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Author Topic: FPGA mining rigs are useful for tasks other than mining  (Read 1370 times)
dpifke
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May 03, 2012, 09:37:47 PM
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I recently came across the OpenCiphers project:

http://openciphers.sourceforge.net/oc/index.php

It includes code that can be adapted to FPGA mining boards to do password recovery of encrypted files, crack wifi passwords, crack Bluetooth PINs, etc.

Lest one think there isn't a market for such a thing, I point to CloudCracker, a for-pay service that does just this:

https://www.cloudcracker.com/

I think this bodes well for the resale value of the FPGA boards which allow you to load your own bitstreams (Ztex, X6500, Icarus - basically everything except BFL).  Right now to do this you'd need the Xilinx compiler (which costs $3k) and enough knowledge of FPGA development to adapt the OpenCiphers code, but as the number of FPGA mining rigs increases, the market will be there for someone to start selling plug-and-play solutions for these sorts of applications.
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May 03, 2012, 09:41:06 PM
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I recently came across the OpenCiphers project:

http://openciphers.sourceforge.net/oc/index.php

It includes code that can be adapted to FPGA mining boards to do password recovery of encrypted files, crack wifi passwords, crack Bluetooth PINs, etc.

Lest one think there isn't a market for such a thing, I point to CloudCracker, a for-pay service that does just this:

https://www.cloudcracker.com/

I think this bodes well for the resale value of the FPGA boards which allow you to load your own bitstreams (Ztex, X6500, Icarus - basically everything except BFL).  Right now to do this you'd need the Xilinx compiler (which costs $3k) and enough knowledge of FPGA development to adapt the OpenCiphers code, but as the number of FPGA mining rigs increases, the market will be there for someone to start selling plug-and-play solutions for these sorts of applications.

Interesting yes. Of general utility, no.

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
― John Rogers
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May 04, 2012, 05:22:33 AM
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This is old news. FPGAs have been pretty much the standard tool for large-scale cryptanalysis for at least the last decade or so, and in fact can be used for any kind of simple, iterated computation. Anyone who says they have no resale value because they'll be useless if Bitcoin fails or changes algorithms is an idiot who doesn't understand what "field-programmable" means. Roll Eyes

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faidsaid
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May 05, 2012, 11:55:35 PM
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This is old news. FPGAs have been pretty much the standard tool for large-scale cryptanalysis for at least the last decade or so, and in fact can be used for any kind of simple, iterated computation. Anyone who says they have no resale value because they'll be useless if Bitcoin fails or changes algorithms is an idiot who doesn't understand what "field-programmable" means. Roll Eyes
So how does the marketplace for used FPGAs compare to that for used video cards? Is there some repository of working code for the various FPGAs? I ask because the codebase for GPUs is pretty small and specialized.

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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May 06, 2012, 01:31:46 AM
 #5

So how does the marketplace for used FPGAs compare to that for used video cards? Is there some repository of working code for the various FPGAs? I ask because the codebase for GPUs is pretty small and specialized.

The market is smaller, even though FPGAs are less specialised than GPUs, but only because GPUs are so widely used in gaming. It's not that hard to find used FPGAs for sale on the Internet as well as code examples, mostly for Xilinx FPGAs. I dunno about Butterfly Labs though. I can't seem to find any information about programming them, which to me suggest there's something very wrong here... Probably best to stay away from Butterfly Labs if you're worried about resale value.

Will pretend to do unverifiable things (while actually eating an enchilada-style burrito) for bitcoins: 1K6d1EviQKX3SVKjPYmJGyWBb1avbmCFM4
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