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Author Topic: BitForce SC - full custom ASIC  (Read 49020 times)
SgtSpike
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May 29, 2012, 05:06:02 PM
 #121

Time will tell.  I'll just say that I still disagree with you that miners won't be able to pay off their ASICs.

And how would you know that? The only way to be able to make even an educated guess of your payback time is knowing how many terrahash BFL will sell over that time. Are you saying you have an educated guess for that? Cause I certainly dont.

But I do know the potential is almost limitless, if BFL have a full wafer maskset, they will have a GH printing press with a capacity that far exceeds what you considered possible just a few posts above. You will be utterly at their (and/or their competitors) mercy for you ROI.
You don't know what the future will hold just the same that I don't know.  But my instinct is that miners won't continue purchasing these things to the point where the original price point will never pay back.  When the payback period is that long, and the margins that slim, people will lose interest on investing their money in mining equipment, reducing the payback period and increasing the margins again.  It's a market that naturally balances itself out.
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Gomeler
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May 29, 2012, 05:08:50 PM
 #122

Entertaining how people are pulling random numbers out of a hat for the hashing value of this non-existent chip. BFL, if they are indeed going through with this, could make a large chip or a bunch of tiny chips. All that matters in the end is the $/MH and MH/W ratios for the final consumer product. I personally hope for the AMD GPU route, lots of tiny chips with a scalable architecture. Cluster the chips in manageable quantities with PCB TDPs in a manageable range and scale boxes via daughter cards. This isn't a difficult problem either.. there are no highspeed interconnects needed.

Another lesson taken from AMD's book would be selling chips with DOA cores disabled at a discount. I doubt BFL will have a purchasing agreement to purchase only working dies so, given enough time they'll have a stack of partially working cores. Disable the portions of the chips with the damage and sell an underpowered daughter card as an intro product.

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May 29, 2012, 05:18:12 PM
 #123

... I personally hope for the AMD GPU route, lots of tiny chips with a scalable architecture....

I think BFL has already given us a clue that this will be the case.  They will be selling at least two different products a different price points. If you were to invest a huge sum of money to create an ASIC, you would only want to do it once. Then each product would have a different number of chips on it creating different price points for the consumer. Whether this means 1 or 2 chips or 9 or 10 remains to be seen.
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May 29, 2012, 05:19:02 PM
 #124

Entertaining how people are pulling random numbers out of a hat for the hashing value of this non-existent chip. BFL, if they are indeed going through with this, could make a large chip or a bunch of tiny chips. All that matters in the end is the $/MH and MH/W ratios for the final consumer product.

<snip>

i agree completely. until we have even an 2estimated target, preformance wise, it's all speculation and guesswork. and given the singles and their estimate/reality relationship, i'll personally that eve nthat with a grain of salt.
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May 29, 2012, 05:45:46 PM
 #125

Just for the record, Im not entirely pulling numbers out of my arse. I cant tell you everything I know, but I can tell you what google will tell you if you search for SHA256 performance comparisons between 65nm FPGAs and 130nm ASICs, like this paper here:

http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/536.pdf

(page 13)

Of course, no one said BFL will use 130nm, they might have picked 90nm or who knows, perhaps even 65nm, in which case you could be looking at closer to 5TH per wafer. But even if they went for 180nm or Im wrong by an order or magnitude, the basic premises remains the same: the variable cost per TH is several orders of magnitude lower than the current market price, and if BFL rides the price / difficulty curve from the current top to the eventual bottom, as a miner you will have a serious problem keeping up.

bulanula
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May 29, 2012, 05:53:26 PM
 #126

Just for the record, Im not entirely pulling numbers out of my arse. I cant tell you everything I know, but I can tell you what google will tell you if you search for SHA256 performance comparisons between 65nm FPGAs and 130nm ASICs, like this paper here:

http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/536.pdf

Of course, no one said BFL will use 130nm, they might have picked 90nm or who knows, perhaps even 65nm, in which case you could be looking at closer to 5TH per wafer. But even if they went for 180nm or Im wrong by an order or magnitude, the basic premises remains the same: the variable cost per TH is several orders of magnitude lower than the current market price, and if BFL rides the price / difficulty curve from the current top to the eventual bottom, as a miner you will have a serious problem keeping up.

