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Author Topic: Cairnsmore1 - Quad XC6SLX150 Board  (Read 251487 times)
wildemagic
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July 10, 2012, 07:26:02 AM
 #1201

SO WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING

Just wanted an update, you got really quiet on the bitstream front after keeping us so up to date.
Seems likely you would have developed something inhouse by now to ensure that all 4 chips are actually functional.

I wasnt complaining, just pointing out it seems suspicious how quiet you have gone about the bitstream.
I take it from your outburst that I have hit a nerve, hopefully its not indicative of some underlying issue that you have not been to resolve.

kind regards

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July 10, 2012, 07:43:02 AM
 #1202

SO WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING

Just wanted an update, you got really quiet on the bitstream front after keeping us so up to date.
Seems likely you would have developed something inhouse by now to ensure that all 4 chips are actually functional.

I wasnt complaining, just pointing out it seems suspicious how quiet you have gone about the bitstream.
I take it from your outburst that I have hit a nerve, hopefully its not indicative of some underlying issue that you have not been to resolve.

kind regards

No doubts. The only problem we had was 100MHz clocking and we didn't need that. It's now fixed with the Rev 1.2 controller.
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July 10, 2012, 07:49:20 AM
 #1203

Ok we don't know if this will fully fixes all problems because as yet we don't setups here that show the same problems some of you have and that is why we need work on each problem individually. We do need each board that you have a problem with to be reported to the bitcoin support email with the full circumstances. Not everyone on the team has the time to wade through the forum and they don't unless they stop work on new features or support work so that means problems can be missed. I will try to patch the gaps but I also have a limit in what I can find time to do. It's much better if the information arrives at the correct place and several people get to see it. It also acts as a log we can go back through then also.

Yohan,

I'd really like to provide you with valuable error reports to help your team sorting out the problems, but after the last incident I need to start from the beginning Sad

As I reported, I had a setup with 26 almost stable working CM1 boards in dual Icarus mode. Over the weekend I disassembled the setup to stack the boards and after re-assembling it I found the non deterministic behavior I already saw with the defunct units I sorted out. Some boards failed the golden nonce test, others caused Linux to hang while trying to set COM parameters, or others that start mining with a very low hashrate.

Being aware that the units worked before, I started again monkey testing: varying USB cables, hubs, ports, etc. in a fully random manner. For me it turned out that some boards work with a very specific setup, like: only with one specific USB cable connected to a passive hub that is connected to a powered hub at a given port Huh As soon as I change cable or plug into a different USB port, the golden nonce test fails or other errors occur.

If I had a clue on HW design I would check whether the FTDI chip is correctly assembled, but since I don't I can only speculate that there is some systematic problem with this component. It is hard to believe that you did not encounter this issue during your testing, when from my batch every second board is fragile.

I spent so much time now getting my boards to work, but since it turned out to be such fragile and non deterministic, I lost motivation to dig deeper. Hope this will be solved once the up/down functionality is supported.


Have a nice day.

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July 10, 2012, 07:52:29 AM
 #1204


To put matters straight we did not say we would start our own bitstream development at the beginning of this process and indeed people we talked to privately we told them we would have very little resources for this in May and only a little in June. I think I said quite a lot of this in this forum as well. We have more or less kept to that schedule and we have only really had a reasonable resourcing on this for 2-3 weeks now. Ok we made a small mistake on the wiring to the second chip and the original plan of dropping in an Icarus bitstream initially into all positions didn't quite work and that was our mistake. However it was a reasonable engineering decision to fix this with our own bitstream as the fastest way to sort the issue. The Icarus bitstream was only ever a temporary solution and I think that was made clear.

I have also said that for bitstream development it isn't easy to put a precise time on and yes I might have said a few days and maybe I should have said a few weeks. This isn't a process we can do a percentage complete number on with any accuracy. Unlike a lot of FPGA things we do this function with either work or it won't there is no partial working stage to give a measure on and it will simply be working one morning when I get in the office. Do remember too it is only 10 weeks and 4 days since we announced the concept and we probably have the best FPGA hardware platform designed but have manufactured and delivered hundreds of them to customers in that timeframe. I don't want to hark on about that but most professional engineers in the electronics business would either say that was either impossible or very unlikely that it could be done.
No one is saying it's easy.


