i am also very interested how we can speed up the minning with FPGA logic. As gpu cards on market are making 1mhas/s in litecoin minning...so it would be a breakthru if it possible to make more mhas/s with zedboard in comparison with fpga logic...lots of Luck !!!
While we've been waiting for Parallella to ship, there are some cheaper versions of ZedBoard available or soon-to-ship. Avnet has the MicroZed, a smaller version of ZedBoard with 7Z010 (US$192) or 7Z020 (US$289) and Digilent will have the ZYBO with 7Z010 for US$189 (US$129 academic). These are still pretty expensive, but better than the 7Z020 ZedBoard's US$395.
As you said it does come with a zynq device aswell, the biggest difference is indeed the multicore chip which screams "parallel calculations". this is mostly what my comment is about.
No they haven't arrived yet, lately I received an email from someone at adapteva saying they would soom start delivering their boards to kickstarter backers, and expected to start delivering pre-orders by January 31st.
Personnally I don't plan on mining for the sake of mining, just to play around a fun device. Surely someone with an immediate need for strong calculation capabilities might turn to the zedboard for its instant availability.
Doesn't the Parallela include the FPGA chip from the Zedboard? Have they not yet arrived?
For benchmarking, take the Zedboard data as a Parallela baseline. When the FPGA code gets added, the Parallela may well be able to use that, too. The big difference comes when [if] you add code specifically targeting the Parallela CPUs.
Of course, if you were planning on doing this For Real Money, other questions are: how much better does the Parallela need to be? For every day you delay starting [undelivered Dev board] how far behind do you fall? How long will you need to use the expanded capabilities of the Parallela, before you catch up with those who started TODAY with a standard Zedboard?
I think the concept is that - not unlike gold - bitcoins need to be "discovered" through a process that (intentionally) involves some intensive effort. This process is more like mining than simply manufacturing coins. Maybe someone will come up with a virtual mint to produce virtual representations of bitcoins. :)