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Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:19:27 -0400
From: Bill Cox <waywardgeek@...hershed.org>
To: discussions@...sword-hashing.net
Subject: Re: [PHC] A review per day - Economics of Makwa

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I wanted to say a bit more about the economics of building a Makwa
password hashing box full of ASICs.

The ultra-high end ASIC built in 22nm Intel process using the craziest
fastest densest technology ever created is really only an option the
MiB can afford (and maybe a few ultra-high-volume ASICs).  You need
proof you are willing to write a $10M check just to get in the door!
They want to see a credible plan to buy a total of $100M worth of
chips from then over the lifetime of your ASIC.  BitCoin is headed in
this direction, but they aren't there yet!

In reality, your VC is going to offer you $1M to develop the ASIC, and
$1M to build the boxes and commercialize it (or 2X that... whatever).
 For $1M you can talk to about a dozen ASIC vendors who will want a
credible story that you will buy $10M worth of ASICs over this
design's lifetime.

I'm not sure what technology you can build masks for now days for
under $200.  Maybe 90nm or 65nm?  Something mature for sure.  You need
to budget that twice in case there are mistakes!  Designing the chip
is maybe a couple of guys for a year, so another $400.  Packaging,
G&A, etc... maybe you get silicon working on a real board for $1M.
Then you crank up production.

These boxes, per Makwa core, which your low-end ASIC will have one
each of, will run closer to 1GHz, not 3.4GHz.  It also generates a
*lot* more heat!  You'll likely need that $100 flip-chip packaging
just for your 1 core, and that ASIC might cost you $150 to $200 each.

It would hash about 1000 Makwa hashes in parallel, with up to a cost
of 1,000,000 squarings in 1 second, with 1,000 in parallel.

Let's assume you get paid $0.0001 per password hash.  Then your Makwa
box generates a cent every 10 seconds.  That's over $8,500/day!  For 1
ASIC!

On the other hand, if an attacker wants to buy Makwa time to crack a
password with 30 bits of entropy (by which I mean it will take us 2^30
guesses), then an attacker will have to pay $100,000 to crack your
password!

Fun, huh?

Bill
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