As to ET's bitstream that has barely been working for more than a handful of days on one of Ztex's boards and has had a pile of problems on there over those days. We are watching how this develops and I am sure he will sort out the issues. We could sink our entire resource into supporting that now but it's no guarantee that it will work any quicker and if it did his server might well collapse under the weight of Cairnsmore1s trying to use the server services. That would also bring our own develop to a complete halt which would not be good and we have a pile of customers that simply don't want to be forced down that route. So this is something we have to balance our time on. When the ET solution is slightly more stable will be the time to some work.
How much resources can it really demand, asfar as I understand all he needs is the driver code.
[edit]
"But if they submit a driver for their proprietary USB interface (i.e. a Java class implementing MiningChip) I will certainly include it.  Until then carinsmore supported via JTAG like all other boards.
"

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49971.msg1009527#msg1009527

Also as far as I understand ETs solution can't support multiple units working together as yet. We don't have any problems with customers using this bitstream as such and we will do our best to support it. We do believe we have the best chance of any of the FPGA boards of being able to support that bitstream given our power and cooling systems but right now it looks like a pile of development work and server hardware to install before it is actually a viable solution. I will have a look at what he needs once I find a utility to open a jar file and see if we can do anything quickly. If it is days of work then it won't happen this week for an unstable solution the time is better spent stabilising our own product and we have made good progress this week already with the new controller update.
While I have every faith in you being able to provide a nice bitstream eventually, the sad truth is that the boards I bought are less likeley to ever see a full return of investment every passing day and if infact all eldentyrell needs from you is the driver source and your not providing it to him I feel like you owe us an explanation as to why. Were all grownups here and even if we dont like the explanation Im sure we can deal with it.

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July 10, 2012, 08:37:35 AM
 #1205

and if it did his server might well collapse under the weight of Cairnsmore1s trying to use the server services.
ET says he can always add more servers on demand. Because of the commission (or "fee") he should have quite an interest that his service is operating smoothly and every CM user using his service is one of the best things that could happen to him, I think.

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July 10, 2012, 09:31:38 AM
 #1206

After reading last posts , I have a doubt :

I 've understood that v1.2 controller  is not needed if you are going to use EP bitstreams ( present and future versions) .

or it will be a must in future quad version bitstream (or thirdparty one) , when it (controller) becomes a non beta version?  


Thank you.

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July 10, 2012, 10:18:06 AM
 #1207


While I have every faith in you being able to provide a nice bitstream eventually, the sad truth is that the boards I bought are less likeley to ever see a full return of investment every passing day and if infact all eldentyrell needs from you is the driver source and your not providing it to him I feel like you owe us an explanation as to why. Were all grownups here and even if we dont like the explanation Im sure we can deal with it.

Ok possibly the return on return characteristics may have changed in the last weeks by *** but of course they may not deliver as promised and then ROI actually doesn't change. Do remember 10 weeks ago we offer a product at 33% discount because it was a development and that was explicitly explained at that point. Even only running at the 50% notional performance that we are today we are not far removed in ROI of other FPGA boards.

The core of the team are already running 100hr+ weeks and have done so since the start of the project. That's part of how we have achieved the timescales. We can't ask more of them than that. Anything that we do that isn't on the plan is a very direct hit on producing the bitsream and other support work for the bulk of our customers. A further point is adding another variable to support i.e. the ET bitstream will further impact progress by virtue of more support calls. If I read it right ET just said he has taken 1 week to get his own very known setup to work again. What's that going to be like for a customer that doesn't have the technical knowledge he has or we have on the products. It's a nightmare basically. We might end up having our team work a week on one customer installation as is and still not have a solution. That's why we are not jumping into the unknown just yet. I'm not in any way saying ET can't do his stuff and sort it out but what I don't what to see is our own progress complete stopped to support a third party. It's not even good for ET to introduce another variable to try and support. As far as I am aware he doesn't even have a Cairnsmore1 to replicate problems on and allow debug of his IP.

