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Author Topic: OK, i confirmed the model of FPGA they are using in BFL single.  (Read 15834 times)
ice_chill
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May 06, 2012, 02:07:55 PM
 #21

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

They use around 20 modules with 2 CPU each, so around 40 chips. Not 128 Smiley
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May 06, 2012, 02:13:28 PM
 #22

Nice detective work, ngzhang and xaxik.  I really did not expect with this type of community that the BFL would stay shrouded in mystery for too long.

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May 06, 2012, 02:25:01 PM
 #23

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?

Maybe if their overdriving the chip and there second hand $50 chips that's why they only have six months of warranty?

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May 06, 2012, 02:26:51 PM
 #24

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?

the answer is, FPGAs include mass of possibility. if it can hold the Tj under the rated absolute maximum, i must say there is no over-driving at all.

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May 06, 2012, 04:45:11 PM
 #25

Nice catch, watching closeley.

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May 06, 2012, 07:44:59 PM
 #26

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

Gimme some of what your smoking  Grin

Spartan 6's do not go for $240 even at retail more like $175 retail

have you ever heard of getting things cheaper in bulk?  Tongue

I imagine you could get them $100 ea or cheaper in QTY

How many chips would you have to buy? IDK I figure if your buying thousands you can get a pretty sweet deal though

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May 06, 2012, 11:13:31 PM
 #27

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/ep3sl150.html

This is awesome, lets buy them up before BFL gets them.

Mwhahahaha I can already see there is much drama potential in this as soon as the supply is dried up  Tongue

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May 06, 2012, 11:26:01 PM
 #28

Maybe if their overdriving the chip and there second hand $50 chips that's why they only have six months of warranty?

That is a very strange warranty period for something that is considered a long term (> 1year) investment.
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May 07, 2012, 01:11:41 AM
 #29

Gonna be interesting what affect this has on singles ...

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May 07, 2012, 02:04:29 AM
 #30

Gonna be interesting what affect this has on singles ...
Likely: Nil.

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May 07, 2012, 02:08:20 AM
 #31

Maybe if their overdriving the chip and there second hand $50 chips that's why they only have six months of warranty?

That is a very strange warranty period for something that is considered a long term (> 1year) investment.
It's better than no warranty at all that some other products offer.

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May 07, 2012, 02:48:51 AM
 #32

Maybe if their overdriving the chip and there second hand $50 chips that's why they only have six months of warranty?

That is a very strange warranty period for something that is considered a long term (> 1year) investment.
It's better than no warranty at all that some other products offer.
And worse than the longer warranty that some other products offer.

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May 07, 2012, 02:54:27 AM
 #33

Very interesting find. Subscribing to thread.

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May 07, 2012, 03:03:22 AM
 #34

Maybe if their overdriving the chip and there second hand $50 chips that's why they only have six months of warranty?

That is a very strange warranty period for something that is considered a long term (> 1year) investment.
It's better than no warranty at all that some other products offer.
And worse than the longer warranty that some other products offer.
True, true. But at what point does the additional cost cover the extended warranty?

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May 07, 2012, 03:14:11 AM
 #35

i disassemble the box and start a JTAG probing on JTAG2.
...
by soldering the 0R resister back, I can detect the FPGAs by the JTAG normally.

Nice job, ngzhang!

I've been offering a 10BTC bounty to whoever did this; I've sent you twice that in recognition of your thoroughness.

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May 07, 2012, 03:21:02 AM
 #36

But how can they get so high mh/s compared to a $200 Spartan-6 chip?

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May 07, 2012, 03:22:59 AM
 #37

But how can they get so high mh/s compared to a $200 Spartan-6 chip?
Because Stratix is more awesome than Spartan.

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May 07, 2012, 03:29:54 AM
 #38

Maybe if their overdriving the chip and there second hand $50 chips that's why they only have six months of warranty?

That is a very strange warranty period for something that is considered a long term (> 1year) investment.
It's better than no warranty at all that some other products offer.
And worse than the longer warranty that some other products offer.
True, true. But at what point does the additional cost cover the extended warranty?
Smiley True - but also at what point does the lost BTC from waiting for your device to arrive cover the lower price.
i.e. if you spend 10 weeks waiting for a paid for 830MH/s device - that's currently 0.55338097BTC x 70 = ~38.7BTC or currently ~$193
So if you can get a similar device that mines at 830MH/s today now, then you could effectively cut $193 off the price before comparing.
You can of course make that time frame longer or shorter depending on how long a BFL really takes to get (longer) or shorter by subtracting the time another device takes to get Smiley

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May 07, 2012, 08:07:59 AM
 #39

Thanks for confirming, ngzhang. It is not too surprising of a discovery, as the Stratix III EP3SL150 was one of xaxik's reverse engineering guesses: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=53530.msg720365#msg720365

The most surprising, for me, is to learn that used units of these FPGAs sell for $50-60 in China. Two chips per Singles, plus $50-80 for the remaining components, means that the BOM cost for a BFL Single (with used FPGAs) is ~$150-200. This means anyone with a chinese source of used FPGAs could manufacture BFL Single clones producing about 5 Mh/s per dollar(!), making it by far the most economical mining platform.
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May 07, 2012, 08:13:02 AM
 #40

This means anyone with a chinese source of used FPGAs could manufacture BFL Single clones producing about 5 Mh/s per dollar(!), making it by far the most economical mining platform.

Yeah, anyone who can write a firmware for it to work Smiley
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