FPGA Competition 🔥HEATS UP!!🔥
It's difficult to argue that any form of crypto mining is efficient.
Data centers lined with noisy, hot, whining, occasionally disconnected ASICs have proven, for several years now, just how inefficient the entire process can be.
And when a major crypto network change takes place, as has happened several times for coins like HoriZen, Bitcoin Gold, Monero, and others- many ASICs become obsolete literally overnight.
In fact, Proof of Work Mining can be very wasteful indeed.
However, it is the price of security within the Bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.
And that is worth every penny.
The re-introduction of FPGA devices for mining altcoins in 2018 brought new opportunities to re-evaluate the value of higher-performance, somewhat general purpose commodity computer parts.
Would GPUs last much longer?
Would there be a return to CPU mining?A lot of these questions are still being answered- but two things have become crystal clear:
- FPGAs are not going away
- There is growing demand among those in the know
Apparently, this has prompted Xilinx (the most popular producer of FPGA chips) to decide to enter the mining-specific board production business with an unnamed product based on what appears to be a stripped down version of it's "Alveo U50" data center board- which has been on the market already for some time, and can be rented on Amazon's EC2 service.
But they are offering it as a standalone product, aimed at qualified crypto mining investors, for private sale, in large quantities only...
This is unprecedented.
A leaked internal document from Xilinx
Last year, SQRL (makers of the "Acorn", "Forest Kitten", and proposed "Jungle Cat" mining FPGA devices) entered into a mutual NDA with Xilinx, relying on the former to produce silicon at scale for SQRL to fulfill customer orders of their mining appliances.
In fact, the "Forest Kitten" design is so similar, in design scope and form factor, that many members of the FPGA community have mistaken this design for SQRL's.
(In our video walkthrough, we point out similarities between the Alveo board and the internally proposed mining card)
What's your take on this?
Are Xilinx's actions normal? OK? Maybe even necessary for competition?
Or is this yet another large company succumbing to the siren call of "easy" money within the cryptocurrency space, burning bridges as they themselves ignite, falling from the metaphorical trip to the moon, ready to burn up from atmospheric re-entry?
We're reserving judgement for now- but think the team at SQRL generally deserves better than this.