The Rev 1.2 is already coming out of beta and is now frozen. We did a before and after test on approximately 50 boards yesterday and it looked good on every one. That taken with a few reports in from customers gives us every reason to make it the default build for now and that switch on the line is already in place. Rev 1.1 is fine as far as we know for 3rd parties but there is no work to support that. Rev 1.2 we know is better and deosn't make any difference to the interface for 3rd party developers.

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July 10, 2012, 10:23:15 AM
 #1208

speaking of ROI, DHL just called me and they said customs wants 400$ some dollars before they can release the shipment. Maybe I should have looked this up but I guess import tax is applied to more expensive shipments in the US?
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July 10, 2012, 10:31:29 AM
 #1209


While I have every faith in you being able to provide a nice bitstream eventually, the sad truth is that the boards I bought are less likeley to ever see a full return of investment every passing day and if infact all eldentyrell needs from you is the driver source and your not providing it to him I feel like you owe us an explanation as to why. Were all grownups here and even if we dont like the explanation Im sure we can deal with it.

Ok possibly the return on return characteristics may have changed in the last weeks by *** but of course they may not deliver as promised and then ROI actually doesn't change. Do remember 10 weeks ago we offer a product at 33% discount because it was a development and that was explicitly explained at that point. Even only running at the 50% notional performance that we are today we are not far removed in ROI of other FPGA boards.
Theres a reason I havent bought any other fgpa boards. Also out of my 12 bought cores only 5 are functioning. So im below the precieved 190Mhs, I have mailed your support and am waiting a followup on that.

The core of the team are already running 100hr+ weeks and have done so since the start of the project. That's part of how we have achieved the timescales. We can't ask more of them than that. Anything that we do that isn't on the plan is a very direct hit on producing the bitsream and other support work for the bulk of our customers. A further point is adding another variable to support i.e. the ET bitstream will further impact progress by virtue of more support calls. If I read it right ET just said he has taken 1 week to get his own very known setup to work again. What's that going to be like for a customer that doesn't have the technical knowledge he has or we have on the products. It's a nightmare basically. We might end up having our team work a week on one customer installation as is and still not have a solution. That's why we are not jumping into the unknown just yet. I'm not in any way saying ET can't do his stuff and sort it out but what I don't what to see is our own progress complete stopped to support a third party. It's not even good for ET to introduce another variable to try and support. As far as I am aware he doesn't even have a Cairnsmore1 to replicate problems on and allow debug of his IP.
I'd assume you could state that you do not offer any set-up support for third party bitstreams, I personally would be fine with it. We have a strong and extremeley knoweledgeable community here, if something is possible the hive-mind that is bitcointalk will not only find the solution, but also share it publicly.

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July 10, 2012, 11:37:39 AM
 #1210


[/quote]
I'd assume you could state that you do not offer any set-up support for third party bitstreams, I personally would be fine with it. We have a strong and extremeley knoweledgeable community here, if something is possible the hive-mind that is bitcointalk will not only find the solution, but also share it publicly.

[/quote]

For the short term we really don't have any available resources to add anything to the existing workload. If the ET bitstream was pretty much stable then we might take a hit on our other stuff and put some effort there but at the moment it's going to give us more support work than we could ever keep up with. Guaranteed will be a pile of questions that we simple don't have the answers too because we didn't design it or have access to even the source. As soon as we make something officially supported that would become our problem.

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.

Generally once we are out of the inital development period, which is still our current stage, other things will be possible to consider doing like the 3rd party support. Our first thing to do though is support what we have out there already including your one problem board out of 3 that you have which might be hardware or even something that is natively not our own development but directly related like CGminer. We choose to support that at day1 so it is in what we promised to deliver.

