FPGA mining with a human face

FPGA mining with a human face

Mining on the FPGA is experiencing a new dawn due to the struggle of cryptocurrency developers with ASIC miners. The article describes one of these devices – the Blackminer F1 Mini.

The production of equipment for mining cryptocurrency is a rapidly developing industry that has gone through certain stages of development in a relatively short time of existence. One of these stages was the use of FPGA, or FPGA, to create hardware miners. The first such devices by themselves were intended for the extraction of Bitcoin and existed for a short time, after which they were ousted by ASIC miners. One of these devices was considered for example here.

However, the era of FPGA mining is not over. Over the years, the number of cryptocurrencies has increased significantly, as well as the number of hashing algorithms. Equipment manufacturers are responding to the changing situation in this market, releasing more and more new mining devices based on ASIC.

However, modern ASIC chips are created only for one algorithm, and when the cryptocurrency algorithm changes, it is impossible to modify the chip for a new algorithm. And such a change in the algorithm is quite a frequent occurrence. It is enough to recall at least Monero’s incessant struggle with ASIC miners, or Vertcoin, whose creators changed the algorithm by taking their coin from the sphere of ASIC mining. Unlike the ASIC, the FPGA chip has a huge undeniable advantage — adaptability and software flexibility, since it can be reprogrammed and continued to be used on the changed algorithm.

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Miners BlackMiner

Modern miners based on FPGA can be divided into two categories. The first category, which can be called “for specialists”, includes typical FPGA boards with various interfaces, for programming and servicing of which it is necessary to possess a number of specific knowledge. The second category, “for the home miner,” includes ready-made devices with a friendly interface, the configuration of which does not require additional knowledge.

Representatives of the second category of FPGA mining devices are BlackBlock devices. Today the company produces and sells four models of miners:

  1. Blackminer F1 Mini, worth $ 179;
  2. BlackMiner F1-single, worth $ 1,300;
  3. BlackMiner F1, worth $ 2000;
  4. BlackMiner F1 +, worth $ 2800.

This article discusses the cheapest and easiest miner of the BlackMiner family – F1 Mini. Reading a small description on the manufacturer’s website, you can see the phrase “No radiators and no cost.” This means that in order to use the product, you must prepare the power supply in advance. ATX units with PCI-e video card power connectors will do. However, there is a connector on the board for a conventional DC 12V power supply, the main requirement for which is to ensure an honest 8A output.

Order and delivery

According to the good old tradition, the manufacturer has prepared a discount code specifically for users of our site to receive a discount for F1 Mini – bits.media. The code must either be entered in the order window, or initially follow the link.

Delivery to the Russian Federation is carried out through the EMS Express service. The use of EMS as a courier company is convenient for the manufacturer, as other courier companies are currently undergoing serious inspection and clearance at the customs of the Russian Federation. A miner will be shipped to other countries via UPS.

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Packaging is quite standard for such items. In the FPGA customs declaration, the miner is listed as a “development board”.

There is a fairly hard cardboard box under the packaging:

 hard cardboard box under the packaging

In the box itself, the miner’s board is packed in an antistatic bag, which is packed in a special cradle formed from polyethylene foam. On top of the package with the board covered with a lid of the same material. Such careful packaging eliminates the possibility of damage to the miner board during transport.

Physical device and characteristics

Considered a miner consists of two parts. The front part is designed to install cooling, which should not interfere. That is why there are practically no electronic components on the front.

Under the yellow warning sticker, the FPGA chip is hidden.

The miner uses FPGA from Xilinx Kintex-7 family, model XC7K325T. This is quite a powerful and productive chip on 326080 logic cells. Detailed specifications are as follows:


AMD Vega64

Nvidia 1060

F1 Mini

hash rate


hash rate


hash rate



11.3 Mh

220 W

5 Mh

120 W

7 Mh

70 W


99 Mh

220 W

60 Mh

120 W

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237 Mh

68 W


98 Mh

220 W

30 Mh

120 W

20 Mh

62 W


49 Mh

220 W

30 Mh

120 W

31 Mh

57 W

The results obtained in the comments do not need and allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of mining on the FPGA in comparison with the GPU mining. It is logical that different algorithms have different efficiency on different equipment.


In the end, it is worth noting that the device turned out very interesting. The implementation of multi-algorithm mining on FPGA with a user-friendly interface turned out to be quite good.

Blackminer has a large community, but it is mainly concentrated in Discord. In the Telegram, especially in the Russian segment, the manufacturer is not represented. An open group has been created specifically for the development of the Russian-speaking community.

For those who are interested in FPGA mining and who want to buy the F1 Mini, we remind you that a special discount code, bits.media, was created for bits.media users. The code must either be entered in the order window, or initially follow the link with this code.

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