The future behind the FPGA

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The word FPGA stands for Field Programmable Gate Array. The word distinguishes FPGA’s from ASIC’s. An ASIC is a custom chip that cannot be reconfigured after it is manufactured. Once it is shipped and ‘in the field’, an ASIC’s function is fixed. An FPGA gets its name because it can be ‘reprogrammed in the field’, after it has been shipped to a custom or seen use in the real world. The word ‘gate array’ comes from the fact that within the FPGA are millions of logic ‘gates’. In most CPU’s and ASIC’s, these gates are hard-wired to perform specific logic functions on binary (1,0) values, such as AND, OR, NOT, XOR, and so on, producing a 1-bit output from two 1-bit inputs. Operating such as addition and multiplication are created by combining hundreds or thousands of basic logic gates together. An FPGA uses something called LUT’s (look-up tables) to simulate logic gates. Each lookup table can be reprogrammed to perform an arbitrary ‘boolean function’. A boolean function is a function that takes several binary inputs and produces a single binary output (1 or 0). Most modern FPGA’s use 6-input lookup tables (LUT6), which are lookup tables that have 6-inputs. Older FPGA’s use 4-input lookup tables. Each FPGA also contains millions of registers, which are 1-bit memory elements each storing the value 0 or 1. Unlike ordinary computer memory, FPGA registers are spread out within the FPGA fabric, and mixed in with the lookup tables, the clock signals, and other ‘routing’ resources that allow arbitrary ‘wires’ to connect all these things together in whatever way the programmer wants. Once properly configured, every processing element in the FPGA can work simultaneously and in parallel. This is in contrast to CPU’s which perform sequential operations. Graphics cards (GPU) achieve higher parallel operation than CPU’s, but still not as high a degree of parallelism compared to FPGA’s. Due to the vast difference between an FPGA and a classical CPU or GPU, FPGA’s must be programmed in a special type of programming language. The two languages that are used are Verilog and VHDL. These are called ‘Hardware Description Languages’ (HDL). Programming an FPGA in an HDL language is typically referred to as ‘RTL programming’, which stands for ‘register-transfer level’. What this means is that a programmer who programs the FPGA at the ‘RTL’ level is able to fully control every individual item inside the FPGA for maximum performance and customization. General purpose processors (CPU’s, GPU’s) are programmed in higher level languages, like C, C++, Java, and Python. Since ‘high level’ languages are far easier to learn, and to use, many attempts have been made to create a system that allows programming of FPGA’s using ‘high level’ languages. This started with a university project called Handel-C in the late 1990’s. Today it has evolved into several software packages such as Vivado HLS (high-level synthesis), and a language called OpenCL. While these ‘high level’ FPGA languages do work for some applications like artificial intelligence, they do not work at all for cryptocurrency mining. To mine cryptocurrency competitively, FPGA’s must be programmed on the lowest possible level which is the RTL (register transfer level) using hardware description languages such as Verilog and VHDL. While Verilog and VHDL are structurally very similar (essentially identical), their syntax varies dramatically. VHDL is typically used in universities, while ‘real world’ companies and programmers typically use Verilog. Verilog has the same syntax as the C programming language, and a Verilog program takes up less than half the text space that a similar program in VHDL would take. All of Zetheron’s mining software is programmed in Verilog.

The VCU1525 blockchain edition is powered by the Xilinx VU13P.

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By purchasing your BCU1525 receive units that have a special security key encoded onto it. The key allows you access to private bitstreams powered by the Allmine Crypto Shell and Squirrels Research Labs technology as well as public bitstreams provided by others in the community.

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BCU1525 - Passive Edition (16Gb RAM)

Device:

Core Voltage (Mod)0.75v (Modified from 0.85v)

Interface  PCI-E, USB

Power 75W PCI-E + 150W 8-Pin AUX

DDR44x DDR4 Dimm Slots (NON-ECC)

Cooling (Mod) Custom designed cooling solution for maximum thermal load. Includes additional heat-sinks for power components and upgraded thermal paste.

 

Performance:

Cryptonote and Lyra2z are both algorithms which we've developed internally and will be releasing with the device. The board itself is open to development from anyone in the community. Additional bitstreams will be released for this board by Zetheron and others from the bitcointalk community.

Algorithm/  Hashrate/   Power/  Notes

CNv1 - Monero 714Kh/s 150W

Lyra2z 20.5Mh/s150W Still under development - Performance expected to increase.

3000$

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VCU1525 - Active Edition (VU9P, 16Gb RAM)

3200$

Device:

Core Voltage (Mod)0.75v (Modified from 0.85v)

Interface  PCI-E, USB

Power 75W PCI-E + 150W 8-Pin AUX

DDR44x DDR4 Dimm Slots (NON-ECC)

Cooling designed cooling solution for maximum thermal load. Includes additional heat-sinks for power components and upgraded thermal paste.

 

Performance:

Cryptonote and Lyra2z are both algorithms which we've developed internally and will be releasing with the device. The board itself is open to development from anyone in the community. Additional bitstreams will be released for this board by Zetheron and others from the bitcointalk community.

Algorithm/  Hashrate/   Power/  Notes

CNv1 - Monero 714Kh/s 150W

Lyra2z 20.5Mh/s150W Still under development - Performance expected to increase.

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Vinga 2200W VPS-2200 Mining edition

240$

Manufacturer Vinga

Model VPS-2200 Mining edition

ATX 12V v2.3

Power 2200 W

Certification 80 PLUS 80 PLUS Bronze

Number of additional power connectors for vga 20

CPU 1x4+4pin

VGA 10х (6+2 pin)*2

SATA 7

IDE 5

Output Сurrent +5V 15A

Output Сurrent +3,3V 15A

Output Current +12V 177A

Output Сurrent -12V 0.5А

Output Сurrent +5Vsb 2А

 

VCU1525 - Active Edition (VU13P, 16Gb RAM)

3700$

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