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Author Topic: OK, i confirmed the model of FPGA they are using in BFL single.  (Read 15845 times)
ngzhang
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May 06, 2012, 12:23:27 PM
 #1

first, an Anonymous send me a broken BFL single for free. thank you!

i disassemble the box and start a JTAG probing on JTAG2.
the board act the same as  this post:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=66244.msg870733#msg870733

but by the component size (29X29mm, 780pin), Flash memory size (64Mbit), i nearly to be certain it's a altera atratix3 FPGA. 99% possibility is a EP3SL150F780.
so i scraped the VIA under the chip, probe the JTAG pins, and finally find they bread the TDO line by remove the R36 resister.

by soldering the 0R resister back, I can detect the FPGAs by the JTAG normally.

so now is the result:

Code:
Device IDCODE :        00010010000100000010000011011101

it's  a EP3SL150.

you can check the ID cords here:

http://www.altera.com/literature/hb/stx3/stx3_siii51013.pdf

page 16.

ADD:

i also check the price of this chip.
on digikey, it's about 2000-3000USD,
http://www.digikey.cn/product-search/zh/integrated-circuits-ics/embedded-fpgas-field-programmable-gate-array/2556262?k=EP3SL150

but this old chip is about 200-300USD in China market for a new one, and about 50-60 USD for a used one. i discussed with my supplier about the strange price, they said because nearly no one use this stuff, so the price is like a " markdown sale", so there are no large quantity of this chip in the market, maybe only a few hundreds (both new and used one).

all above is only personal viewpoint, I shall not accept any responsibility.

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Dexter770221
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May 06, 2012, 12:35:18 PM
 #2

I'm not surprised...
Good work, how about Lancelot?

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ngzhang
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May 06, 2012, 12:37:31 PM
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I'm not surprised...
Good work, how about Lancelot?

please don't lead this topic to off topic....  Grin

i will announce Lancelot at another thread.

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May 06, 2012, 12:43:23 PM
 #4

Well this is good news , others my develop cheaper FPGA boards using these chips.

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May 06, 2012, 12:47:46 PM
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hope you can deal with the huge power consume. (40A pre core)

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May 06, 2012, 12:54:07 PM
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It would be cool to see a open sourced bfl clone. Possibly for even cheaper.
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May 06, 2012, 12:54:29 PM
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Well this is good news , others my develop cheaper FPGA boards using these chips.
Others will not. Chip costs over 2k$ in small quantities. Not to mention that is worthless without bitstream. BFL don't publish bitstream, and that one in Singles is propably encrypted.

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Changing one PCB with screwdriver and you have brand new miner in hand... Plug&Play, scalable from one module to thousands.
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May 06, 2012, 12:59:52 PM
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Well this is good news , others my develop cheaper FPGA boards using these chips.
Others will not. Chip costs over 2k$ in small quantities. Not to mention that is worthless without bitstream. BFL don't publish bitstream, and that one in Singles is propably encrypted.

notice that it's really illegal if use their bitsteam.

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pieppiep
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May 06, 2012, 01:13:51 PM
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Just wondering what part is broken if you can still determine the chip they used.
Or did you solder the chip off so you can do tests?
ngzhang
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May 06, 2012, 01:17:43 PM
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Just wondering what part is broken if you can still determine the chip they used.
Or did you solder the chip off so you can do tests?

that broken one still in operate (but not normally), so the FPGAs still can be probed.

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May 06, 2012, 01:21:05 PM
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Interesting find. But people need to remember. Its not just what chip is used, but the software driving through it Smiley

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May 06, 2012, 01:32:41 PM
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i also check the price of this chip.
on digikey, it's about 2000-3000USD,

http://www.digikey.cn/product-search/zh/integrated-circuits-ics/embedded-fpgas-field-programmable-gate-array/2556262?k=EP3SL150

but this old chip is about 200-300USD in China market for a new one, and about 50-60 USD for a used one. i discussed with my supplier about the strange price, they said because nearly no one use this stuff, so the price is like a " markdown sale", so there are no large quantity of this chip in the market, maybe only a few hundreds (both new and used one).

all above is only personal viewpoint, I shall not accept any responsibility.

So which one is in the single ? the 2000-3000 or 200-300 USD chip ?
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May 06, 2012, 01:34:19 PM
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Is the same chip Smiley) at 50$  and 2k$

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May 06, 2012, 01:37:16 PM
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I see this as both good a bad news. The bad news is that they probably only have a limited quantity of this chip available. Either they will have to raise the price, or redesign their product using a Spartan or something else more modern.
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May 06, 2012, 01:38:39 PM
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I just came across this thread https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=34181;sa=showPosts
the guy is saying he programmed one of these chips to do 250mhs without any effort.
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May 06, 2012, 01:40:13 PM
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I see this as both good a bad news. The bad news is that they probably only have a limited quantity of this chip available. Either they will have to raise the price, or redesign their product using a Spartan or something else more modern.

Well their mini rig is faster per chip and consumes less power, so they already have some new chip now ?
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May 06, 2012, 01:42:13 PM
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i also check the price of this chip.
on digikey, it's about 2000-3000USD,

http://www.digikey.cn/product-search/zh/integrated-circuits-ics/embedded-fpgas-field-programmable-gate-array/2556262?k=EP3SL150

but this old chip is about 200-300USD in China market for a new one, and about 50-60 USD for a used one. i discussed with my supplier about the strange price, they said because nearly no one use this stuff, so the price is like a " markdown sale", so there are no large quantity of this chip in the market, maybe only a few hundreds (both new and used one).

all above is only personal viewpoint, I shall not accept any responsibility.

So which one is in the single ? the 2000-3000 or 200-300 USD chip ?
$2k - $3k is the retail price for it however since its old and nobody uses them anymore you can get them for cheaper from companies that have leftovers just laying around collecting dust because theres such low demand for them.

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May 06, 2012, 01:44:25 PM
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I see this as both good a bad news. The bad news is that they probably only have a limited quantity of this chip available. Either they will have to raise the price, or redesign their product using a Spartan or something else more modern.

Well their mini rig is faster per chip and consumes less power, so they already have some new chip now ?

Based on power quotes and speed the mini rig matches spartan 6 efficiency. I think they're using Spartan 6's

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May 06, 2012, 01:48:21 PM
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I see this as both good a bad news. The bad news is that they probably only have a limited quantity of this chip available. Either they will have to raise the price, or redesign their product using a Spartan or something else more modern.

Well their mini rig is faster per chip and consumes less power, so they already have some new chip now ?

Based on power quotes and speed the mini rig matches spartan 6 efficiency. I think they're using Spartan 6's

Yes, is likely, I suppose 128 spartan6
Each spartan about 200MH/s, 128 x 200= 25.6GH/s
Each spartan about 10Watt, 128 x 10= 1280W

Theoretically is correct  Roll Eyes
The strange is the price... 15k$ for 128 spartan, about 120$ for each... the while cost for each chip in this moment is double
bitcoindaddy
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May 06, 2012, 01:50:41 PM
 #20

ngzhang, based on the specs for the chip, would you say that BFL is overdriving this chip, or is it comfortably within it's specs?
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