easic and solution was not suitable, I cannot give more details due to NDA restraints.


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June 19, 2012, 04:17:56 PM
 #183

sadpandatech@
bulanula@

We talked with easic and solution was not suitable, I cannot give more details due to NDA restraints.



ahh, shame to hear. We will keep looking. A few months back I was looking through smaller companies that had similar offerings. If I can track them down again I will share.

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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June 19, 2012, 05:07:15 PM
 #184

We talked with easic and solution was not suitable, I cannot give more details due to NDA restraints.
Well, I'm not under an NDA, but I'm somewhat familiar with the business.

Full open sourcing is a non-starter for any semiconductor vendor manufacturing on any modern, close-to-the-edge process. Too much proprietary information would have gotten disclosed about the process, the problems with it, testing structures used to monitor yield, etc.

I'm thinking of several possible ways forward:

1) deliberately use any somewhat-obsolete process that doesn't disclose much about the fabrication that is already otherwise known;
2) make the project only partially open-source, beyond certain point everything becomes closed source and the only remaining openness is in ability to order the finished product by somebody else than the original designer;
3) deliberately derate the performance by using semi-custom design methodology (cell-library) and incorporate some internal speed-limiter or contiguous self-test with auto-disable when operated out of the agreed specification.

One way that I know we could not apply into this project is:

4) lease the chips from the semiconductor vendor instead of buying them. The chips could be only used in the approved equipment and would have to be returned to the vendor for destruction upon the completion of their expected lifetime. This way the vendor gets a protection against reverse engineering of their process and fabrication facilities.

I still wish good luck to gusti, his undertaking is far away from the usual stuff that the semiconductor vendors hear all the time.

Please comment, critique, criticize or ridicule BIP 2112: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=54382.0
Long-term mining prognosis: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91101.0
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June 19, 2012, 05:15:28 PM
 #185

I think 2) is the most likely and useful to everyone involved. I think the goal is for anyone to be able to order the devices without needing a redesign or any additional NRE.

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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June 19, 2012, 06:24:07 PM
 #186

We talked with easic and solution was not suitable, I cannot give more details due to NDA restraints.
Well, I'm not under an NDA, but I'm somewhat familiar with the business.

Full open sourcing is a non-starter for any semiconductor vendor manufacturing on any modern, close-to-the-edge process. Too much proprietary information would have gotten disclosed about the process, the problems with it, testing structures used to monitor yield, etc.

I'm thinking of several possible ways forward:

1) deliberately use any somewhat-obsolete process that doesn't disclose much about the fabrication that is already otherwise known;
2) make the project only partially open-source, beyond certain point everything becomes closed source and the only remaining openness is in ability to order the finished product by somebody else than the original designer;
3) deliberately derate the performance by using semi-custom design methodology (cell-library) and incorporate some internal speed-limiter or contiguous self-test with auto-disable when operated out of the agreed specification.

One way that I know we could not apply into this project is:

4) lease the chips from the semiconductor vendor instead of buying them. The chips could be only used in the approved equipment and would have to be returned to the vendor for destruction upon the completion of their expected lifetime. This way the vendor gets a protection against reverse engineering of their process and fabrication facilities.

I still wish good luck to gusti, his undertaking is far away from the usual stuff that the semiconductor vendors hear all the time.

Couldn't they work with or knick ideas from OpenRISC ASIC  - http://opencores.org/donation - I'm not expert but seems like the only other opensource ASIC project?

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June 19, 2012, 06:31:43 PM
 #187

Couldn't they work with or knick ideas from OpenRISC ASIC  - http://opencores.org/donation - I'm not expert but seems like the only other opensource ASIC project?
Not the only, by any means. Take for instance the SPARC T1/T2: relatively modern high-performance processors developed by Sun, all open source. http://www.opensparc.net/

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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June 19, 2012, 06:33:09 PM
 #188

Couldn't they work with or knick ideas from OpenRISC ASIC  - http://opencores.org/donation - I'm not expert but seems like the only other opensource ASIC project?
Not the only, by any means. Take for instance the SPARC T1/T2: relatively modern high-performance processors developed by Sun, all open source. http://www.opensparc.net/

Yeah but that's a CPU this is in ASIC isn't it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCores#OpenRISC_ASIC

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June 19, 2012, 06:37:59 PM
 #189

Couldn't they work with or knick ideas from OpenRISC ASIC  - http://opencores.org/donation - I'm not expert but seems like the only other opensource ASIC project?
Not the only, by any means. Take for instance the SPARC T1/T2: relatively modern high-performance processors developed by Sun, all open source. http://www.opensparc.net/

Yeah but that's a CPU this is in ASIC isn't it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCores#OpenRISC_ASIC
Remember that ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit.... A CPU uses the same technologies as any other custom and application specific chip, it just is more general in purpose and application.

