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Author Topic: Cairnsmore1 - Quad XC6SLX150 Board  (Read 251383 times)
Hpman
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June 08, 2012, 09:15:17 AM
 #521

Are there any news about the stacking Kit?
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rjk
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June 08, 2012, 01:24:33 PM
 #522

Need pics of stacking arrangement and interconnect cabling, stat. Need my fix of hardware pron, FPGA pictures thread does not delivar fast enough. Grin

This is a few pages back on stacking:
http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/cairnsmore/CAIRNSMORE_IN_SMALL_NUMBERS.JPG

Yoahn after this initial shipment of a single board to 50 people when is the next shipment due? Also do you have performance numbers? thanks.
Sitting side-by-side, not stacking... I see no interconnects connected. Anyways, I'll be patient, don't want to interrupt shipping.

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June 08, 2012, 04:01:16 PM
 #523

just got my shipping notification Smiley

is it now shipping with a bitstream, or are we programming one ourselves?
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June 08, 2012, 04:03:19 PM
 #524

just got my shipping notification Smiley

is it now shipping with a bitstream, or are we programming one ourselves?

the email I received stated there is a basic bitstream included as well as the mechanism to update that ourselves as they release new ones.

cheers

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
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June 08, 2012, 04:16:39 PM
 #525

Just received an email to confirm my shipping address. hopefully it'll be here sometime next week mining away even at something like 400 MH/s  Grin

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June 08, 2012, 04:27:04 PM
 #526



Yoahn after this initial shipment of a single board to 50 people when is the next shipment due? Also do you have performance numbers? thanks.
[/quote]

Todays main significance was it was the first main ship that we have done and we expect to run a reasonable percentage of that every working day , except for August, from now until the end of September and maybe beyond. As such there is no batch shipment as such we just turned on the tap and we now leave it running for as long as is needed. There may be some minor hiccups due to component shortages and eventually it will tail off for whatever reason. Todays shipment was a little unusual in the sheer number of people getting boards and we didn't get all them out. Simple logistics got there. It takes about 10 minutes to enter an address and related data for a courier and that is a limiter on the number of shipments per day. However after the next couple of days of shipping we move into the shipping phase where are shipping several units together and the number of shipments falls.

On the units that shipped today they all have the 50MHz bitstream and the in-built programmer is working. We will be working on improving that over the weekend and through next week but as the build times are lengthy and often fail it may be a few days before we get the next jump in performance.
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June 08, 2012, 04:33:12 PM
 #527

Good to hear Yohan,

Are those in developers program going to see the code behind the initial bitstream on these first ones, so they can try to improve upon it.
Or is it every developer for himself to try to get something working?

I don't have confirmation yet, so it be nice to take a look at and work on a bitstream I know at least works on these.

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June 08, 2012, 05:08:23 PM
 #528

CRY, no shipment email, though i paid the "first board", not even in Spam.  Undecided  Cry

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June 08, 2012, 07:20:14 PM
 #529

I think everything that didn't meet courier cutoff time today go keyed into Monday's courier pickup. Apologies to those who's unit didn't escape our cluches today.

The inital bitstream is just just an Icarus build just rebuilt to our pinout.

NET "osc_clk" LOC = "J1";
NET "RxD" LOC = "D1";
NET "TxD" LOC = "B1";
NET "extminer_txd<0>" LOC = "B21";
NET "extminer_rxd<0>" LOC = "B22";
NET "led[0]" LOC = "A17";
NET "led[1]" LOC = "B18";
NET "led[2]" LOC = "A18";
NET "led[3]" LOC = "A16";
NET "dip[0]" LOC = "A4";
NET "dip[1]" LOC = "D6";
NET "dip[2]" LOC = "C6";
NET "dip[3]" LOC = "C8";

The current controller build can supply 50MHz, 100MHz, 150MHz or 200Mhz depending on dip switch setting. Eventually will have something a little more advanced but that is it today. The in-built programmer features can update the controller as well as the main array. That gives us an on-going path to make improvements and for customers to apply them to their units.

The problem we keep having with Icarus builds is the intermittant working of the coms interface and that's assuming a build completes which often it doesn't. This is principally down to the way the coms is designed and can be improved and we might do that at some point depending on how our other approaches work out.
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June 08, 2012, 08:34:31 PM
 #530

Thanks Yohan, so that overcomes the issues you spoke of a week back ( i think ) that came with going from dual to quad processors and the communication to the "back" two.

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June 08, 2012, 09:59:58 PM
 #531

I think everything that didn't meet courier cutoff time today go keyed into Monday's courier pickup. Apologies to those who's unit didn't escape our cluches today.

The inital bitstream is just just an Icarus build just rebuilt to our pinout.

