Saturday, February 25, 2012

Where the X6500 is at now

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any updates. Been busy with work and life commitments, anyways here’s a quick run down of what we have accomplished.

Bit streams for the X6500 are now available @ 200Mhash/s per FPGA.

(Giving a 400Mhash/s total for a dual board). We’ve managed to synthesize up to 210Mhash/s but that’s not been fully tested for stability yet, so it will not be released for now to the public.

New Modular Python Bit coin Miner frontend for FPGA mining.

I’ve had it running for over a month now on my debug X6500 unit. It runs good, and looks better then what we were using before. Best of all it gets rid of the D2xx driver dependency, which will mean you can run it on small power efficient hardware. Thanks to TheSeven for making this possible.


Slightly improved hardware in the works.

We’re rolling out the next batch soon (it is actually being made as I post this). The major changes are

1. Addition of heat sink mounting holes. We were using thermal tape/epoxy on the last batch of boards and this has been a non optimal solution. Holes are spaced apart as per ‘standard’ Northbridge dimensions, should give more flexibility in terms of heat sink selection.

2. Addition of temperature sensors on each FPGA. I wished the Spartan-6 had internal thermal diodes to measure temps more accurately, we’ve compromised by mounting a sensor real close to the FPGA in question. This will mean the mining software will be able to monitor the temps real time and shutdown mining if something is amiss.

3. Fan headers. Added 2 standard fan headers to the board to provide the option of using an active heat sink.

4. Slightly larger board. Not really an improvement, but we had to make the new boards slightly larger to accommodate the changes we’ve made. The mounting holes are still in the same location as the previous board though, so you should still be able to stack them up if you so prefer.


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