I’ve received the hundredth inquiry on FPGA-based Bitcoin and 28nm fpga bitcoin mining mining. Here is an FAQ on this subject. I’ll update starting at the top and get up to speed on litecoin. This FAQ was started mid April’13 shortly after the banking problems in Cyprus and after the crash.
Who are you and why do I care? I work in a company that specializes in FPGAs. We know everything that is worth knowing about FPGAs and their application. It is all that we do. What is your opinion about Bitcoin in general?
Hackers or speculators render the whole thing useless or steal everything. Regulatory authorities, either international or nationally, put restrictions on Bitcoin transactions that render the whole thing useless or uneconomical. Now that being said you might be able to make some money until this thing gets crushed out of existence. B’ if you can somehow keep laundered money out of the network.
But the whole thing is anarchy now which you people seem to like. It doesn’t help that worldwide drug syndicates and Russian oligarchs are using your technology to stash money. Can we use your FPGA products to put together a bitchin’ Bitcoin mining rig? Yes, but in no way that appears to be cost effective using our products. Professional level FPGA hardware is about 20-50x too expensive. What kind of performance can I expect?
At least that is what you can get with this thing: ZTEX USB-FPGA Module 1. We haven’t bothered to look at the open source verilog code for SHA256 to see if we can speed it up or get the power down. Virtex-7 is about twice as fast as Spartan-6. Spartan-6 has all kinds of routing problems, making this technology difficult for the FPGA proletariat. I think Virtex-7 is the same. Altera Arria-V is about twice as fast as Spartan-6.