From ET all we are looking for is something more stable to work with. We are entirely neutral to working with 3rd parties but we have to have some control over what is a finite resource i.e. our engineering team.
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July 10, 2012, 11:46:35 AM
 #1211

speaking of ROI, DHL just called me and they said customs wants 400$ some dollars before they can release the shipment. Maybe I should have looked this up but I guess import tax is applied to more expensive shipments in the US?
One of the main reasons I hope enterpoint succeeds is their geographical location, odering something outside the EU would cost me 23% more in taxes, even on the shipping.

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July 10, 2012, 12:13:14 PM
 #1212

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.
Which cable do I need? Your prog3 cable? Is it supported by urjtag?

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July 10, 2012, 01:26:24 PM
 #1213

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.
Which cable do I need? Your prog3 cable? Is it supported by urjtag?

We have not proven either hardware with urjtag. Our Prog3 is a Xilinx cable clone and in theory would work urjtag as Xilinx cable is on the support list. That said there are a range of Xilinx cables and it is possible our clone is one not supported. We know Prog3 works fully with Xilinx tools and that has always been our benchmark.

The in-built FT4232 on Cairnsmore1 is a big brother version of the FT2232 that is on the urjtag support list. It has the same JTAG processing features so that is why it might work.

speaking of ROI, DHL just called me and they said customs wants 400$ some dollars before they can release the shipment. Maybe I should have looked this up but I guess import tax is applied to more expensive shipments in the US?

This one is always difficult to give a number on because every country is different and the tariff code that things ship under changes it as well even for a single country. There are tools on the courier websites but even then those are difficult to use and predict charges. As we ship to over 30 countries, and 30 different taxation and customs regulations, on a regular basis we gave up years ago trying to work out these potential taxes and duties and we always quote as local taxes and duties may apply.

Local/federal sales tax is often collected in many countries so you don't avoid that by importing. I know about the states side fiddle of buying in another state and then not doing a proper declaration of what you owe in sales tax and people do do that. However some states are now very hot on that now and they are coming down hard on tax avoiders. On low value items most countries just wave the sales tax bit as processing is more expensive than the tax. I think here it is about £20 for that threshold.

The one that varies is most is duties and that very much depends on what the item is. Trying to allocate a harmonised code that this all hangs on is incredibly hard. The lists tend to be 5 years behind real items never mind niche items like Cairnsmore1. The US did have a different tax called MFP but it was very low percentage and we never have seen it appied.
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July 10, 2012, 04:40:28 PM
 #1214

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.
Which cable do I need? Your prog3 cable? Is it supported by urjtag?

We have not proven either hardware with urjtag. Our Prog3 is a Xilinx cable clone and in theory would work urjtag as Xilinx cable is on the support list. That said there are a range of Xilinx cables and it is possible our clone is one not supported. We know Prog3 works fully with Xilinx tools and that has always been our benchmark.

The in-built FT4232 on Cairnsmore1 is a big brother version of the FT2232 that is on the urjtag support list. It has the same JTAG processing features so that is why it might work.

I've had significant problems attempting to run it with the built-in 4232.  Could possibly be related to the (undocumented) DIP switch functions / settings.  If enterpoint would only publish a schematic, or even a .ucf for their board, we could happily have native support in no time.

Yohan: Please release a pinout or ucf file for your board, I will happily write the java interface.

Chris
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July 10, 2012, 05:28:31 PM
 #1215

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.
Which cable do I need? Your prog3 cable? Is it supported by urjtag?

We have not proven either hardware with urjtag. Our Prog3 is a Xilinx cable clone and in theory would work urjtag as Xilinx cable is on the support list. That said there are a range of Xilinx cables and it is possible our clone is one not supported. We know Prog3 works fully with Xilinx tools and that has always been our benchmark.

The in-built FT4232 on Cairnsmore1 is a big brother version of the FT2232 that is on the urjtag support list. It has the same JTAG processing features so that is why it might work.

speaking of ROI, DHL just called me and they said customs wants 400$ some dollars before they can release the shipment. Maybe I should have looked this up but I guess import tax is applied to more expensive shipments in the US?