NET "osc_clk" LOC = "J1";
NET "RxD" LOC = "D1";
NET "TxD" LOC = "B1";
NET "extminer_txd<0>" LOC = "B21";
NET "extminer_rxd<0>" LOC = "B22";
NET "led[0]" LOC = "A17";
NET "led[1]" LOC = "B18";
NET "led[2]" LOC = "A18";
NET "led[3]" LOC = "A16";
NET "dip[0]" LOC = "A4";
NET "dip[1]" LOC = "D6";
NET "dip[2]" LOC = "C6";
NET "dip[3]" LOC = "C8";

The current controller build can supply 50MHz, 100MHz, 150MHz or 200Mhz depending on dip switch setting. Eventually will have something a little more advanced but that is it today. The in-built programmer features can update the controller as well as the main array. That gives us an on-going path to make improvements and for customers to apply them to their units.

The problem we keep having with Icarus builds is the intermittant working of the coms interface and that's assuming a build completes which often it doesn't. This is principally down to the way the coms is designed and can be improved and we might do that at some point depending on how our other approaches work out.


The open communication and honesty are sure a breath of fresh air compared to some other FPGA company. Keep up the good work.

Buy & Hold
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June 08, 2012, 10:07:58 PM
 #532

What made you decide to go with Icarus bitstream over say, Ztex?

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 08, 2012, 10:49:29 PM
 #533

What made you decide to go with Icarus bitstream over say, Ztex?

I believe they built this board like a pair of Icarus boards on one PCB. It sounds like 1 FPGA may communicate through another? Not certain.

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June 09, 2012, 08:03:40 AM
 #534

The Icarus thing was just to give us a fast path to working tools and bitstreams. Unfortunately we made a mistake in the downstream pin numbers so the bitstream part didn't quite work. That's one of the downsides of doing the design in a very fast manner as we have. We could have done a respin of the PCB but that would have cost 2-3 weeks on the schedule and related costs so our engineering solution is to fix it at the bitstream level.

It's important to stress that the Icarus thing was only intended to be a temporary thing and the board can working in number of ways that is not Icarus. There are direct I/O from each FPGA to the controller and a lot of different logical structures can be implemented. That's where Cairnsmore1 gets interesting particularly when paired up with the up/down interface and we can build arrays that operate as one device. Some of this is ideas testing for what we might do in Cairnsmore2 and Cairnsmore3 and we will develop these ideas as we go along.

Equally we could have looked at the Ztex way. The pinout of Ztex was not checked but there is a reasonable chance we can use that with a rebuild and other work as well. That's probably not worth doing as it duplicates up other things we are working on. The main thing about Cairnsmore1 is that I think we have got a design that is capable of competing with any other current offering and maybe also doing a lot better.
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June 09, 2012, 05:00:43 PM
 #535

At the moment we are roughly on schedule. Maybe a few days behind on the ideal. We have set our shipping schedule at something that we think is realistic. There will always be production issues that cause glitches and we have set the schedule to hopefully account for those. There is some possibility that we might do better that we have promised I won't ever guarantee that. It's our margin for when something unexpected happens as it usually does.
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June 10, 2012, 03:54:53 PM
 #536

Ok not a total answer but we have sorted out pricing for a couple of the stacking items:

Item1 - Pack of 4 x 75mm stacking pillars - GBP £4 / USD $6.40 / 5.20€ + vat (if applies) - order code CAIRNSMORE1-STACK-75MM
Item2 - Up/Down ribbon cable - GBP £4 / USD $6.40 / 5.20€ + vat (if applies) - CAIRNSMORE1-UPDOWN

Item1 is already in stock. Item2 should be available in a couple of days.

Yohan
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June 11, 2012, 05:24:03 AM
 #537

Just to clarify, at this time, the boards are not able to do any mining yet correct?

Secondly, when will the second shipment occur for preorders?  Thanks!

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June 11, 2012, 05:38:33 AM
 #538

Just to clarify, at this time, the boards are not able to do any mining yet correct?

Secondly, when will the second shipment occur for preorders?  Thanks!

There is really no point for me to even answer this because yohan knows better and he's so active here Smiley

But I'll try
Cairnsmore1 can mine with Icarus bitsream using only 2/4 cores. It can also mine with Enterpoint's own bitstream using all the cores. Enterpoint's bitstream is still under development. Right now the hashing speed isn't worth mentioning.
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June 11, 2012, 10:21:51 AM
 #539

Orders will flow out every day unless we have shortage like the expected one for a couple days this week on heatsinks. A very large batch of batch of heatsinks should arrive Friday, fingers are crossed, and then we are back up and running pumping out boards.

We are running real test mining now on a low performance level. There will be some related relevant stuff going on the webpage probably today. It's going to take anything from a few days to a few weeks to get the bitstream up a decent performance level. I am sure there will be some bug clearing to do as well. Remember this is still very much in the development phase and we are now only on 45th calendar day since we started.

Now that the hardware manufacturing side is moving into a more steady state level we will have more tme to look at bitstreams and related items and we will start to fill in the gaps.

Yohan
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June 11, 2012, 11:35:49 AM
 #540

Officially just received my board today Smiley

Can't wait to try it out when I get home!

Thanks to yohan and the rest of the team at Enterpoint!

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