In July 2018, Squirrels Research Lab announced the creation of Acorn FPGA, mining accelerator for GPU miners. While high-performance GPU’s used to be the best solution to mine multiple algorithms, they lack optimization for some tasks that exist in the algorithm chain. That is what gives a lot of potential for efficiency improvements, removing the hard part of the algorithm from GPU to well-optimized FPGA bitstream.
But first things first, what is FPGA at all? A Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is an integrated circuit that can be programmed in the field after manufacture. FPGAs are used by engineers in the design of specialized integrated circuits. FPGAs provide benefits to designers of many types of electronic equipment, ranging from smart energy grids, aircraft navigation, automotive driver’s assistance, medical ultrasounds
How does it work? It is a small FPGA capable of fitting into the M.2 slot present on your motherboard. Acorn
Acorn CLE 101 – makes mining algorithms like Ethash and CryptoNight V1 on GPUs more efficient. It does this by offloading the mathematical calculations (such as Keccak) that are usually processed on a GPU ASIC – these are calculated much more efficiently on an FPGA chip.
Acorn CLE 215 – works with high-end GPUs to efficiently minimize bottlenecks, and it can dual mine coins to maximize your profitability. Acorn CLE-215 makes mining algorithms like X16r and Lyra2REv2 on GPUs more efficient.
Acorn CLE 215+ – does everything the CLE-215 does while providing a 30 percent FPGA speed boost. This significantly increases hash rates for algorithms like X16r and Lyra2REv2 and enables standalone mining. Acorn CLE-215+ works synchronously with high-end GPUs to ensure the best hash-rate-to-power ratio possible. In addition, it can dual mine coins and mine coins without the help of CPUs and GPUs. It’s the most efficient and effective way to mine.
According to squirrelsresearch.com, Acorn FPGAs can bring depending on the algorithm and GPU up to 50% higher hash rate with a significant reduction in power consumption. While waiting for software (SQRL miner) to fully unleash its potential, seems like Acorns may extend the life or even save GPU mining for future.
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