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Author Topic: Merrick6 for Bitcoin  (Read 3477 times)
yohan
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April 25, 2012, 06:25:42 PM
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We are launching a sripped down version of the existing product Merrick6 http://enterpoint.co.uk/products/spartan-6-development-boards/merrick-6/. We are cutting down the number of FPGAs in the working array from 6 to 2 to allow more power for the 2 remaining FPGAs. The PCIe hosting interface FPGA a XC6SLX150T will also remain. This will means that one of our twin 12A regulators will power one XC6SLX150T plus one XC6SLX150. The other 1.2V regulator will power a single XC6SLX150 FPGA. This board is offered at $1,000 (plus tax if applicable) or equivalent in GBP or Euros.

If there is enough demand we can also make a small design change to make Bitcoin special by retasking the 12A regulator, currently used for 1.5V, to being 1.2V. This would allow all 3 remaining FPGAs to have 12 Amps each.

Our X2 XC6SLX150 Coprocessor module can also be offered in a similar fashion cut down from 2 FPGAs to one that has  10A supply all to itself. price for this offering is $280 (plus tax if applicable).
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April 25, 2012, 06:28:21 PM
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What Mhash/sec can we expect from this board when priced at $1000 ? and what sort of power does it consume ?
I also assume it will need heatsinks ? will these be supplied or is it up to the buyer to cool it ?

Thanks.

If I have helped: 1CfzHS6ync8vFC4q1GGiMPURWkFHj6qxAo
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April 25, 2012, 06:59:09 PM
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We are launching a sripped down version of the existing product Merrick6 http://enterpoint.co.uk/products/spartan-6-development-boards/merrick-6/. We are cutting down the number of FPGAs in the working array from 6 to 2 to allow more power for the 2 remaining FPGAs. The PCIe hosting interface FPGA a XC6SLX150T will also remain. This will means that one of our twin 12A regulators will power one XC6SLX150T plus one XC6SLX150. The other 1.2V regulator will power a single XC6SLX150 FPGA. This board is offered at $1,000 (plus tax if applicable) or equivalent in GBP or Euros.

If there is enough demand we can also make a small design change to make Bitcoin special by retasking the 12A regulator, currently used for 1.5V, to being 1.2V. This would allow all 3 remaining FPGAs to have 12 Amps each.

Our X2 XC6SLX150 Coprocessor module can also be offered in a similar fashion cut down from 2 FPGAs to one that has  10A supply all to itself. price for this offering is $280 (plus tax if applicable).
Aw HELL YEAH maybe this would be the best thing to put in my rig (see signature).  You need heatsinks of course, are you going to make them fit within a single slot?

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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April 25, 2012, 07:04:55 PM
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We still have work to do with a Bitcoin load but the 2 FPGAs in the main array should match Icarus performance if not better. If the third FPGA is used as well it can add to that especially if we make the modification to retask the third regulator. Running absolutely flat out in the current Bitcoin configuration it will take about 40W. Doing nothing about 1/10 of that. If we bring in the third regulator add 14W to that.

We will supply heatsinks and a fan board that mounts over the array and heatsinks. That will have a 8cm fan in it and we can trade heatsink size for height above board as necessary. It does do better than heatsink/fans combos and a lot less annoying. More exotic things can be done as well but that all adds to the cost.

There is also another cooling system that we are developing for general use and that could have a significant improvement over or with the standard approach and offers low noise as well. We are looking to add this to all Merrick family boards. I can say much more on that until we do some more work and officially announce it. I don't think that will add a lot to the cost but if it does as well as we hope it will be interesting to see what we can push these boards to in performance terms.
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April 25, 2012, 07:11:15 PM
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For the industrial motherboards with no fan directly above the board it would be possible to use every slot. That does need very good case fans then. Our solution in development will also allow every slot to be used.
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April 25, 2012, 07:14:32 PM
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How many spartan6 in one board, 4 or 2? power consumption?
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April 25, 2012, 07:17:33 PM
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For the industrial motherboards with no fan directly above the board it would be possible to use every slot. That does need very good case fans then. Our solution in development will also allow every slot to be used.
Sweet. In my application, I need power density. Have you considered a design that will allow you to cram a larger number on a board? The reason I ask is because most boards with 2 Spartan 6 FPGAs are no more than $500, and having more of them on a board could lower the per-chip cost.

