Revised Butterfly Labs ASIC shipping schedule [updated July 10th 2013]

Still wondering whether BFL is a scam or when will Butterfly Labs ship? In their latest newsletter, BFL officially announced that shipping has begun and informed buyers that they should CONFIRM the order first, due to changes in energy efficiency. If your order is not confirmed, it will be canceled and your money will be refunded, or so they stress. The site went down almost instantly after the announcement, but it’s clear: the official BFL release date was May 1st 2013. Just as a reminder, here is the link to your account. According to BFL Jody, when your order’s status is changed from Processing (meaning you have paid) to Production, it may disappear temporarily from your account. Don’t worry, that’s when you’re closer to receiving your product!

It seems when I send your item to production from the online system, you can’t see it until after it ships. Please don’t freak out if your order disappears just when its time for it to ship.

July 10, 2013 Shipping Update from BFL Jody

Jalapenos from September 28, 2012 shipped today.

No Little Singles Shipped

Singles from pay date June 23, 2012 shipped. We are nearing the end of June 23 orders for Singles. We may finish them in a day or two.

MiniRigs from June 23 shipping.

Discount Vouchers for people who ordered ASICS during the first 4 months (June 23-Oct 23) were distributed today.

July 9, 2013 Shipping Update from BFL Jody

Jalapenos from September 24, 2012 shipping today.

Little Singles from June 24, 2012

Singles from June 23, 2012

MiniRigs from June 23, 2012

Some people are writing, calling, posting, etc. (Or maybe I should say one person is doing this) saying that they know people with higher order numbers who have received their miners and they want to know WHY they don’t have their order yet.

I will say it again. We ship by pay date not order number. There is one exception–during the first month of orders 1/3 of the daily shipment is from regular orders, 1/3 from trade-in orders and 1/3 from a lottery of all orders in the first month. Thankfully that is finished in the Jalapeno line. Some Singles in the first month have come from the lottery of all orders in the first month and quite naturally have higher order numbers than the first day orders. I am not posting all the different dates that were drawn; I only post the normal date we are shipping from.

The number of boards we are getting is increasing. Our new Production Manager is doing a good job of getting our supply chain running better. We are still running short on Power Supply Units for the Single, though. Anyone who has ATX power supplies with PCIe adapters could get their units on schedule without delay. (By that I mean if you are inline for June 23 order dates you could get your unit soon.)

I guess will hear on Friday how you like having shipping updates without comments. I kind of miss hearing what you think–I mean those of you who post thoughful and kind posts.

22 June 2013 – Update from Josh

I haven’t updated in awhile because I thought the shipping was self explanatory, but people seem to be clamoring for an update, so here we are.

We have been working our way through the backlog of orders over the past month. Production is slowly ramping up and we are easily able to manufacture 200 units a day currently – there will be no problem hitting 400 units a day once things are in full production. Right now, we are stymied by the inflow of chips. However, the inflow rate of chips is increasing and we expect it to be quite high within the next week or two. It’s been a long road to smoothing out these bottlenecks here and there.

Lots of Jalapeno’s have been sent out the door, as well as some singles and minirigs. Production on the longoard lines are really going to start to ramp up next week and the following weeks.

We have been refining the firmware for both the short board but mostly for the longboard. One of the primary changes has been to switch from a one job per board method to a one job per chip method. This has fixed a lot of the latency issues we were experiencing with the early firmware and what held up production on some of the 60 GH/s units. We have not yet finished the XLINK portion of the firmware to be operating at 100% yet, so the first few minirigs that are going out the door are shipping as individual USB devices (8 per box) instead of 1 big USB device. Going forward, once the XLINK stuff is finalized, minirigs will be shipped out as XLINK equipped.

We will continue to refine the firmware as we go along. With the current firmware, we are seeing between 260w to 280w per 60 GH/s unit, or 4.3w – 4.6w per GH at the wall on 120v. Actual chip wattage is just under 3w per GH.

In other news, we have released all the documentation necessary for people to begin creating their own boards to house our chips and we have begun selling our chips in bulk. The first deliveries of our chips are expected in roughly 100 days from the time of order. We still expect the current back order backlog to be cleared by the middle of September or so, although given what we can likely achieve with our production rate, I suspect it may be sooner than that. No guarantees on that either way, though.

22 May 2013 Update from BFL Josh

Progress has not stopped here at the labs while we attended the 2013 Bitcoin Conference. We demonstrated a 5 GH/s, a 25 GH/s and a 50 GH/s miner at the conference that people could see, touch, stroke and pet, all while they were mining on an Android tablet. It was a good conference and we were glad that we could demonstrate working units and meet many of our customers and fellow bitcoiners. It was a pleasure meeting many of you.

We have resolved the issues with the long boards and are making some tweaks to the 5 GH/s boards that may reduce power consumption but will almost certainly reduce heat output. With that in mind, we should be getting about 200 5 GH/s boards on Friday, and we’ll be shipping those out on Friday and Saturday.

As a term/jargon/technical note, here is the informal and/or official designations here at BFL:

Short Board = ~92mm x 92mm board that contains up to 8 chips and powers the 5 GH/s miner, typically with just 1 or 2 chips.
Long Board = The board that powers the Little Single, Single and Minirig and can contain up to 16 chips in two banks of 8.
Jalapeno is now called the 5 GH/s miner and is synonymous.
The Minirig is now a 500 GH/s unit.

Our chips consume about 3 – 3.5w per GH/s at the chip level, so there is some room for tweaking, which we will be focusing on as soon as we get the final rev out for the Long Boards. Speaking of Long Boards, we have what we are considering the last rev for shipment coming next Monday or Tuesday the 27th or 28th of May (they may even be done with manufacturing this Saturday the 25th) and we will continue to refine the firmware for that board until the final rev arrives in KC. Assuming no problems with it, we will be being shipment shortly thereafter. The long boards will be powered by one or two PCIe style 6 pin Minifit Jr connectors. Please be aware that these connectors, while using the same form factor as PCIe connectors are not PCIe connectors, though they are electrically compatible with them (Meaning you can likely use an ATX PSU at your own discretion if you chose not to use our supplied power bricks). The Little Single and Single will have a 120mm fan at each end of the case in a push/pull configuration. Each bank of 8 chips will have a heatsink, heat baffle and 92mm fan on top of it. Cooling will not be an issue with these units and they will be fairly quiet to run if you are in a cool environment. The fan will scale up and down in speed as required due to heat. The units will be stackable and have a side to side or front to back airflow, depending on how you orient them.

We are expecting several thousand chips next week from our new packaging facility and expect to start shipping all product lines next week. Beyond that, we will be receiving thousands of chips per week at an ever increasing pace between now and until all of the remaining 68 wafers are used up. We have additional wafers on order and they should be ready about the time we’ve used up all 68 wafers should we need them. Soon after, we hope to have product on the shelf for immediate shipment, depending on how many orders come in between now and when we catch up the backlog.

May 6th update from BFL Josh

It’s been a few weeks since the last update and a lot has happened since then.
As many of you know, we started shipping out a quantity of Jalapeno’s (around 35 or so), about half of those went to developers and the media, the other half went to customers. They have been well received so far and everyone is happy with what they have received. In the meantime, we have been diligently working on the Little Singles, Singles and Minirigs.
This past weekend, we received in the new boards for the Little Single, Single and Minirig, pictured below. As you can see, the board redesign incorporates a total of 16 possible chips, as well as some power distribution changes. One of the more prominent changes is the fact that we have moved from barrel jack power to PCIe style Minifit Jr 6 pin connectors. Each board has two 6 pin connectors to provide power, and each board is intended to provide up to 60 GH/s hashing power.
We discovered some issues that we needed to resolve with the boards and had to change a few minor things. We tested them out on a hand modified board and they worked, so we’ve issued the redesign to the PCB house. The new boards are being finished today, the 6th of May, and should be ready this evening. We have more chips from the packager on the way to the assembly facility, and they should arrive on Thursday, the 9th of May. In the meantime, we will be testing and making sure the new board is functioning like we intend for when the chips arrive to the assembly facility. We don’t have a count on the number of chips that will be arriving on Thursday as of yet.
The current board will support the hashrates ordered for Little Single and Single in one box, so single units will be shipped out for both the Little Single and the Single. The Minirig will most likely ship as two units (where as it was just one before) and possibly some Singles to bring it up to the full hashrate ordered. 5 GH/s miner production will continue concurrently with the rest of our product line. We are incorporating some changes into the new 5 GH/s miner to bring the heat and power usage down, and that will be incorporated as we go forward. Power usage on the new boards hasn’t been tested yet as we are waiting for the revised board, so I don’t have power figures for it yet.

When logging into your customer account, you will be greeted with this information:

Important Order Information
Dear Butterfly Labs Customer,

Thank you for your patience. Production and shipping of Butterfly Labs Bitforce SC (ASIC) products has begun. Before we proceed with production on your order, there are specification changes and we need your acceptance of these changes before we proceed.

Power consumption on all SC products is higher than we expected which has resulted in changes to the product packaging.

30 GH/s ‘Little Single’ units are being delivered in a larger enclosure to accomodate improved airflow.

All customers will be shipped the GH/s hashing power they originally ordered.

By clicking the accept button below, you agree to accept product specification changes and pre-order terms as specified on product pages.

If you do not agree to accept these terms, click the Refund to process your order refund now.

Content of the announcement e-mail

Shipping of our BitForce SC ASIC miners has begun!

You may have seen news reports of our ASIC miners in the wild and some of you may have already taken delivery. It’s all true. We’re finally shipping. You will receive your order as we work through the shipping queue .

If you didn’t know, you can check your order status on our website. Log in by clicking here. Use the same email and password you set up your account with.

If you don’t have your password, use the Lost Password function to create a new one.
So what took so long?

This third generation of our SHA256 engine was a complex multi-year investment in bringing the latest semiconductor technology to bitcoin mining.

Developing a fully custom 65nm ASIC processor is not a casual undertaking. In fact, the new products have improved mining speed by a factor of 72. This much advancement doesn’t come easy and it’s fair to say that getting here has been eventful.

The key issue has been the engineering related to accommodating larger power draws than expected. A good example is the Jalapeno product. It was originally designed to be powered by USB but now consumes the power of a small light bulb (30w).

Consequently the power regulator, enclosure, airflow and PCB needed upgrading to suit. Although we are *very* aware of the undesirable dynamics of any delay, we were nonetheless obligated to make these updates in order to deliver a reliable product at the expected performance. The same adjustments have been made with all products in the lineup. You can see the adjusted product cases in our currently posted product lineup. (The Mini Rig case will be double shipped to satisfy their orders which is why we’ve run out Mini Rig enclosure stock).

Final confirmation is required

Please be advised that due to the adjustments described above, we need your confirmation prior to release of your order into the final build queue and on to final delivery. It may also be a good time to review your purchase altogether relative to the bitcoin market as this is the last opportunity to do so. If your order is not confirmed, it will be canceled and your money will be refunded.

Thank you for your support and we wish you great satisfaction with your product!

Several Jalapenos (less than 12 per day since the 23rd) have already been shipped. Details in BFL Jody’s blog posts about ASIC shipping. They are currently processing orders from 6/23/2012.

Because we have not shipped for such a long time PayPal is requiring us to ship a small number of the orders made through them and send them the tracking numbers. (BFL_Jody – 04-24-2013)

Monday 4/22 shipped 4 Jalapenos. 1 Customer and 3 developer units.

Tuesday 4/23 3 more to ship today to customers.

As we get ramped up here I won’t be telling you how many we ship each day–just what day the orders were made that we are shipping. Right now I just want you to know the magnitude of the number of units so you can see we are not blowing these products out the door in great numbers. That will come later.

Before all this, BFL_Josh recently posted an important update in January 2013 on the official BFL forum about the ASIC shipping and production schedule. Apparently Butterfly Labs are were getting ready to start the shipping in the week starting February the 10th. This latest development (delay) seems to have originated from their changing the ASIC packaging from QFN to BGA. They may also not reach their 1 W/GH/s goal after all (despite claims that they will offer 1000 BTC to charity if they miss the power targets). We will keep updating the list below. You can keep up to date on your order using the new BFL account page, still in development. The latest news has them shipping by Feb 25th March 15th April 15th anytime soon. Jalapenos have already left the nest on their way to developers and there was already an ASIC test video and a Jalapeno breakdown video so things appear to be moving.

All eyes turned to Avalon who still report that they will be shipping a lot faster have announced they already started shipping, though not that many items (apparently they announced around 12 a day). More on this here and here. Congratulations, team AVALON! 67 Ghps is 11% over the announced hash-rate, despite the grey box and loud fans the ASIC seem to be running just fine! In fact, according to the Bitcoin foundation, in New York it is currently making more than minimum wage even with the 600W appetite. In the mean time, only three of them have surfaced: 1,2 and 3 (including videos). A pre-order version is selling for over $20k on eBay, however!

In the mean time, BFL has just quietly officially announced its international FPGA trade-in customers they should be ready to ship and Kanoi (from the CGminer crew) has taken a trip inside Butterfly Labs and posted some pics. Josh has also posted some pics of the new chipsdon’t get too excited yet, these are not for production yet, still a good update.and the corresponding boards with mounted chips.

April 15th 2013 Update

Short update today, more to come in the next day or two, hopefully.

We’ve been working on getting the software and firmware nailed down. Things are mostly stabilized at this point and with our current boards (we do not have the redesigned boards in house yet), power usage exceeds the 1w/GH, unfortunately, but it’s much better than anything out by 40 – 50%, at the wall. We are gearing up to start shipping out some dev boards and a few Jalapeno’s most likely this week (at least a few dev boards) and then as more chips roll in we’ll be shipping out the Jalapeno’s. When the new boards land in KC, we’ll start shipping Little Singles and Singles at that time. I don’t currently have a time frame for those, but I should have something later this week in regards to that.

Obviously, the minirig can’t fit 1.5 TH/s in a case the size of what we were planning, but we have some interesting solutions with regards to that. Expect and update on there as well, but I did want to let everyone know we have several solutions to solve the minirig issue and we are moving forward on that front.

I did want to quash any rumors that there was something wrong with the chips; there isn’t. The chips themselves are fine (other than using more power than we expected), the delay is strictly due to having to re-engineer the power system on the boards (which requires a larger PCB redesign to a degree) and refine/streamline our processes for getting chips from silicon to mounted on boards. Things will be rolling along soon, albeit a bit slow at first, and then picking up speed as the whole process is optimized and finalized.

March 28th 2013 – Mini-Update

I had wanted to post a video tonight, but wasn’t able to make that happen, so let me apologize for that in advance. As some of you may know from the chatbox, we have been working diligently to get these ASICs out the door. We’ve been tracking down a power issue these last few days and have it isolated to a few key systems. In the interest of time, we are planning on potentially scaling back units hashing speed as required to accommodate the extra power and shipping multiple units to those that want their units right now. If would would prefer to wait for a unit after we’ve made some changes to the systems that need a bit of tweaking, we will be happy to put your shipment on hold. However, if you’d rather have the units right now at an increased power usage, we will ship you as many units as required to get you to the hashrate your purchased, if we end up having to scale back any given class of unit to fit within the power envelope of the current board design.

We have the current design hashing, and as I said, I had hoped to have a video of a unit hashing here in KC, but I wasn’t able to bring that all together tonight, but hopefully I can get it posted up tomorrow or by this weekend. I will update as soon as I have more news to share, with a video.

If you absolutely do not want a unit that is consuming more power than expected, you can let us know you’d like to wait for a revised unit or you are welcome to request a refund. If you’d rather have your units shipped regardless of increased power usage, we will still guarantee your hashrate by shipping you however many units are required to achieve your purchased hashrate. There is no need to contact us right now if you are not concerned about the power usage and just want your units shipped ASAP. Even with the increased power demand on these first units, they will still out perform any competing products by a very wide margin in terms of power and megahash/J.

Again, we apologize for the delay, but we are almost there.

15 March 2013 Update

It’s been a long couple days here at the labs! Trying to test the chip in the test rig has been exceptionally trying and it turns out it’s due to a bad socket on the tester. Initially we were concerned there might be a problem with the bumping or substrate, but fortunately we had tested the chips prior with the wire bonding technique, so we knew they worked. Getting the test boards made proved to be fortuitous as well, since we were able to bypass the test rig completely and bring the chips up on the board. By doing so, we were able to finally identify that the problem was related directly to the test rig and not any intermediate process or step.

Bringing a chip to life in situ on a board is not the easiest thing, so it has been slow going. The chip was responding properly on the board late this afternoon and we will be picking up the process in the morning. We hope to have a more complete test by Saturday night or Sunday sometime. Meanwhile, we will also be hard soldering a chip into place for use in the test rig and replacing the socket to allow the bulk testing to finish. In some other positive news, we’ve not found a single bad chip yet, which could mean our yield rate will be exceptionally high… maybe we just got lucky out of the 50 chips we have available on boards so far, but it seems unlikely. So that may mean the vast majority of our chips will be usable.

So the good news is the boards work, the chips work, the bumping works, the substrate works. We just need to nail down a bit more with the firmware and we should be able to conduct a full test and start shipping.

I will be posting another update as soon as I have more information. Needless to say it’s been a pretty busy and stressful last few days here, and some script kiddie deciding to DDoS our sites this morning didn’t help matters. All connectivity problems should be resolved now and we will keep people updated as time allows.

4 March 2013 Update

Today the bumped wafers were confirmed at the packaging facility and they have been “bumped nicely,” so all is well as far as bumping goes. Packaging is currently scheduled to be done on Wednesday, although that’s subject to change, I don’t see any reason that is going to change at the moment.

The chips achieved 350 MHz hashing on 4 engines as well. We are going to have to wait until the chips are packaged to take the chips higher than that with more cores, as the test rig is not able to supply enough power and there are some wire bond issues that make it unstable beyond that. Once the chips are packaged, they will be tested more fully. Regardless, the chips are hashing properly and all IO appears to be correct, which is the important part. I will update when further testing is complete.

Timeline for the second set of 6 wafers is currently scheduled several days out after we have a successful test of the packaging (they’ll have to make their way through bumping and packaging as well) and then the remainder is scheduled for ~7 days after that. I can’t be more specific with regards to a date on the 6 wafers yet, as I don’t have specific dates. I will update once I do.

28 Feb 2013 Update

The ASIC team has been working all day on testing the various aspects of the chip. There have been no problems so far and all 16 engines hash properly at 250 MHz. Full range tests are scheduled for tomorrow to see how high we can the engines past 500 MHz (the nominal speed the chips are slated to run at). No update on the bumping at the moment, but I should have one tomorrow as to the disposition of that.

25 Feb 2013 Update

I know people have been waiting on an update for awhile. The simple fact of the matter is there hasn’t been any solid updates to offer. I know people are desperate and starving for information and I wish I could provide new information every day, but some days there just isn’t new information. Luckily there is some new information today. It’s not the best information (such as we are shipping today!) but it is at least an update.

We had expected the bumping to be done by now, as per the previous update(s). That has not been completed yet. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, and we are not pleased with any of them. The bumping facility, which we have no direct contact with, did not complete the NRE on the timeline we had spoke to the packaging facility about. As I’ve written in previous posts, we are dealing with such an accelerated time scale that all of these facilities simply aren’t used to dealing with. It’s been a learning experience for both us and for the facilities we are using. The upside, such as it is, is that going forward, we will have all the large, time sucking hurdles already out of the way and the rest of the chips should breeze through without issue, as all the NRE, tooling, design, planning and machines will already be configured for what we need.

Since Friday we have been, in a word, agonizing over how to make up for lost time. Obviously, we can’t make up for all the lost time, but what we have decided is to effectively burn (this is not a technical term, I simply mean we are using one of the wafers for testing instead of creating chips out of it) one of the initial six wafers for testing. This is definitely not something we wanted to do, as it will reduce our initial chip count from a potential 6000 to 5000 chips for the first set of wafers. We are doing this because it will buy us 7 – 12 days for the second set of wafers (and the remaining set of wafers down the road). The time frame between the 1st set of wafers and the 2nd set of wafers should be reduced to a matter of a few days.

Why are we burning the wafer, what advantage does that give us and how can that accelerate the timeline? As many of you already know, we have had the 2nd set of wafers holding with the last layers being unfinished until we confirm we have everything the way we want it on the first set of wafers. We’ve already started the process to continue laying down layers up until about the last 5 layers or so – by burning one of our precious wafers, we can send it to the ASIC engineers who can essentially wire bond it manually and test the chips, but the wafer will become useless for creating usable chips. By doing this, they will verify that everything is how it needs to be and we can give the foundry the go-ahead to finish the second set as well as the bulk of the chips immediately. The second set of wafers should be done and on their way to us by the time we get chips in house in KC, and the bulk wafers should be done shortly after that.

