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Author Topic: High Efficiency FPGA & ASIC Bitcoin Mining Devices https://BTCFPGA.com  (Read 200923 times)
Inaba
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September 06, 2012, 12:19:10 AM
 #441

And what happens when none of their transactions get processed?  Before you say, the difficulty falls and people start mining again, then you have one large operator able to do a 51% attack with a little tiny bit of the hashing power.

We've seen it happen before several times, it's called SolidCoin and the rest of the scamcoins. 

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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crazyates
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September 06, 2012, 12:52:33 AM
 #442

As of today we are taking pre-orders for shipment in November/December
If for some reason we cannot ship on time we will certainly offer full refunds to those who request them.
qft
not sure what qft means but as far as my refund policy on the bASIC unit I will accept a refund at any time up until we actually start shipping them, and then only on a case by case basis. I will post this on the website terms so you dont have to qft Wink
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ttul
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September 06, 2012, 04:34:46 AM
 #443

we are still shopping around for a long term manufacturer of these asics

Not trying to throw the hate on or anything, but I do know quite a bit about ASIC manufacturing, and if you're still shopping around for a mass manufacturer, your delivery date is at least six months away. Are the first units in December doing to be wafer sharing runs? If so, how are you getting the density to do 27 GHash/s? Assuming 300 MHz transistor technology - which might be available through a wafer share - a 27 GHash/s unit would require something like 100 million transistors. That's not wafer sharing territory...
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September 06, 2012, 05:25:13 AM
 #444

Ok so I know you're not releasing much in the way of hardware specs just yet, but can I at least get an estimate of approximate size? Am I looking at something the size of a BFL single of a mini-rig? I'm assuming some serious miniaturization comes along with the move to ASIC but I don't know whether we're talking 4 little chips on one board or 16 of those boards on a humongous backplane?

Mr.Bitcoin
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September 06, 2012, 06:04:22 AM
 #445

Maybe it's been said already, but if I knew nothing about any of this I'd say cablepair's ASIC pre-order is much less sketchy than BFL's*.
Cablepair takes credit cards. BFL does not. At least that's what their websites show. If BFL drops the ball, well you're screwed. While I hate credit card companies with a bitcoin passion, the leaches do protect me from scams.
-Mr. B

*I've got no dog in this hunt, just an observation. I have made zero ASIC pre-orders.

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squid
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September 06, 2012, 08:56:55 AM
 #446

Well I just pre-ordered my ASIC, however I made sure to use google checkout. I am somewhat uneasy when I see a site taking credit credits when none of that information seems to be encryped (no ssl or whatnot). Whats up with that?
ShadesOfMarble
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September 06, 2012, 11:00:48 AM
 #447

Not trying to throw the hate on or anything, but I do know quite a bit about ASIC manufacturing, and if you're still shopping around for a mass manufacturer, your delivery date is at least six months away.
Why is that? Given they have a prototype running, this would mean the successfully produced a chip. Why can't they go just to any fab and let them produce this (working) chip? Especially if they are using some old proccess like 130 nm there shouldn't be much trouble. I'm just guessing/wondering - I don't know much about ASICs Smiley

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P4man
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September 06, 2012, 11:45:50 AM
 #448

Not trying to throw the hate on or anything, but I do know quite a bit about ASIC manufacturing, and if you're still shopping around for a mass manufacturer, your delivery date is at least six months away.
Why is that? Given they have a prototype running, this would mean the successfully produced a chip. Why can't they go just to any fab and let them produce this (working) chip? Especially if they are using some old proccess like 130 nm there shouldn't be much trouble. I'm just guessing/wondering - I don't know much about ASICs Smiley

Each fab has its own process, a chip designed for fab A can not just be produced in fab B. Porting a  design to another fab involves a non trivial amount of work and new maskset. Maskset being the single most expensive item for getting any asic built.

