It’s interesting, if not terribly useful… turns out that these days GPUs are a cheaper way of cracking hashes than FPGAs, which wasn’t immediately obvious. It also seems that Xilinx’s latest generation of FPGAs aren’t as good in practice as they look on paper.
Of course, if you want to actually run this design properly you need a really expensive high-end FPGA so I can’t imagine anyone playing with it outside university research labs. (There’s a cut-down version for smaller chips, but it behaves rather differently.)
Don’t GPUs tend to require an attached computer? The energy draw, heat generated, and space required by this are probably much lower in comparison.
@makomk: “It’s interesting, if not terribly useful…”
just like bitcoins
@Ted: yeah, the power usage of FPGAs is a lot better. Even if you take into account the cost and power consumption of the PC the graphics cards are in, the payback period for FPGAs is still longer than most people are 100% confident BitCoin mining will remain profitable for though.
If I understand things right…profit from investing in the Bitcoin p2p network by contributing cycles does not need to come exclusively from creating new coins, when all the coins are mined the currency has allowed for a form of transaction fee that members of the p2p Bitcoin network will receive a share of in return for providing processing of verification transactions