The test wafer is already on it’s way to the ASIC labs and should arrive tomorrow. Presumably it will take a better part of the day to get everything situated and for the testing to begin, so I don’t expect to hear anything until late Tuesday or sometime on Wednesday assuming everything goes well. In the meantime, the bumping facility will be bumping the remaining 5 wafers, which should be shipping out on Friday to the packaging house, whom we are paying extra to stay on for the weekend and start the packaging process. We expect at least some of the chips to be on their way to Chicago by Tuesday, where they will be mounted and sent out to our engineers and KC for testing and final MCU programming. At that point, once the MCU programming is confirmed we’ll begin assembling the units. Right now, I’m planning on a week from Friday to be the day, but I’m just gonna say that’s subject to change at the moment, although I don’t anticipate a change right now.

The ASIC team has promised me pictures of the wafer tomorrow, Tuesday the 26th. As soon as I get those, I will be posting them. As soon as I hear something with regards to the chip testing, I will be posting that as well. If I’m not posting an update, it’s because there’s nothing new to report.”

21 Feb 2013

The chips are still at the bumping facility. They are taking their time, much to our chagrin, to be sure we don’t wreck one of the wafers with a failed bump. We are trying to determine if we need to physically go to the bumping facility and sit in someones office until it’s done. We should hopefully have more information on that later tonight or tomorrow. If it turns out it would be efficacious, that’s what we will do. However, perhaps my reputation will precede me and they will elect to get the job done and send the chips to the packaging facility instead of having me sitting in their office all day.

The good news is, we should be able to accelerate the second set of wafers as well as the bulk of the rest of the wafer run, allowing us to ship product en mass even sooner than we expected. This is still being negotiated, but things are looking good as far as that goes.

14 Feb 2013 Update

I am told that the bumping facility has started working on our order as of yesterday(!). Although I’m seeking clarification as to whether that means the actual bumping process has started or if they are still working on the NRE for the bumping, to be completed sometime between today and Monday. When I have clarification on this, I will make another post… but in either case, the chips are at the bumping facility and the bumping facility is working on them in some fashion.

I have no updates on the timeline as of yet until I hear back as to when the bumping will be complete.

12 Feb 2013

The chips have been delivered by FedEx to the bumping facility. We will hopefully hear from the bumping facility tonight or tomorrow with regards to them, but I do not expect any movement on it until the 14th at the earliest.

But… they were here and waiting, so the biggest hurdle in terms of delivery has been achieved.

8 Feb 2013

Chips have shipped from the fab and are on their way to the US. They are expected to arrive early next week (Monday or Tuesday), but since the bumping facility won’t be ready until the 14th as the earliest, it isn’t quite as critical. We really wanted to have the bumping facility be ready prior to the chip arrival, but there were a number of factors that lead to it taking slightly longer than anticipated. Timeline remains the same as above at this point. As we get more information, I will update more. But the chips are confirmed to have been sent.

February 6th update directly from Josh on the Butterfly Labs Forums:

We are expecting the chips on the 8th. The Fab is still maintaining that it will be the 8th, but it could be earlier than that. We are planning on the 8th though, we will have the chips sent via overnight express to our bumping and packaging facilities in California (We are not going with the North Carolina facility, as they could not meet our timeline). We are negotiating with the California bumping facility to get tooled up and ready to complete the bumping process as fast as possible. We are targeting them for being ready to bump the chips on the 14th, but it could be as late as the 18th. It should not take more than 24 hours to bump all our chips and get them to the packaging facility, where it will take another ~24 hours (probably less) to package them where I will likely be couriering them to our assembly facility.

At that point it will take less than a day to assemble some boards, where I’ll send the boards to a couple test facilities to make sure everything is kosher. This step will probably take 1 – 2 days, but may take less as we tweak things. Assuming everything checks out (and we have no reason to believe it won’t), we will give the assembly house the go ahead to mount the rest of the chips, which will take less than 24 hours, where I will carry them back and/or overnight express them to Kansas City and we will begin assembly and shipping operations.

So it’s looking like the week of the 17th for shipping, probably a bit later in the week unless the bumping house really pulls it together, we might be able to ship as early at the 18th, but that is pretty optimistic, more likely is around the 22nd or so.