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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June 19, 2012, 06:43:30 PM
 #190

We talked with easic and solution was not suitable, I cannot give more details due to NDA restraints.
Well, I'm not under an NDA, but I'm somewhat familiar with the business.

Full open sourcing is a non-starter for any semiconductor vendor manufacturing on any modern, close-to-the-edge process. Too much proprietary information would have gotten disclosed about the process, the problems with it, testing structures used to monitor yield, etc.

I'm thinking of several possible ways forward:

1) deliberately use any somewhat-obsolete process that doesn't disclose much about the fabrication that is already otherwise known;
2) make the project only partially open-source, beyond certain point everything becomes closed source and the only remaining openness is in ability to order the finished product by somebody else than the original designer;
3) deliberately derate the performance by using semi-custom design methodology (cell-library) and incorporate some internal speed-limiter or contiguous self-test with auto-disable when operated out of the agreed specification.

One way that I know we could not apply into this project is:

4) lease the chips from the semiconductor vendor instead of buying them. The chips could be only used in the approved equipment and would have to be returned to the vendor for destruction upon the completion of their expected lifetime. This way the vendor gets a protection against reverse engineering of their process and fabrication facilities.

I still wish good luck to gusti, his undertaking is far away from the usual stuff that the semiconductor vendors hear all the time.

Couldn't they work with or knick ideas from OpenRISC ASIC  - http://opencores.org/donation - I'm not expert but seems like the only other opensource ASIC project?


Good find.  Pick their brains!
tgmarks
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June 19, 2012, 08:25:48 PM
 #191

gusti,  is their anything the average user can do right now to support this project and help to push it along?

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June 19, 2012, 08:41:51 PM
 #192

Agreed, I am happy to do anything possible to accelerate this and put BFL out of business. It disgusts me as a business owner that greedy/ignorant miners have allowed them to flourish with completely unethical business practices.

The purpose behind bitcoin was freedom from a centralized financial system. Let's not give in to a system ruled by a few or possibly one hardware manufacturer.

ASIC is great for bitcoin, let's just try to do it in a way that serves as many people's interests as possible with a goal of large scale mining decentralization.
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June 19, 2012, 10:42:42 PM
 #193

same here Smiley ill save up some btw or even money to get them a fair competitor?  GLBSR funding !

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June 19, 2012, 10:46:26 PM
 #194

DMC will probably end up buying from... well... anybody but BFL.

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June 19, 2012, 10:49:04 PM
 #195

If open asic doesn't get funding we (or i) could simply invest into your company (don't expect to much, since I'm only a small scale miner Cheesy)

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June 20, 2012, 01:23:28 AM
 #196

Many thanks for all the support, just a couple of important clarifications. This project started as an answer to another project claiming it will takeover the whole mining ecosystem, with ASIC devices that would not be available for purchasing by other miners. It is also an answer to some vendors shady business practices.

Overall goal is that project remains as open and transparent as possible, without compromising it or giving to opportunistic newcomer any access to vital information.

As stated before, the technical design, which is not a community one, was completed by Jason, and will be open sourced at some point of the project. A company is already setup in Hong Kong, to take advantage of low taxes and proximity to chinese manufacturers. Business plan is ready for investors. At some point, any miner and investor will be invited to buy shares in the company, and/or buy devices in advance.

At this moment we are negotiating with 3 different ASIC manufacturers, which cannot be disclosed, for the lower NRE and per device cost. Once agreement is signed, the remaining business details will be defined and presented to the community.