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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April 25, 2012, 07:18:15 PM
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Interesting product. I'm going to follow the development of this one.
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April 25, 2012, 08:07:25 PM
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For the industrial motherboards with no fan directly above the board it would be possible to use every slot. That does need very good case fans then. Our solution in development will also allow every slot to be used.
Sweet. In my application, I need power density. Have you considered a design that will allow you to cram a larger number on a board? The reason I ask is because most boards with 2 Virtex 6 FPGAs are no more than $500, and having more of them on a board could lower the per-chip cost.

rjk,

they are spartan 6 not virtex, if I'm not wrong.

spiccioli
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April 25, 2012, 08:13:40 PM
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For the industrial motherboards with no fan directly above the board it would be possible to use every slot. That does need very good case fans then. Our solution in development will also allow every slot to be used.
Sweet. In my application, I need power density. Have you considered a design that will allow you to cram a larger number on a board? The reason I ask is because most boards with 2 Virtex 6 FPGAs are no more than $500, and having more of them on a board could lower the per-chip cost.

rjk,

they are spartan 6 not virtex, if I'm not wrong.

spiccioli
Sorry! That's what I meant. Edited post.

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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April 25, 2012, 08:14:35 PM
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BTW,

4 to 6 weeks lead time... it reminds me of something... Smiley

http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/shop/en/106-merrick-6.html

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April 25, 2012, 08:20:02 PM
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For the industrial motherboards with no fan directly above the board it would be possible to use every slot. That does need very good case fans then. Our solution in development will also allow every slot to be used.
Sweet. In my application, I need power density. Have you considered a design that will allow you to cram a larger number on a board? The reason I ask is because most boards with 2 Spartan 6 FPGAs are no more than $500, and having more of them on a board could lower the per-chip cost.

A six FPGA unit a 1200 US$/950 EUR would be really sweet, you need to have a motherboard to use them, but they would replace GPUs in current rigs very nicely.

spiccioli.
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April 25, 2012, 08:45:58 PM
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If I understand correctly, the cut down Merrick6 would have 2 XC6SLX150 FPGAs for mining purposes and a XC6SLX150T for PCIe connectivity and some mining for $1000. If that is the case, that is damn expensive per MH/s but perhaps some people would pay for the form factor.

For the industrial motherboards with no fan directly above the board it would be possible to use every slot. That does need very good case fans then. Our solution in development will also allow every slot to be used.
Sweet. In my application, I need power density. Have you considered a design that will allow you to cram a larger number on a board? The reason I ask is because most boards with 2 Spartan 6 FPGAs are no more than $500, and having more of them on a board could lower the per-chip cost.

A six FPGA unit a 1200 US$/950 EUR would be really sweet, you need to have a motherboard to use them, but they would replace GPUs in current rigs very nicely.

spiccioli.

I'd be all over a $1.2k USD 6 FPGA board that fit in a 2 slot PCIe form-factor. For such a card I'd prefer the ability to feed it a PCIe cable to prevent from burning out a mobo. I'd basically swap out my GPUs for FPGAs. I doubt however, unless they want to re-engineer their product, that we will see such a thing.
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April 25, 2012, 08:51:48 PM
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At the moment the configuration is 2 + 1 although the native configuration is 6 + 1. Various people have looked at our boards aimed general applications and commented that for Bitcoin we have too small a power supply. By cutting the array we get the current per FPGA goes up. Until we get some real performance measurements it migh t be argued that it is more expensive than competing solutions but this a highly engineered board which will give back something in performance. That I don't want to promise until there are real numbers.

It terms of getting dense have a look at http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/merrick/merrick1.html.

Merrick6 is a 10 layer board and that is part of the cost. It is possible for us designs more targetted at Bitcoin and reduce cost but to do that it needs enough demand to justify the cost of doing that design. There is a cost trade between just using a standard-ish board and doing a fully targeted designs.

Merrick6 is indeed a Spartan-6 board. Not really for Bitcoin our Broaddown3 board has 5 Virtex-6 if that takes your interest.

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April 25, 2012, 08:54:42 PM
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On the power Merrick6 uses a disk drive connector for higher power applications so it won't burn out the PCIe connector.

At the moment the full product is a build to order and the reason for that is cost of silicon sitting on the shelf. That's already being considered to become a stocking board and a cut down would be easier to justify stocking especially if we get steady orders. The 4-6 weeks is a standard time we quote and usually if we have parts, which is usual on Spartan-6 based boards, it can be a lot less. It's more a case of not disrupting our assembly line schedule for say 1 board. If we have a 6 week window we can make a nice slot and maybe build a proper batch size at one time. These are all to do with the economics of building boards.

Merrick6 can run stand alone if needed and there are some communication options here if you are not using the PCIe.

If there is a serious interest we could do designs based on our Raggedstone2 and Lamachan2 boards to offer a PCIe board with 4 or 8 XC6SLX150 FPGAs that would come in cheaper per FPGA. That would need some numbers to make this a worthwhile project.
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April 25, 2012, 09:27:34 PM
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I think u should build a board with at least 4 FPGAs. Two Spartans seem to be mainstream now Smiley  Look at Ztex shiny new 1.15y Board (850MH/s @ ca. 1188€ with tax).

And please try not to do something like BFL to us. 4-6 Weeks BTO is ok if u can hold that promise Tongue


BTW where its the company located ?