Updated timeline from January 29th:

(Josh:) I will most likely be headed to the fab at the end of the week to be prepared to pick up the chips next week. The broker says no later than the 8th on the chips, but most likely earlier. Even if the chips roll off the line on the 8th, it doesn’t affect the timeline much. Here is the current projected timeline:

  • Leave for the fab ~ Feb 1st or 2nd
  • Acquire 6 wafers earliest Feb 4th – Latest Feb 8th
  • Transport wafers same day to bumping facility
  • 2 days in bumping facility
  • Transport to substrate and packaging
  • 1 – 2 days for substrate and packaging
  • Transport to assembly house
  • < 24 hours at assembly house
  • ~1 day for chip verification/testing
  • Transport to Kansas City
  • Bulk assembly / send out demo units
  • Ship bulk units

Our timeline is still on target for the week of the 10th, probably towards the later part of the week. If the worst case scenario in every step comes to pass, we are looking at starting shipping around Monday the 18th. Best case scenario we will start shipping around Wednesday the 13th or Thursday the 14th. This is, of course, subject to change, but I will keep everyone updated when/if there are any changes.

Here is the currently estimated timeline, and while this is subject to change of course, it’s pretty solid at this time. Completed items are crossed off:

  • Week of January 13th
    • Travel to packaging facility for final prep and walkthrough – Complete
    • Confirm travel plans and trip details with lead ASIC engineer for trip to fab – Complete
  • Week of January 20th
    • Final assembly facility prep – In progress, probably extend into next week. Assembly benches delivery delayed by manufacturer, scheduled for Friday or Monday delivery.
    • Leave for fab at the end of the week
  • Week of January 26th
    • Final chips roll off the line
    • Grab suitcase, a BMW or a Peugeot and make a break for the airport, Ronin style (You can see Tom about 6 minutes, 20 seconds into the video)
    • Arrive California at chip packaging plant
    • KC facility starts assembly process of units to drop PCB into
  • Week of February 3rd
    • Chips packaged
    • Packaged chips sent to assembly house
    • Assembled PCB is set for final testing and MCU programming
    • Notify users to start sending their FPGA units or BTC for trade in participants
    • Bulk assembled PCBs arrive in KC, we start dropping PCBs into waiting units
    • Boxing/labeling for shipment
  • Week of February 10th
    • We implement the 1/3 shipping plan en mass
      • 1/3 of our assembled units will go to new orders in FIFO
      • 1/3 of our assembled units will go to upgrade orders
      • 1/3 will be randomly selected from both groups
    • We descend upon the Post Office, DHL, UPS and FedEx like a horde of angry locust

 

27 January 2013 Update

The most important thing I wanted to convey to people at this time was that we have changed our initial ”batch” from 12 wafers to 6 wafers, or to be more specific, it’s apparently always been 6 with the additional six scheduled for about 1.5 weeks after that. Due to the short time frame between the two, there was a miscommunication as to the actual number of wafers being delivered in the first round. I don’t know that this will affect any sort of shipping, since the next set of wafers will be done about when we are ready to start assembly on the first set.

The 6 wafers is actually a good set point for the “first batch” shipping, so the 1/3 plan will be implemented for the first 6 wafers and the remaining wafers will then all be FIFO. The first 6 wafers should cut into the pre-order orderbook by a decent chunk, but it obviously won’t satisfy them all. We aren’t sure what our yield will be on the wafers, we are running on an 80% yield speculation, but it’s likely our yield will be much, much higher than that. With our design, we can have a core in a chip disabled due to dust or what have you and just bump up the other 15 cores to compensate and/or use it for a Jalapeno, so our yield will likely be much closer to 100% than other ASIC projects with more complicated chips.

We should see the bulk of what remains of the 75k chip run about 2 weeks after that, so about the time we are done shipping the other 6 wafers worth we’ll have the bulk of our chips arrive and we’ll start assembling/shipping those.

The bumping situation is mostly wrapped up at this point, so there should be no problem there. I know there was some talk about the final mask with regards to the bumping and that it may push the date of the chip completion back a couple days, but it shouldn’t impact the timeline to speak of as a couple days on either side of the 31st of January shouldn’t really make much of difference, being as it’s basically a weekend and is in transit anyway. I am hoping to have confirmation with regards to that tomorrow (Monday).

I obviously haven’t left for the fab yet, and Mondays call will determine when/if I leave. We have changed our bumping facility from the left coast to the right coast (North Carolina), so we may have the 6 wafers overnighted via courier to the bumping facility vs me picking them up and couriering them myself, although I will be meeting them at the bumping facility and making sure they don’t sit around for a couple days while some guy eats and egg salad sandwich and wonders why there’s a “priority!” box on his desk.

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