 

 


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bitlane
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June 20, 2012, 01:30:40 AM
 #197

Many thanks for all the support, just a couple of important clarifications. This project started as an answer to another project claiming it will takeover the whole mining ecosystem, with ASIC devices that would not be available for purchasing by other miners. It is also an answer to some vendors shady business practices.

It will be nice to see a group/organization knock Vladimiar and BFL down a few pegs.....not mentioning any names of course Wink

THIS is the TRUE Spirit of the Bitcoin Project - OPENasic Wink

You guys are an inspiration to us all. I am happy to see this project.

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June 20, 2012, 02:26:11 AM
 #198

Many thanks for all the support, just a couple of important clarifications. This project started as an answer to another project claiming it will takeover the whole mining ecosystem, with ASIC devices that would not be available for purchasing by other miners. It is also an answer to some vendors shady business practices.

Overall goal is that project remains as open and transparent as possible, without compromising it or giving to opportunistic newcomer any access to vital information.

As stated before, the technical design, which is not a community one, was completed by Jason, and will be open sourced at some point of the project. A company is already setup in Hong Kong, to take advantage of low taxes and proximity to chinese manufacturers. Business plan is ready for investors. At some point, any miner and investor will be invited to buy shares in the company, and/or buy devices in advance.

At this moment we are negotiating with 3 different ASIC manufacturers, which cannot be disclosed, for the lower NRE and per device cost. Once agreement is signed, the remaining business details will be defined and presented to the community.



gusti.  Would it be possible to disclose general pricing expectations along with level of financial support you would be seeking from the community.

I only ask so to address the specific fear of an initial price point sufficiently high enough to pose a risk of severe depreciation as difficulty aligns with an ASIC powered network capacity.
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June 20, 2012, 04:54:47 AM
 #199

Agreed, I am happy to do anything possible to accelerate this and put BFL out of business. It disgusts me as a business owner that greedy/ignorant miners have allowed them to flourish with completely unethical business practices.

The purpose behind bitcoin was freedom from a centralized financial system. Let's not give in to a system ruled by a few or possibly one hardware manufacturer.

ASIC is great for bitcoin, let's just try to do it in a way that serves as many people's interests as possible with a goal of large scale mining decentralization.

+1

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June 20, 2012, 07:24:25 AM
 #200

We are negotiating with 3 different ASIC's fabs at this moment, we expect to have the figures for a full ASIC implementation anytime soon. Right after that, we will come with an adapted plan to finance it. 

I personally see BFL's announce strategy only designed to make actual competition the highest possible damage.
So I will love to beat them both in price and time to market. 

Its time for a reality check; if you have yet to select a fab and process, you cant even have taped out yet, much less have a maskset. What you do have is an FPGA design that might be ported to a process, but that still needs to be done, the analog part probably still needs to be done, the design must be tested, characterized and validated for that process,  then you have to order the maskset, wait for it to be produced, then you have to order the wafers, wait for wafer processing, you have to get the chips cut, packaged and tested, design and order and test the PCBs, do Q&A, software, etc.

IOW, you are as far as BFL would have been 9 (or more likely 12) months ago. How in the world do you expect to beat them to market?

No offense Gusti, but by your own admission you have no experience in the semi conductor industry and you seem to be treating this as the purchase of a car or something, asking around quotes and expecting to place an order and be done with it. Even for a structured ASIC it wouldnt be quite that simple, but the development process of a custom asic is a lot more complicated than that, and I would feel a lot more confident in the outcome of your project if someone was involved that has any experience designing, producing and bringing to market a digital design of any kind. I know thats not you, nor Jason, so I would urge you to bring someone on board who has that experience. Now you could outsource all of that (prepare for a shock when you get the quote and tentative planning) but then you wouldnt be negotiating with fabs like you say you are.

As for the business aspect of this; you may call it opensource or community driven, but what does that even mean if you are simply a company that will fund the NRE to develop and sell another asic? I fail to see the big difference with BFL.  If the community aspect of this will be the funding, good luck raising the $1+M you would need to come to market with a product that will start a price war with BFL (and potentially others) who will already have recovered their NRE and because of their early sales, will have pushed up difficulty to a point where your asics will be worth only a fraction of what they could be worth today.

I may be missing something, and I hope Im wrong, but I just dont see how this is going to fly.

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