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April 25, 2012, 09:35:28 PM
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I think u should build a board with at least 4 FPGAs. Two Spartans seem to be mainstream now Smiley  Look at Ztex shiny new 1.15y Board (850MH/s @ ca. 1188€ with tax).

And please try not to do something like BFL to us. 4-6 Weeks BTO is ok if u can hold that promise Tongue


BTW where its the company located ?

The UK -> http://enterpoint.co.uk/contact-us/
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April 25, 2012, 09:43:44 PM
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On the power Merrick6 uses a disk drive connector for higher power applications so it won't burn out the PCIe connector.

At the moment the full product is a build to order and the reason for that is cost of silicon sitting on the shelf. That's already being considered to become a stocking board and a cut down would be easier to justify stocking especially if we get steady orders. The 4-6 weeks is a standard time we quote and usually if we have parts, which is usual on Spartan-6 based boards, it can be a lot less. It's more a case of not disrupting our assembly line schedule for say 1 board. If we have a 6 week window we can make a nice slot and maybe build a proper batch size at one time. These are all to do with the economics of building boards.

Merrick6 can run stand alone if needed and there are some communication options here if you are not using the PCIe.

If there is a serious interest we could do designs based on our Raggedstone2 and Lamachan2 boards to offer a PCIe board with 4 or 8 XC6SLX150 FPGAs that would come in cheaper per FPGA. That would need some numbers to make this a worthwhile project.

I'm just a guy interested in FPGAs, I don't have the knowledge to understand what chips would be ideal and what not. What I do know is that there are a number of FPGA mining device manufacturers. While they might not be interested in sharing their sales numbers but a few hours of searching on just this forum could give you an idea of a fraction of sales they are achieving. I'm fairly certain the majority of miners have seen the light and realize that FPGAs will eventually price GPUs out of the mining industry. Someone who could deliver a hashing dense FPGA device with an appropriate turn around time could swoop in and snap up orders from the likes of BFL and LargeCoin. I'm not sure what the setup/design costs would be for you guys to design a PCIe card pushing 1-2 GH/s but I'd be thrilled to see another competitor in the manufacturing market.
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April 25, 2012, 09:50:19 PM
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We are based in the UK but we already ship more or less worldwide with a few exceptions. Principally the exceptions are places where we are not allowed to sell due to export restrictions. For most of Europe and N America delivery is usually 24-48 hrs for anything in stock. Other places can take a bit longer.

In terms of deliveries we running this as a professional business and it's rare for us not to meet our delivery promises. Usually if we are out it's because one of our suppliers let us down and beyond our control. We have been in business for 23 years and building FPGA boards for the last 9 years so we have this pretty hooked. We are  building boards every week and this is a normal task for us so I hope we know what we doing by now.

Do have a look at our 101 FPGA board Merrick1. Current FPGAs might be a little small for Bitcoiners but they could be Spartan-6 LX150 if we did the design again. Current Merrick3 is our biggest S6 board launched with a total of 26 S6 on board. It's only got 72 amps for those and would need a haircut, or more power supply, to make a better balance for Bitcoin.
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April 25, 2012, 10:16:32 PM
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We are based in the UK but we already ship more or less worldwide with a few exceptions. Principally the exceptions are places where we are not allowed to sell due to export restrictions. For most of Europe and N America delivery is usually 24-48 hrs for anything in stock. Other places can take a bit longer.

In terms of deliveries we running this as a professional business and it's rare for us not to meet our delivery promises. Usually if we are out it's because one of our suppliers let us down and beyond our control. We have been in business for 23 years and building FPGA boards for the last 9 years so we have this pretty hooked. We are  building boards every week and this is a normal task for us so I hope we know what we doing by now.

Do have a look at our 101 FPGA board Merrick1. Current FPGAs might be a little small for Bitcoiners but they could be Spartan-6 LX150 if we did the design again. Current Merrick3 is our biggest S6 board launched with a total of 26 S6 on board. It's only got 72 amps for those and would need a haircut, or more power supply, to make a better balance for Bitcoin.

I saw the Merrick1. At that price point you are competing with the BFL Mini-rig and LargeCoin C200. Those are custom turnkey solutions with the space to dissipate the heat. A Merrick1 with 100 Spartan6 LX150s would dissipate around 1 kW and generate around 20 GH/s @ maybe $25k USD given the performance/price of other Spartan6 LX150 based devices. Impressive, but I think you'd sell larger overall volume with a slightly smaller device. Perhaps create a poll to see what gaps there are in the market? We've got a lot of 1-2 FPGA devices. ZTEX just launched a 4 FPGA device. Lancelot is expected to be a 4 FPGA device. The next step is the BFL Mini-rig and that's a massive jump

disclaimer: I'm eagerly waiting for someone to release something in the 1-2 GH/s range with competitive MH/$ and MH/w ratios. So, I'm biased when I talk about what the market needs  Cheesy
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