If the OP already has a working prototype, it would mean he already produced the maskset and they probably had a few test wafers done. Assuming those test chips are found to be working properly, going from there to mass production of the chip is just a matter of ordering more wafers; it typically takes a few months before you get those back from the fab. Of course there is a lot of other things to be done, chip packaging, PCBs, software etc.

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September 06, 2012, 12:02:19 PM
 #449

he already produced the maskset and they probably had a few test wafers done.
IIRC he stated, in this thread, that his first chips came from a shared wafer at a university.

Some quantity from a portion of a wafer, not 'a few wafers' as a test run at a commercial fab in preparation to just cranking out commercial amounts from the same fab.

I have no idea what would be involved in moving from a proven test run from a 'shared university wafer' to x number of wafers at commercial fab. But there is bound to be some delay. And risk.
P4man
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September 06, 2012, 12:29:12 PM
 #450

he already produced the maskset and they probably had a few test wafers done.
IIRC he stated, in this thread, that his first chips came from a shared wafer at a university.

Some quantity from a portion of a wafer, not 'a few wafers' as a test run at a commercial fab in preparation to just cranking out commercial amounts from the same fab.

I have no idea what would be involved in moving from a proven test run from a 'shared university wafer' to x number of wafers at commercial fab. But there is bound to be some delay. And risk.

Okay, I missed that, interesting.
Well, universities dont have fabs, so where ever they fab those chips, you could go there and have your asic produced. There are a few possible ways; either you could re-use the shared mask set that only contains a few of your own chips, and the fab will be able to fill an entire wafer with this using a stepper. Not all fabs do this, and the ones that do charge a significant surcharge for it, because its a lot of work per wafer.  But for a bitcoin chip this is probably still a good way to go, as volume will be small for an asic project, and wafer costs insignificant.

Another way is to have a new maskset built based on your now-proven design. You would still be tied to the same fab though and it will cost a pretty penny and take even longer, but your per chip costs would be a lot lower.

Im guessing they are going with the first option.

LazyOtto
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September 06, 2012, 12:39:43 PM
 #451

Well, universities dont have fabs
The one I went to did. There are at least two universities in Texas with the capability.

Just doing a quick search, here's one in Alabama.

I would find it hard to believe that MIT on the East coast doesn't have one and that there are at least another three or four in California.
Bugpowder
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September 06, 2012, 01:30:41 PM
 #452


Well, universities dont have fabs, so where ever they fab those chips, you could go there and have your asic produced. There are a few possible ways; either

Many universities have fabs, though feature size is of course limited.  I have had 3um feature neural interface chips fabbed at university of maryland's facility. Not sure what their limits are.  Used commercial fab to do 1um features.
cablepair
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September 06, 2012, 07:03:45 PM
 #453

Well I just pre-ordered my ASIC, however I made sure to use google checkout. I am somewhat uneasy when I see a site taking credit credits when none of that information seems to be encryped (no ssl or whatnot). Whats up with that?

although our site does not have its own SSL certificate

the credit card info is processed over HTTPS via our processor Stripe.com

It is totally secure and we never get any access to any of your credit card information

for more information on Stripe's secure API please read here:

https://stripe.com/docs/api#authentication
ShadesOfMarble
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September 06, 2012, 09:05:39 PM
 #454

cablepair, can you comment on this whole fab thing? (especially what "ttul" said)

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gyverlb
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September 06, 2012, 10:25:23 PM
 #455

Well I just pre-ordered my ASIC, however I made sure to use google checkout. I am somewhat uneasy when I see a site taking credit credits when none of that information seems to be encryped (no ssl or whatnot). Whats up with that?

although our site does not have its own SSL certificate

the credit card info is processed over HTTPS via our processor Stripe.com

It is totally secure and we never get any access to any of your credit card information

for more information on Stripe's secure API please read here:

https://stripe.com/docs/api#authentication
I just checked and up until the actual card info submission everything is in the clear. The submission is done with some Javascript, so it's hard to follow, but a search for any https URI in the page source doesn't show up anything relevant to the card info submission so I assume it's done in clear text.

