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I found that in my university there are some FPGA's available to test and to play with. I am a software/web programmer and I have never been working with verilog or whatever is used to program FPGA.

So is there a nice tutorial which explains how to start mining using FPGA. I do not want to create a fancy 2 - 10 connected FPGAs to run mine for profit, but I just want to start one FPGA and to see how it is working and what speed it is giving me.

I have checked the question: What software/hardware is required to mine with an FPGA?, but it does not provide information, I needed.

P.S: I also have seen this post: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=9047.0 , but I hope to hear from someone who started to mine by himself and can share his experience.

So is there an easy to use tutorial for a not microsystem guy who wants to test mining. Or this is so complicated?

P.S. The vendor is Xilinx.

I have two different models:

  • The model for the simple one is Spartan 3E
  • The model for the advanced one is Virtex5
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The bitstream that gets loaded is not universal among FPGAs. Bitcoin StackExchange might not be a great place to get pointed in the right direction. Perhaps try the Custom Hardware board on the forum? bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=76.0 –  Stephen Gornick Nov 25 '12 at 4:15
    
What vendor/model of FPGA are you using? –  Nick ODell Nov 26 '12 at 9:49
    
Thanks @NickODell I updated the question with FPGA details –  Salvador Dali Nov 26 '12 at 12:02
    
possible duplicate of How do I mine with FPGAs? –  Murch Sep 24 '13 at 20:13

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

So is there a nice tutorial which explains how to start mining using FPGA.

Not really, not a "starting from scratch" one.

Or this is so complicated?

Yes, it is quite complicated - in order to work with FPGAs, some additional skills on top of software are required. You need to understand logic design and some (fairly basic) electronics in order to make a successful FPGA.

However, as a learning project, if it's something that interests you, I'd say it's worth a go - you'll learn a lot, but it won't be a quick-and-easy learning experience :)

But start small - first off, write an FPGA which just flashes an LED on and off slowly - that enables you to learn lots of the low-level details without a complex logic design going on. The FPGA equivalent of "Hello World"!


EDIT:

If you've already done some FPGA work, then "all" you need to do is build a SHA implementation, some method of getting data to and from it and a little control logic. I haven't done it myself, but I got about that far along a "thought-design" before deciding I wasn't sufficiently interested to pursue it further.

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The idea is to learn, not to mine. I have already done some work with FPGA, like playing a song and working with colour. Have you tried to mine with FPGA? –  Salvador Dali Nov 26 '12 at 13:34

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