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Author Topic: What else can our FPGA mining boards be used for?  (Read 6368 times)
2112
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June 18, 2012, 07:10:46 PM
 #41

The plan is to run the high-cpu and high-memory stuff in a VM with 40GB of RAM and several processor cores, and use the remainder for my daily desktop needs.
I tried to work like that for a while. I've found out that it isn't a workable solution for me and many other developers:

1) need to reboot the host too frequently for various reasons like hung USB driver/device, video driver up-/down-grades, global resource reconfiguration, etc.

2) accurate timekeeping problems in the guests;

3) network virtualization problems/bugs;

4) software performance debugging/troubleshooting became next to impossible.

5) things like plain-old midrange-desktop CQ6600 with 6 SATA drives in matrix RAID outperforms almost-top-of-the line Dell+Vmware server with 12 SAS + 2 SSD drives by more than an order of magnitude. I (and my co-workers) just don't have time to troubleshoot that.

The current software quality of the virtualization solutions for x86 is likely even going backwards. It is completely unlike that of IBM where many low-level hardware tests are virtualizable.

But I honestly bid you good luck, no irony. My current experience is that virtualization in the office setting is good only for the QA departments.

Please comment, critique, criticize or ridicule BIP 2112: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=54382.0
Long-term mining prognosis: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91101.0
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June 18, 2012, 07:20:59 PM
 #42

snip
Well, I've had good luck with Citrix XenServer, and Intel has a hypervisor that I've been wanting to try. I've only needed to reboot the hosts that I run for upgrades, which really have been optional and not needed ("But we have to run the latest stuff for security! blah blah blah....")

So I guess I'll find out how well I can pull it off. If all else fails, I'll have some hardware that someone would probably want to buy. Parts list: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=19183865
Box wasn't intended to run ISE, but I might install it and compile a few designs just for fun.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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June 20, 2012, 05:11:08 PM
 #43

FPGAs way less powerful than the Spartan6 (which all the mining boards except BFL use) have been used for password recovery on .zip files, wifi password cracking, Bluetooth cracking, etc.  Code here:

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

Service that charges for this:

https://www.cloudcracker.com/

...an enterprising miner could launch their own.
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June 20, 2012, 05:29:13 PM
 #44

FPGAs way less powerful than the Spartan6 (which all the mining boards except BFL use) have been used for password recovery on .zip files, wifi password cracking, Bluetooth cracking, etc.  Code here:

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

Service that charges for this:

https://www.cloudcracker.com/

...an enterprising miner could launch their own.



What evidence do you have they are using FPGAs ?

Most services that are doing this are using Nvidia GPUs simply because the FPGAs / AMD GPUs driver support is not mature enough and "misses" passwords.

CUDA is best for these applications.
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June 21, 2012, 04:58:22 AM
 #45

Moxie, the guy behind cloudcracker.com, uses Amazon EC2 GPU instances, which are very expensive, which explains why his prices are so high. A competitor using FPGAs could significantly undercut him.

Ignoring FPGAs, AMD GPUs are probably the best for this type of application, for the same reason that they are faster per $, compared to Nvidia, for ALU-bound workloads like pw cracking or Bitcoin mining.

A very popular GPU pw cracking tool is oclhashcat, which has excellent support for AMD GPUs. bulanula doesn't know what he is talking about  Cool
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June 21, 2012, 03:00:32 PM
 #46

What evidence do you have they are using FPGAs ?

I don't know that cloudcrack uses FPGAs, but there were a couple guys at Defcon last year doing WPA cracking on Spartan3-based boards plugged into their laptops.  I'll try to dig up a link; I'm almost positive the bitstreams were based on the OpenCores sources I linked.

My point is that you *could* run a cracking service using FPGA hardware repurposed from mining, and people *are* willing to pay for such a service.

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June 21, 2012, 03:06:39 PM
 #47

Lets create out own FPGA reuse suite, and once BFL are no longer producing FPGA, we sell them on for even more than they cost us Smiley
bitlane
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June 21, 2012, 03:14:09 PM
 #48

Lets create out own FPGA reuse suite, and once BFL are no longer producing FPGA, we sell them on for even more than they cost us Smiley

Don't tell me what to do with my FPGA after BFL no longer produce them !

(pretty fucking pathetic....mostly on your part, as seen here first: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=88903.msg979901#msg979901 )

bulanula
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June 21, 2012, 08:08:44 PM
 #49

What evidence do you have they are using FPGAs ?

I don't know that cloudcrack uses FPGAs, but there were a couple guys at Defcon last year doing WPA cracking on Spartan3-based boards plugged into their laptops.  I'll try to dig up a link; I'm almost positive the bitstreams were based on the OpenCores sources I linked.

My point is that you *could* run a cracking service using FPGA hardware repurposed from mining, and people *are* willing to pay for such a service.



Please share link.

I think this is beyond the skill level of most miners.

Compiling FPGA bitstream is serious business ... takes 48 hours and needs huge resources.

I don't have the skill but with GPU it would be EASY. Not so easy with FPGA.

I am not FPGA expert but neither are the rest of the miners I would say ...
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