Even if it wasn't done in clear text and over SSL, it's not secure by any means : if all the content shown in the submit page is not delivered over SSL, there's no way a user can verify that the submit button will actually submit the card information to you : a trivial man-in-the-middle attack can modify the page and make it submit the card info anywhere before actually submitting it to you.

I didn't see this because I used Bitcoins but you can be sure I'd never have ordered anything by credit card in the current state of your site.
I'm quite surprised the provider you use didn't educate you on this subject and didn't validate your current configuration before allowing it in production.

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jamesg
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September 06, 2012, 10:29:36 PM
 #456

Well I just pre-ordered my ASIC, however I made sure to use google checkout. I am somewhat uneasy when I see a site taking credit credits when none of that information seems to be encryped (no ssl or whatnot). Whats up with that?

although our site does not have its own SSL certificate

the credit card info is processed over HTTPS via our processor Stripe.com

It is totally secure and we never get any access to any of your credit card information

for more information on Stripe's secure API please read here:

https://stripe.com/docs/api#authentication
I just checked and up until the actual card info submission everything is in the clear. The submission is done with some Javascript, so it's hard to follow, but a search for any https URI in the page source doesn't show up anything relevant to the card info submission so I assume it's done in clear text.

Even if it wasn't done in clear text and over SSL, it's not secure by any means : if all the content shown in the submit page is not delivered over SSL, there's no way a user can verify that the submit button will actually submit the card information to you : a trivial man-in-the-middle attack can modify the page and make it submit the card info anywhere before actually submitting it to you.

I didn't see this because I used Bitcoins but you can be sure I'd never have ordered anything by credit card in the current state of your site.
I'm quite surprised the provider you use didn't educate you on this subject and didn't validate your current configuration before allowing it in production.

It seems that the site loads javascript from stripe that submits the credit card information over https directly to stripe.

I would still not want the rest of my information submitted over plain text. I would recommend an SSL certificate to ease the mind of consumers who cannot clearly tell what is going on.
muyuu
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September 06, 2012, 10:33:43 PM
 #457

And what happens when none of their transactions get processed?  Before you say, the difficulty falls and people start mining again, then you have one large operator able to do a 51% attack with a little tiny bit of the hashing power.

We've seen it happen before several times, it's called SolidCoin and the rest of the scamcoins. 

Yes, I agree that's the biggest hurdle. I pointed that out in a previous post but Luke was talking about economic majority, not mining majority.

The reality is that a relatively small number o people (10-20? including big pool operators and developers mainly) have the influence to change even the mining algorithm. You can contest that they might not rally enough support, but I think that's a bit naive. This is the reality in Bitcoin land right now, I'd expect it to be different in the future, but the "core" of influential people remains very small. For instance, nobody else that I know other than Gavin and "Satoshi" can broadcast alerts to all clients. That's real power. If a few of the bigger pools decided to not include free transactions, it would pretty much be the end of them as they'd be unusable. Etc. Simply deciding not to halve reward come December, is perfectly possible and I bet most miners would be happy about it.

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Syke
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September 07, 2012, 09:05:53 AM
 #458

I too would suggest getting an SSL cert. They aren't expensive. But to be honest, SSL is little more than security theater. Just because your info passed securely to a server, there's no guarantee that they'll keep the info secure. Credit card databases are stolen all the time. Almost as often as Bitcoin wallets.

Buy & Hold
ShadesOfMarble
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September 07, 2012, 09:27:26 AM
 #459

Credit card databases are stolen all the time. Almost as often as Bitcoin wallets.
How would a website with SSL certificate help in this case?

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squid
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September 07, 2012, 09:29:45 AM
 #460

Credit card databases are stolen all the time. Almost as often as Bitcoin wallets.
How would a website with SSL certificate help in this case?

I think his point is that it wouldn't. But rather, that at least having an SSL cert will put the average customers mind at ease.
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