This one is always difficult to give a number on because every country is different and the tariff code that things ship under changes it as well even for a single country. There are tools on the courier websites but even then those are difficult to use and predict charges. As we ship to over 30 countries, and 30 different taxation and customs regulations, on a regular basis we gave up years ago trying to work out these potential taxes and duties and we always quote as local taxes and duties may apply.

Local/federal sales tax is often collected in many countries so you don't avoid that by importing. I know about the states side fiddle of buying in another state and then not doing a proper declaration of what you owe in sales tax and people do do that. However some states are now very hot on that now and they are coming down hard on tax avoiders. On low value items most countries just wave the sales tax bit as processing is more expensive than the tax. I think here it is about £20 for that threshold.

The one that varies is most is duties and that very much depends on what the item is. Trying to allocate a harmonised code that this all hangs on is incredibly hard. The lists tend to be 5 years behind real items never mind niche items like Cairnsmore1. The US did have a different one called MFP but it was very low percentage and we never say it appied.

My board arrived without any issues from DHL.  It was delivered to NJ.
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July 10, 2012, 05:57:23 PM
 #1216

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.
Which cable do I need? Your prog3 cable? Is it supported by urjtag?

We have not proven either hardware with urjtag. Our Prog3 is a Xilinx cable clone and in theory would work urjtag as Xilinx cable is on the support list. That said there are a range of Xilinx cables and it is possible our clone is one not supported. We know Prog3 works fully with Xilinx tools and that has always been our benchmark.

The in-built FT4232 on Cairnsmore1 is a big brother version of the FT2232 that is on the urjtag support list. It has the same JTAG processing features so that is why it might work.

I've had significant problems attempting to run it with the built-in 4232.  Could possibly be related to the (undocumented) DIP switch functions / settings.  If enterpoint would only publish a schematic, or even a .ucf for their board, we could happily have native support in no time.

Yohan: Please release a pinout or ucf file for your board, I will happily write the java interface.

Chris

This is probably what you need to know and it is quite simple.

JTAG_TCK         <= USBC_0 WHEN SWITCH8 = '0' ELSE 'Z';
JTAG_TDI         <= USBC_1 WHEN SWITCH8 = '0' ELSE 'Z';
USBC_2         <= JTAG_TDO;
JTAG_TMS         <= USBC_3 WHEN SWITCH8 = '0' ELSE 'Z';

USBC_0 is bus that runs directly from the FT4232 to the controller and USBC_0 is PortA bit0, USBC_1 is PortA bit 1, USBC_2 is PortA bit2 and USBC_3 is PortA bit3. So basically the JTAG runs off the lower 4 bits Port A on the FT4232. The only direct effect is switch8 which is the top bit of the switches at the controller. It's used as an isolator if we want to plug in a separate cable. So if you write as if it's directly connected to the FT4232 you won't go far wrong. Default setting should have this interface connected.

It is worth switching switch3 to off during programming as that stops all the clocks and makes programming more reliable.

We will add dip switch setting eventually to the user manual which needs a final pass through for release. We are still doing some changes to these on different builds to what they do exactly but for most people if they are left in the normal published defaults they won't have a problem. Once we move out of the development phase all of this will stabilise and should be much simplier. We will also remove many of the dip switch uses and they simply won't have any effect in later controller builds.

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July 10, 2012, 06:13:11 PM
 #1217

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.
Which cable do I need? Your prog3 cable? Is it supported by urjtag?

We have not proven either hardware with urjtag. Our Prog3 is a Xilinx cable clone and in theory would work urjtag as Xilinx cable is on the support list. That said there are a range of Xilinx cables and it is possible our clone is one not supported. We know Prog3 works fully with Xilinx tools and that has always been our benchmark.

The in-built FT4232 on Cairnsmore1 is a big brother version of the FT2232 that is on the urjtag support list. It has the same JTAG processing features so that is why it might work.

speaking of ROI, DHL just called me and they said customs wants 400$ some dollars before they can release the shipment. Maybe I should have looked this up but I guess import tax is applied to more expensive shipments in the US?

