Archive for the ‘Mining Hardware’ Category


Last year there was some information about the upcoming next generation of Scrypt ASICs from Innosilicon as the company was looking for investors. Back then they already had apparently designed and taped-out the A4 Dominator chips and needed sufficient investment to start making the chips using 14nm production process. Now, about four and a half months later Innosilicon comes with an official announcement of the final specifications and additional details of the upcoming A4 Dominator Scrypt ASICs that are apparently now entering into production.

The next generation Innosilicon Scrypt miner using 14nm ASIC is code-named A4 Dominator as already expected. This is a full custom optimized LTC mining ASIC with a focus on efficiency and cost, that should be capable of delivering up to 4 MHS per chip with as low as 1.5W of power usage per MHS efficiency in a DCDC less daisy chain configuration. This should allow for next gen Scrypt miners to offer 400 MHS to 500 MHS hash power per box, with easily over 300% better power efficiency over the previous generations. Initial batch of A4 ASIC chips is expected to be available in May for miner developer to design PCB and software, mass produced A4 ASIC/Miners should be available in June/July 2016 based on pre-order sequence.


Innosilicon A4 Dominator ASIC and Miner Specifications:
– A4 Miner: 400 MHS per 1 KW power supply in one standard miner box
– A4 ASIC: 3.5 MHS per chip performance at 2.5 W/MHS nominal
– Extreme Low Power: ASIC with large memory running at single rail 0.6V
– One Start and New PCB: eliminate the need of DC-DC components and enable 14 to 20 A4 chips – running off the single 12V DC supply
– PSU Requirements: common PCI-E 8 Pins/6+2 Pins with 12V output
– Included: Raspberry Pi running the user friendly A2 Terminator software
– Server Grid Reliability: Built-in high-procession temperature sensor for automatic chip protection and variable frequency operation to maximize chip life time

There is no word about pricing at the moment, but it seems that Innosilicon is finally going to beat the KnC Titan Scrypt ASIC miners in terms of performance and power usage as the king in Scrypt mining efficiency at the moment. Unlike KnC however whose miners are no longer available and were problematic as hell and quite expensive when launched, based on our experience with previous A2 miners we know that we can expect a more affordable and reliable product from Innosilicon that should not give you a lot of headaches like many Titans did. There is no word on pricing yet, but a somewhat acceptable price would be in the 2K USD range, otherwise there might be not much demand for it with the current market conditions. With the high expectations we had and the total failure that SFARDS turned out to be in making available their products our hopes for Innosilicon finally starting to do something on the LTC and Scrypt crypto currency mining front are high, but let us see what will happen this summer…

The official announcement of the upcoming Innosilicon 14nm A4 Dominator Scyrpt ASICs…


When talking about GPU mining with Nvidia-based GPUS for crypto currencies there are two models that usually come in mind – the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GTX 970. When talking about Ethereum mining however Nvidia mining rigs do not do that well compared to AMD-based rigs and while the GTX 970 does pretty well at about 20-21 MHS the GTX 750 Ti is performing terribly, so it is not suitable for ETH mining. A good choice for GPUs that have only 1 GB of video memory or do not perform well for mining Ethereum is to go for mining Decred (DCR) at the moment, so you have good alternative. But if you are currently building a low powered multi-GPU mining rig at the moment with Nvidia-based GPUs the card of choise will most likely not be the 750 Ti anymore, you should go for the slightly more expensive GTX 950.


The GTX 950 is doing much better for mining Ethereum as compared to GTX 750 Ti, you can expect to see somewhere around 10 MHS from the 950 and it has been like that since the beginning (no performance drop like on some AMD cards). The reference design GTX 950 has a TDP of 90W as compared to 60W for the reference design GTX 750 Ti, but it also offers higher performance and is usable for Ethereum mining at 10 MHS. So a 6 GPU mining rig using Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 video cards should come at about 600W of total power consumption at max load and giving you about 62 MHS hashrate for mining Ethereum (Ethereum does not use the most power hungry algorithm). The GTX 950 does pretty well for other mining algorithms as well, you have alternatives available like DCR and will still get good performance and profit. Here is a comparison between GTX 750 Ti doing around 500 MHS with the latest ccMiner fork from tpruvot with Decred support (the faster 64-bit version) versus around 645 MHS for GTX 950, these numbers are from the publicly available miner. So do consider going for GTX 950 instead of GTX 750 Ti if you are building an Nvidia mining rig now and GTX 970+ is not an option at the moment.


The FutureBit MoonLander is an ASIC Scrypt USB stick miner made by jstefanop on Bitcointalk that is based on a single Alcheminer AlcheMist Scrypt ASIC chip. A small SCrypt-based ASIC miner intended to provide a hashrate between 0.4 and 1.2 MHS with a power usage of about 5W per megahash. The device is user overclockable with voltage adjustment available via a variable resistance potentiometer on the board and clock setting via the software miner. Using the device directly plugged into a USB 3.0 port you should be able to push it somewhere close to a Megahash with the available 4.5W of power, for more you will need a powered USB HUB capable of providing more power to the USB miner and probably active cooling. We have purchased a single unit in order to be able to try it out and see how well it performs, so you can expect our first impressions and test result from the FutureBit MoonLander very soon.

FutureBit MoonLander Specifications:
– Scrypt Hasrate: 400 KHS to 1.2 MHS performance
– Power Usage: about 5 watt per Megahash
– Voltage Adjustment: fully customizable core voltage range from 0.7 – 1.1v
– Power Efficiency: really efficient 5v->core voltage stage with about 95% efficiency
– Heavy duty/over speced parts were used to ensure wide range of operation (this thing can put out 20amps if you wanted to push it that far)
– Status LEDs for power, TX and RX transmission
– Uses latest bfgminer 5.4 for control and mining
– Will work with all Mac OS, Linux, and Windows based PCs

The price of the FutureBit MoonLander USB Scrypt ASIC miner is $39 USD plus shipping and you can order directly form jstefanop over at Bitcointalk or get it via some of the official resellers while they have units. There are two US resellers – Asicpuppy and HolyBitcoin and there is one reseller for Europe – Bitshopper.

Do note that these USB Scrypt ASIC miners won’t make you rich mining Litecoin (LTC) and even ROI won’t be very fast at the current moment, they are not meant for that. The FutureBit MoonLander is a handy little device that is affordable enough for people that want to experiment with Scrypt mining for fun. With that said however if you point the miner at some Scrypt altcoin with low network hashrate and difficulty, mine some coins and then sell them at the right moment you can still do pretty good.

For more information about the FutureBit MoonLander USB Scrypt ASIC miner…