I'm not entirely sure how FPGA's work...

Do I simply buy a ZTEX and it mines, or do I need to plug it into a computer via USB?

Can I chain them?

I'm so confused.

1 Answer 1


The very basic idea of an FPGA is that it can be loaded with a specific firmware (a layout of logical gates, in essence). That page contains the firmware you'd need to load onto a Xilinx FPGA (A Spartan 6) in order to use it as a mining device. ZTEX refers to a suite of the FPGA, and various IO controllers (USB, etc.).

Roughly speaking, the steps you'd need to follow would be:

  1. Buy device
  2. Plug in device to your computer
  3. Load firmware onto device from your computer
  4. Run a piece of software on your computer that interfaces with the firmware now loaded on the FPGA
  5. Profit (in a couple years)

To answer your questions: yes, the device would need to be plugged in to a computer using the method in your link, and yes, you can "chain" them - i.e. have more than one plugged in. I've greatly oversimplified steps 3 & 4, by the way.

  • 1
    Oversimplified is such a great description - I'm using Modular Python Bitcoin Miner with a Mining_proxy software program. IT works...but I'd like to discover how KNCminer converted their FPGAs to clock around a gigahash each and not ncecessarily 400 Mh Oct 8, 2013 at 22:13
  • Which FPGA would you use for mining?
    – hhh
    Oct 9, 2017 at 23:03
  • 1
    FPGA mining for bitcoin was never popular, and has not been economically viable since around the time this was written (2012). Hypothetically you'd want something recent (e.g. Stratix 10).
    – Rooke
    Oct 10, 2017 at 14:46

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