It is true. P4man and me are both scared that BFL will corner the mining market ... Cry

I almost had a stroke when I read this thread yesterday.

Looking at BFL's past history it looks like they will deliver, unfortunately for all of us running GPUs and FPGAs now. ( not Singles )

Bowing down to the BFL mining overlords ... all this can be stopped by a community effort and mining can be decentralized again.

NDA ASIC = not good plan for us and Bitcoin in general.

What's stopping BFL having a ride with the blockchain and 51% ? NOTHING.

This needs to be fixed. Algo change is in order IMHO.

I wish BFL all success in the world but I don't like where this is going for BTC  Undecided
Dexter770221
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May 29, 2012, 06:05:20 PM
 #127

I'm also think that ASIC's are very bad idea for bitcoin. ALgo will have to change one day, ASIC's will make that sooner, maybe real soon. And one day all that ASIC's will be worthless. Difficulty very high and no equipment capable to get (in reasonable time) to next difficulty drop. And that will be end of bitcoin. It is really bad idea...

Under development Modular UPGRADEABLE Miner (MUM). Looking for investors.
Changing one PCB with screwdriver and you have brand new miner in hand... Plug&Play, scalable from one module to thousands.
rjk
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May 29, 2012, 06:09:18 PM
 #128

I'm also think that ASIC's are very bad idea for bitcoin. ALgo will have to change one day, ASIC's will make that sooner, maybe real soon. And one day all that ASIC's will be worthless. Difficulty very high and no equipment capable to get (in reasonable time) to next difficulty drop. And that will be end of bitcoin. It is really bad idea...
Come on guys. It is simply proof that it is popular enough to attract major investment. There is no reason for it to be "bad" for bitcoin, at all. It just means that instead of constantly buying and upgrading obsolete video-card based rigs, you will instead be trying new and emerging ASIC technologies. Benefit is felt in the wallet, when the electricity bill comes. And over time, they will be so much more accessible to everyone, as technologies improve, companies pay off the NRE and become more competitive, and markets for different size operations emerge.


Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
Dexter770221
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May 29, 2012, 06:13:32 PM
 #129

But there will be only few companies, there will be no room for more. And that means centralizing bitcoin, you will be on mercy of those few.

Under development Modular UPGRADEABLE Miner (MUM). Looking for investors.
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 29, 2012, 06:17:39 PM
 #130

But there will be only few companies, there will be no room for more. And that means centralizing bitcoin, you will be on mercy of those few.
AMD is the only video card manufacturer that matters, and nvidia is a far away second.

BFL is working on this ASIC as well as several competitors: OpenBitASIC, which will publish its designs under GPL once they are up and running; LargeCoin, who are making a structured ASIC platform; Vladimir, who is creating a set of ASICs of his own design that won't be sold to the public; and possibly others that have not announced themselves.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
Dexter770221
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May 29, 2012, 06:22:32 PM
 #131

But AMD is not making video cards for mining. They can be used for that but it's not they only purpose. ASIC designed for mining have only one purpose, and that makes them very dangerous for bitcoin that depends on mining.

Under development Modular UPGRADEABLE Miner (MUM). Looking for investors.
Changing one PCB with screwdriver and you have brand new miner in hand... Plug&Play, scalable from one module to thousands.
rjk
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May 29, 2012, 06:27:23 PM
 #132

But AMD is not making video cards for mining. They can be used for that but it's not they only purpose. ASIC designed for mining have only one purpose, and that makes them very dangerous for bitcoin that depends on mining.
So? If you have the infrastructure to support it, you too could invest in an AMD-based solution. The "NRE" in that case would be the implementation of a suitable location, cooling, and base platforms. Kind of like what DMC is doing.

Instead of spending million(s?) on ASIC fabs, you could instead fill an entire warehouse with video cards and cooling equipment, and still be ahead of many miners - even those with FPGAs.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
ice_chill
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May 29, 2012, 06:27:43 PM
 #133

But AMD is not making video cards for mining. They can be used for that but it's not they only purpose. ASIC designed for mining have only one purpose, and that makes them very dangerous for bitcoin that depends on mining.

It makes them dangerous to investors pocket, not Bitcoin Smiley
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May 29, 2012, 06:32:03 PM
 #134

Just for the record, Im not entirely pulling numbers out of my arse. I cant tell you everything I know, but I can tell you what google will tell you if you search for SHA256 performance comparisons between 65nm FPGAs and 130nm ASICs, like this paper here:

http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/536.pdf

Of course, no one said BFL will use 130nm, they might have picked 90nm or who knows, perhaps even 65nm, in which case you could be looking at closer to 5TH per wafer. But even if they went for 180nm or Im wrong by an order or magnitude, the basic premises remains the same: the variable cost per TH is several orders of magnitude lower than the current market price, and if BFL rides the price / difficulty curve from the current top to the eventual bottom, as a miner you will have a serious problem keeping up.

It is true. P4man and me are both scared that BFL will corner the mining market ... Cry

I almost had a stroke when I read this thread yesterday.

Looking at BFL's past history it looks like they will deliver, unfortunately for all of us running GPUs and FPGAs now. ( not Singles )

Bowing down to the BFL mining overlords ... all this can be stopped by a community effort and mining can be decentralized again.

NDA ASIC = not good plan for us and Bitcoin in general.

What's stopping BFL having a ride with the blockchain and 51% ? NOTHING.

This needs to be fixed. Algo change is in order IMHO.

I wish BFL all success in the world but I don't like where this is going for BTC  Undecided

In fact, ASIC is the only thing that can prevent 51% attack. Why? Today there are banks, financial
institutions, intelligence organizations that have super-computers, consisting of thousand and thousands
of CPUs or GPUs. These grids are used to run financial analysis, mostly Monte-Carlo.

Imagine "Societe General" in France for example. They have a GPU array of 15,000. If for financial
interests or certain other reasons, they decided to switch to BitCoin for a week. This grid alone can
give them over 15TH in processing power... this will not be 51% attack, it will be 120% attack.
This is just one bank, activating only one of its grids.

As long as the algorithm used in BitCoin can be effectively implemented in CPU or GPUs, network will always
be under threat. Scrypt won't be good either, since many institutions have grids of several thousand CPUs.

The only thing that can stop it is the ASIC. Imagine tomorrow the processing power of the BitCoin network
is 2,000TH. This is something super-computers cannot attack, simply because their combined processing
power cannot reach even 10% of it, let alone 51% attack....


Regards,
BF Labs Inc.

BF Labs Inc.  www.butterflylabs.com   -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
rjk
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May 29, 2012, 06:35:50 PM
 #135

They have a GPU array of 15,000. [...] This grid alone can give them over 15TH in processing power...
That would be 1Gh per GPU, which I would tend to question because most systems of that nature use slow nVidia GPUs. But they could easily band together with other banks and things to get the same result.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
P4man
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May 29, 2012, 06:36:29 PM
 #136

What RJK said. I dont see asics as a threat to bitcoin. Although depending on BFLs pricing strategy, there is a small risk that someone could try to initially buy a majority of all the ASICs BFL will sell and obtain 51%; but once production and sales are well under way, that risk is probably no bigger than someone today trying to build a 51% farm with gpus, gpumax and/or a botnet.

Side note: its interesting that it could be considered for the benefit of bitcoin if BFL rode the price/difficulty curve from the top and thus priced their systems initially very high, ie competitively with FPGAs, just to avoid the above scenario. But doing so will seriously screw their early customers. I guess between bitcoin, BFL and miners, someone is going to have to lose. I know who my money isnt on, but it will be fascinating to see it unfold.

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May 29, 2012, 06:38:00 PM
 #137

Just for the record, Im not entirely pulling numbers out of my arse. I cant tell you everything I know, but I can tell you what google will tell you if you search for SHA256 performance comparisons between 65nm FPGAs and 130nm ASICs, like this paper here:

http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/536.pdf

Of course, no one said BFL will use 130nm, they might have picked 90nm or who knows, perhaps even 65nm, in which case you could be looking at closer to 5TH per wafer. But even if they went for 180nm or Im wrong by an order or magnitude, the basic premises remains the same: the variable cost per TH is several orders of magnitude lower than the current market price, and if BFL rides the price / difficulty curve from the current top to the eventual bottom, as a miner you will have a serious problem keeping up.

It is true. P4man and me are both scared that BFL will corner the mining market ... Cry

I almost had a stroke when I read this thread yesterday.

Looking at BFL's past history it looks like they will deliver, unfortunately for all of us running GPUs and FPGAs now. ( not Singles )

Bowing down to the BFL mining overlords ... all this can be stopped by a community effort and mining can be decentralized again.

NDA ASIC = not good plan for us and Bitcoin in general.

What's stopping BFL having a ride with the blockchain and 51% ? NOTHING.

This needs to be fixed. Algo change is in order IMHO.

I wish BFL all success in the world but I don't like where this is going for BTC  Undecided
1)  Why would BFL kill the very project that is giving them almost all of their income?  They have no reason or motive to kill Bitcoin or stage a 51% attack on it.
2)  BFL is selling to the public.  In my opinion, this is the best way to introduce ASICs to Bitcoin.  It'll keep it decentralized by giving a whole bunch of people a whole bunch of hashing power.  Vlad was/is doing it behind closed doors and NOT offering his tech for sale to the general public.  I am glad he likely won't be the first to the market on this.

Go ahead and algo change if you want, but I'm sticking with the current Bitcoin code and blockchain.   Roll Eyes

I'm also think that ASIC's are very bad idea for bitcoin. ALgo will have to change one day, ASIC's will make that sooner, maybe real soon. And one day all that ASIC's will be worthless. Difficulty very high and no equipment capable to get (in reasonable time) to next difficulty drop. And that will be end of bitcoin. It is really bad idea...
IF the algo has to change one day, people will know about the change far ahead of time.  And if Bitcoin is still anything by the time that day arrives, there will be plenty of companies offering miners for sale before the algo changes, just to take advantage of the change.  I don't see an algo change killing Bitcoin.  And who in their right mind would accept an algo change without first ensuring that adequate mining equipment is/was in place anyway?  Remember, miners and users are both in it to see Bitcoin succeed.  No one is going to make a Bitcoin-killing change to the algorithm - it wouldn't make any sense for any parties involved.

But AMD is not making video cards for mining. They can be used for that but it's not they only purpose. ASIC designed for mining have only one purpose, and that makes them very dangerous for bitcoin that depends on mining.
Why are dedicated miners very dangerous for Bitcoin?  That makes absolutely no sense.  If a company was to keep the technology all to themselves and only mine by themselves, then I could see it being dangerous.  But BFL will be offering an ASIC miner to the general public.  ASIC mining couldn't come about in a better way, in my opinion, as it offers the change to continue to keep mining a decentralized project.  Vlad is also coming out with an ASIC, but is keeping it all to himself and his own company.  That is the worst way to do it, because then you truly do have fears about 51% and all of that.  But BFL, selling to many people, means that many people will have access to ASICs and mining will be spread between them.  How is this bad or dangerous for Bitcoin?
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May 29, 2012, 06:39:45 PM
 #138

How are asic's dangerous for bitcoin?

51% attack? that would mean bitcoin won't have any value anymore because the 51+ entity can double spent so they loose the investment of the asic's.

Not profitable anymore for people how have lots of gpu/fpga's? So what, what about the people with lots of cpu's when gpu mining started? Bitcoin survived.

sha256 not stong enough anymore? Don't think so, at current difficulty (1,591,075) a little less than 2^53 hashes should be made for one block. Difficulty can double 200 times more!
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May 29, 2012, 06:47:48 PM
 #139

Just for the record, Im not entirely pulling numbers out of my arse. I cant tell you everything I know, but I can tell you what google will tell you if you search for SHA256 performance comparisons between 65nm FPGAs and 130nm ASICs, like this paper here:

http://eprint.iacr.org/2010/536.pdf

Of course, no one said BFL will use 130nm, they might have picked 90nm or who knows, perhaps even 65nm, in which case you could be looking at closer to 5TH per wafer. But even if they went for 180nm or Im wrong by an order or magnitude, the basic premises remains the same: the variable cost per TH is several orders of magnitude lower than the current market price, and if BFL rides the price / difficulty curve from the current top to the eventual bottom, as a miner you will have a serious problem keeping up.

It is true. P4man and me are both scared that BFL will corner the mining market ... Cry

I almost had a stroke when I read this thread yesterday.

Looking at BFL's past history it looks like they will deliver, unfortunately for all of us running GPUs and FPGAs now. ( not Singles )

Bowing down to the BFL mining overlords ... all this can be stopped by a community effort and mining can be decentralized again.

NDA ASIC = not good plan for us and Bitcoin in general.

What's stopping BFL having a ride with the blockchain and 51% ? NOTHING.

This needs to be fixed. Algo change is in order IMHO.

I wish BFL all success in the world but I don't like where this is going for BTC  Undecided
1)  Why would BFL kill the very project that is giving them almost all of their income?  They have no reason or motive to kill Bitcoin or stage a 51% attack on it.
2)  BFL is selling to the public.  In my opinion, this is the best way to introduce ASICs to Bitcoin.  It'll keep it decentralized by giving a whole bunch of people a whole bunch of hashing power.  Vlad was/is doing it behind closed doors and NOT offering his tech for sale to the general public.  I am glad he likely won't be the first to the market on this.

Go ahead and algo change if you want, but I'm sticking with the current Bitcoin code and blockchain.   Roll Eyes

I'm also think that ASIC's are very bad idea for bitcoin. ALgo will have to change one day, ASIC's will make that sooner, maybe real soon. And one day all that ASIC's will be worthless. Difficulty very high and no equipment capable to get (in reasonable time) to next difficulty drop. And that will be end of bitcoin. It is really bad idea...
IF the algo has to change one day, people will know about the change far ahead of time.  And if Bitcoin is still anything by the time that day arrives, there will be plenty of companies offering miners for sale before the algo changes, just to take advantage of the change.  I don't see an algo change killing Bitcoin.  And who in their right mind would accept an algo change without first ensuring that adequate mining equipment is/was in place anyway?  Remember, miners and users are both in it to see Bitcoin succeed.  No one is going to make a Bitcoin-killing change to the algorithm - it wouldn't make any sense for any parties involved.

But AMD is not making video cards for mining. They can be used for that but it's not they only purpose. ASIC designed for mining have only one purpose, and that makes them very dangerous for bitcoin that depends on mining.
Why are dedicated miners very dangerous for Bitcoin?  That makes absolutely no sense.  If a company was to keep the technology all to themselves and only mine by themselves, then I could see it being dangerous.  But BFL will be offering an ASIC miner to the general public.  ASIC mining couldn't come about in a better way, in my opinion, as it offers the change to continue to keep mining a decentralized project.  Vlad is also coming out with an ASIC, but is keeping it all to himself and his own company.  That is the worst way to do it, because then you truly do have fears about 51% and all of that.  But BFL, selling to many people, means that many people will have access to ASICs and mining will be spread between them.  How is this bad or dangerous for Bitcoin?

+1000
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May 29, 2012, 07:26:57 PM
 #140

1)  Why would BFL kill the very project that is giving them almost all of their income?  They have no reason or motive to kill Bitcoin or stage a 51% attack on it.

The profit motive is a very powerful one.

I agree with SgtSpike and think BFL is here to do the right thing which is to support the network and make some money.
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