This one is always difficult to give a number on because every country is different and the tariff code that things ship under changes it as well even for a single country. There are tools on the courier websites but even then those are difficult to use and predict charges. As we ship to over 30 countries, and 30 different taxation and customs regulations, on a regular basis we gave up years ago trying to work out these potential taxes and duties and we always quote as local taxes and duties may apply.

Local/federal sales tax is often collected in many countries so you don't avoid that by importing. I know about the states side fiddle of buying in another state and then not doing a proper declaration of what you owe in sales tax and people do do that. However some states are now very hot on that now and they are coming down hard on tax avoiders. On low value items most countries just wave the sales tax bit as processing is more expensive than the tax. I think here it is about £20 for that threshold.

The one that varies is most is duties and that very much depends on what the item is. Trying to allocate a harmonised code that this all hangs on is incredibly hard. The lists tend to be 5 years behind real items never mind niche items like Cairnsmore1. The US did have a different one called MFP but it was very low percentage and we never say it appied.

My board arrived without any issues from DHL.  It was delivered to NJ.

Single board will get through customs without problems as my first board did but this is a shipment of 23 boards.
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July 10, 2012, 06:48:46 PM
 #1218

As far as I understand it you can use a programming cable to run ET bitstream already and there is even a chance our front end might just work anyway. Urjtag has support for a FT2232 a very close relative of the FT4232 we use on Cairnsmore1.
Which cable do I need? Your prog3 cable? Is it supported by urjtag?

We have not proven either hardware with urjtag. Our Prog3 is a Xilinx cable clone and in theory would work urjtag as Xilinx cable is on the support list. That said there are a range of Xilinx cables and it is possible our clone is one not supported. We know Prog3 works fully with Xilinx tools and that has always been our benchmark.

The in-built FT4232 on Cairnsmore1 is a big brother version of the FT2232 that is on the urjtag support list. It has the same JTAG processing features so that is why it might work.

speaking of ROI, DHL just called me and they said customs wants 400$ some dollars before they can release the shipment. Maybe I should have looked this up but I guess import tax is applied to more expensive shipments in the US?

This one is always difficult to give a number on because every country is different and the tariff code that things ship under changes it as well even for a single country. There are tools on the courier websites but even then those are difficult to use and predict charges. As we ship to over 30 countries, and 30 different taxation and customs regulations, on a regular basis we gave up years ago trying to work out these potential taxes and duties and we always quote as local taxes and duties may apply.

Local/federal sales tax is often collected in many countries so you don't avoid that by importing. I know about the states side fiddle of buying in another state and then not doing a proper declaration of what you owe in sales tax and people do do that. However some states are now very hot on that now and they are coming down hard on tax avoiders. On low value items most countries just wave the sales tax bit as processing is more expensive than the tax. I think here it is about £20 for that threshold.

The one that varies is most is duties and that very much depends on what the item is. Trying to allocate a harmonised code that this all hangs on is incredibly hard. The lists tend to be 5 years behind real items never mind niche items like Cairnsmore1. The US did have a different one called MFP but it was very low percentage and we never say it appied.

My board arrived without any issues from DHL.  It was delivered to NJ.

Single board will get through customs without problems as my first board did but this is a shipment of 23 boards.

Ah OK, makes sense then, thanks.
yohan
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July 10, 2012, 07:05:51 PM
 #1219

Ok just for anyone that missed it we are recommending moving to the Rev 1.2 on the controller at your convenience. I still have to update the instructions for this but I will have another go at doing this later.
Doff
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July 10, 2012, 08:21:01 PM
 #1220

All I need to know is if I have the  unmarked SW's  correct when programing the controller. SW 1 and 6 are marked, if you could quickly tell me if they are all on or all off for SW,2, 3, 4, and 5 I would be set.

Or if someone has successfully updated theirs could tell what position they had theirs in that would help too. The board we suspect is broken anyhow always stated the update was successful although I have my doubts.
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