In this chapter, we will take a look at mining with Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). They are microprocessors that can be programmed for a specific purpose. In the case of Bitcoin mining, they are configured to perform the SHA-256 hash function that is used in Bitcoin. FPGAs have a slight advantage over using GPUs for mining. The period of FPGA mining of Bitcoin was rather short (just under a year), as faster machines soon became available. The advent of ASIC technology for Bitcoin mining compelled a lot of miners to make the move from FPGAs to ASICs. Nevertheless, FPGA mining is worth learning about.
We will take a look at the following topics: