UltraMiner FPGA

Affordable 16 nm Xilinx FPGA dev board for crypto mining and other high performance applications

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Affordable, Easy-to-Use, Powerful, Energy Efficient, and Versatile

Mining cryptocurrency can be fun and rewarding, especially if you’re able to set up a “mining rig” at home. For this to be practical, however, you will need a rig that is:

  • Affordable so you can buy it
  • Easy to use so you don’t have to spend all your time configuring it
  • Powerful so you can actually mine some crypto, rather than just warming up your desk
  • Energy efficient so you don’t spend all that crypto on electric bills and earplugs
  • Vesatile so you can mine various currencies and continue doing so when their algorithms change

UltraMiner FPGA is all of the above. Double the speed and four times the energy efficiency of a typical Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) rig, cheaper and more flexible than a typical Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) rig, UltraMiner FPGA helps you wring every drop of performance from the 16 nm KU3P Xilinx Kintex® UltraScale+™ FPGA at its heart. The KU3P is two generations newer than the chips in other affordable FPGA rigs, which makes it twice as fast while drawing half the power.

Open, Flexible, and Future Proof

Calling UltraMiner “versatile” is probably a bit of an understatement. It’s far more than just a crypto miner; it’s a modern, high performance FPGA dev board. And it’s open hardware. In addition to source code for our host software and cryptocurrency bitstreams, we intend to publish:

  • Our Register-Transfer Level (RTL) design
  • The board schematics
  • A board-support package that makes it easy to reprogram UltraMiner’s KU3P FPGA using the Vivado Design Suite from Xilinx

Speaking of Vivado, UltraMiner includes a free license to use the full version of that software – which normally costs over $2000 – as long as you’re using it to work with the KU3P chip. So even if you have no interest in crypto, UltraMiner still represents a cost effective way for you to explore the world of high performance FPGA programming. Other 16 nm dev boards might have additional bells and whistles, but they’ll set you back thousands of dollars.

And if you do have an interest in crypto, then UltraMiner offers you peace-of-mind as well as performance. More specifically, it’s a mining rig that won’t suddenly becoming a paperweight should the currency you’re mining decide to update its algorithm. Or should those of us who designed UltraMiner suddenly get hit by a truck.

Why Are We Doing This and Where Did We Come From

Openness, trust, and transparency – while core values to many cryptocurrency enthusiasts – are in short supply within the crypto mining hardware industry. We’d like to change that. Not only through transparent funding and open hardware, but by helping to build a trusted community that can maintain algorithm updates and perhaps even develop new algorithms for the hundreds of thousands of Altcoins that exist.

We started mining in 2017. We set up rigs at home and then proceeded to scale them past the point where they became inconvenient and right up to the edge of physical discomfort. So we began researching FPGA miners. Unfortunately, very few dev boards can deliver the power required by mining algorithms, so we didn’t have much luck. We did, however, have quite a lot of experience in the semiconductor industry – on both the hardware and the software sides of the business – so we decided to build our own.

Features & Specifications

  • Fast, power efficient, feature-rich FPGA: Kintex® UltraScale+™ chips deliver the optimal balance between price, performance, and energy consumption in a FinFET node, which makes them the most cost-effective solution for high-end, embedded processing. The KU3P chip in UltraMiner FPGA provides
    • System Logic Cells: 355,950
    • DSP Slices: 1368
    • Memory: 26.2 Mb
  • PCIe power connector: A 12 V PCIe 6-pin power connector makes it easy to convert mining rigs that rely on graphics cards
  • 100 W max power consumption: Specially designed to supply sustainably high current load to the FPGA in order to accommodate the high computational demand of cryptocurrency mining algorithms. Your miner will never crash because it’s out of juice!
  • Dual thermal solution: Designed to support a 90x90 mm LGA115x compatible CPU cooler solution for high-demand mining applications; compatible with a 40x40 mm North Bridge heatsink for less demanding use cases
  • Multi-purpose USB interface: One USB cable to rule them all:
    • Program, control, and reset the FPGA configuration
    • Connect to the FPGA system monitor for realtime temperature and voltage information or to tune your voltage output on-the-fly
    • Communicate with the host software to manage crypto mining operations
    • I²C over USB
    • UARTx2
  • Smart power management: A full featured TI PMIC chipset allows you to monitor, configure, and control the FPGA power supply remotely via USB
  • Free license for use of the Vivado Design Suite with UltraMiner’s KU3P FPGA: Download the application from Xilinx and use it to build your first project running on a 16 nm FPGA!
  • Open source cryptocurrency bitstream and host software: Download free bitstream files for cryptocurrency algorithms from our website! We also provide a cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Linux, and embedded Linux) open source framework that supports many different community-maintained mining algorithms
  • I/O:
    • 16 HPIO pins (1.8 V, higher speed, LVDS compatible)
    • 17 HDIO pins (3.3 V, lower speed)
  • Xilinx FPGA programmer JTAG port

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