The Subutai Blockchain Router is a power-efficient, “green” broadband Cloud router and open hardware IoT gateway. It serves as a plug-and-play cryptocurrency wallet and mining device that allows users to easily enter the cryptocurrency economy. Using just 18W, the Subutai Blockchain Router is eco-friendly and cost-effective, requiring 1,083% less energy over GPU-based mining devices —a critically important consideration in today’s energy-aware environment.
The Subutai Blockchain Router has entered production. For more information, contact us at info(at)optdyn(dot)com.
Subutai™ Blockchain Router
The Subutai Blockchain Router v2.0 comes pre-installed with Subutai tuned and hardware accelerated version of Subutai’s PeerOS. As with the standalone Subutai PeerOS software, the Blockchain Router can register with the Subutai Bazaar to allow users to quickly list, share, and sell compute resources.
As a flexible IoT gateway, the Blockchain Router allows devices on the edge to be securely and efficiently connected to cloud applications. Subutai treats the cloud and the fog as one and the same, in a single continuum, to prevent unnecessary round-trip device communication with servers in data centers from impacting performance and security. As a multifunction device it can be configured to be a media center, a home/industrial automation and security system.
Highly adaptive, the Blockchain Router’s security and performance-accelerated firmware dynamically changes its configuration to respond to usage behavior and to any potential threats encountered. Dynamic hardware acceleration maintains the device can alter its circuitry as a field programmable device even years after purchasing the device. The Router optimizes performance and provides additional security capabilities by filtering network packets at line rate. It analyzes traffic patterns to detect performance bottlenecks, potential security threats, and immediately deploy counter-measures. Hardware accelerating these functions using SDN and NFV, the router enables the main CPU to remain focused on its core routing functions and multifunctions users configure it for.
Beyond the Blockchain Router’s field programmable aspects, entirely new functionality can be added by attaching shields for Arduinos and Raspberry Pi devices. Anything from a detector, to a motor controller, or even a peripheral connect bus can be added to create IoT applications only limited by the imagination.
The Router’s high speed flash-based storage can exceed the speeds of most SATA-III drives. It can be used as network attached storage (NAS) device or a high speed digital recorder. The storage can be increased and accelerated by adding more flash storage (eMMC) modules to the device. The Blockchain Router can apply several RAID levels across these eMMC modules.
The Blockchain Router is based on an open architecture with a FOSSH design available at the GitHub. It uses the most advanced MPSoC on the market: Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ with two SODIMM DDR4 RAM slots; one for the processing system (PS), the other for the programming logic (PL): total capacity of 16 GB. The PL has enough logic cells and RAM to mine Ethereum tokens while the PS functions as a plug-and-play Subutai PeerOS Appliance and broadband router. Broadband routers are an essential ingredient in the business of providing Internet services and the Blockchain Router is built to remain competitive well into the future with the prevalence of 5G and 100GB Ethernet technologies to support Subutai’s economy operators (ISPs).
Beyond its network functions, the router offers appealing features to Internet subscribers, which benefits ISPs offering Subutai. The device mines cryptocurrency earning subscribers $44.37 USD of Ethereum-based tokens per month. This is a significant competitive advantage for providers: offering a low power, “green”, cryptocurrency mining router. To really gain the advantage of winning over new customers from competitors, a turnkey cryptocurrency mining broadband router without technical barriers is crucial to effortlessly earn average non-technical subscribers cryptocurrency. Without technical barriers, and with little to no risk, Internet subscribers easily partake in the cryptocurrency economy; the financial barrier is removed. Subscribers mine and earn tokens by selling resources instead of exchanging their hard earned fiat currencies.
The router uses the world’s most advanced 3D FPGA SoC, the Xilinx Ultrascale MPSoC, to mine Ethereum based tokens. Two SODIMM memory slots, one dedicated to the PS, and the other dedicated to the PL system provide up to 8GB of DDR4 RAM for each independently operating half of the device. The two systems’ resources are separate so mining cryptocurrency in the PL system does not impact the PS which handles broadband router functions. In addition to the first four cores, two other Real-Time Cortex-R4 cores monitor the device’s secure operation.
For residential use, the PL is predominantly dedicated to mining operations. For industrial applications, the mining functionality can optionally be replaced with advanced security subsystems: a Dynamic Information Flow Tracking coprocessor and a stream pattern matching system that uses fuzzy hashing to detect malware. These industrial automation features will be available in the near future. Unlike GPU’s whose SIMD processors execute code, the mining operations in the PL use hard coded logic circuits to calculate hashes. The IP cores are Ethash generators which produce hashes on 1k substrate blocks every 100 cycles with a maximum clock rate of 600 MHz. Several hash cores, up to 30 can be loaded into the FPGA. There’s some excess fabric consumption due to the memory controller, transfer logic and synchronization structures.
The Ethereum DAG operated on is loaded into the high speed PL dedicated DDR4 memory module. The configuration is similar to the VRAM of a GPU and the static hash code generators perform essentially the same function of GPU SIMD processors. The router’s mining efficiency results from less circuitry. GPU processors have on the order of 50-75x more transistors dedicated to processing generic code, while hash generator cores perform a single operation. Additional performance could by gained (approximately 25-50%) if ASICs were used, but then modifications to algorithms, the flexibility to mine using any Proof of Stake algorithm, and the ability to reprovision the router would not be possible.
Without any optimizations the router should be able to generate up to 21 Million hashes with the current design at 18 watts which is 440%-1083% more efficient than equivalent GPU cards on the market. This power to hash rate ratio adds up to about $44.37 per month in Ether which would pay for the estimated retail cost of a router ($320-350 USD) in less than 8 months.
To facilitate RMA processes common to ISPs the router comes with a detachable TPM module used to secure boot the device and store wallet keys for accounts. In case the router is damaged and cannot operate, the operator simply removes the TPM module from the defective router and connects it to a new replacement router. The subscriber retains access to their accounts with previously mined or earned balances.
Because the router is field programmable, it can be programmed to mine Ether or any minable Ethereum Blockchain token. Economy operators (ISPs) can mint their own minable tokens, and the Blockchain Router can be configured to mine them specifically. This flexibility allows economy operators to rebrand their routers and have them operate on their own tokens. The router and token rebranding in concert with a dedicated and rebranded Subutai Bazaar allows economy operators to instantly stand up their own economy.