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Archive for the ‘Mining Hardware’ Category

21-inc-bitcoin-computer

The 21 Bitcoin Computer is the first computer with native hardware and software support for the Bitcoin protocol according to the company that had made it – 21 Inc. That means the hardware to provide a constant stream of Bitcoin and the software to make that bitcoins useful for buying and selling digital goods and additionally developers can use the 21 Bitcoin Computer to quickly create apps, services, and devices that can be rented or bought for bitcoin.

The 21 Bitcoin Computer is a special board with an ASIC mining chip that is attached to a Raspberry Pi 2 chassis, and comes with a WiFi and power adapter, 128 GB SD card, USB-to-laptop cable, and everything you need to run it either as a standalone machine or to provide bitcoin to a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer. It comes with a full copy of the Blockchain pre-loaded on a 128GB SD card meaning that the computer will briefly synchronize with the network when you plug it in, after which point it will run as a full node by default without further intervention.

21-inc-bitcoin-computer-2

If you are interested what the dedicated ASIC chip is capable of, it seems that the 21 Bitcoin Chip has an efficiency of approximately 0.16 Joules per Gigahash and can calculate 50-125 Gigahashes per second. So apparently the focus is not only on providing you with a compact and not very powerful mining solution, but instead a device that can be used for supporting the Bitcoin network and can be used by users for offering goods or services taking payments in Bitcoin with the mining just adding a bit probably enough to cover the costs of running the hardware. You can already pre-order the 21 Bitcoin Computer for $399.99 USD and it will start shipping on November 16, 2015.

The $400 USD price tag is a bit steep if you consider the device as a Bitcoin mining-only solution due to the fact that it is not that powerful, even though it seems pretty efficient in terms of power usage even for the low hashrate it offers. It seems that was not designed to be used as a typical mining hardware like the other ASIC miners for Bitcoin, but instead the main target seem to be developers that are willing to write applications or integrate it as a part of a product or service that they are already offering as a means to integrate Bitcoin support. So miners are probably not going to be interested in the device, but developers might take some interest in this standalone solution, but it seems we’ll see what will happen in November when it hits the market.

For additional details about the 21 Bitcoin Computer introduced by 21 Inc…

bitmain-antminer-s7

After the recent announcement of the new BitMain BM1385 ASIC chips for mining Bitcoin or other SHA-256 crypto currencies BitMain has started taking pre-orders for their first miner based on the new chips – the Antminer S7. The new BitMain Antminer S7 miner has a more dense configuration than previous Antminer machines, using 162 chips in the same space that the S5 used only 60 in. The S7 uses just 1210 watts of electricity to deliver 4.86 terahashes per second of mining power per unit, so specification wise the new miners looks very attractive, especially when compared to older hardware.

antminer-comparison-chart

BitMain AntMiner S7 Specifications:
1. Hash Rate: 4.86 TH/s ±5%
2. Power Consumption: 1210 W (at the wall, with APW3, 93% efficiency, 25C ambient temp)
3. Power Efficiency: 0.25 J/GH (at the wall, with APW3, 93% efficiency, 25°C ambient temp)
4. Rated Voltage: 12V+5%, should not be less than 12.0V
5. Chip quantity per unit: 162x BM1385
6. Dimensions: 301mm(L)*123mm(W)*155mm(H)
7. Cooling: 2x 12038 fan
8. Operating Temperature: 0 °C to 40 °C
9. Network Connection: Ethernet

You can get the new miner for $1823 USD or roughly 7.896 BTC with the current exchange rate. When you add a suitable power supply like the 1600W APW3-12-1600-B2 that Bitmain sells for $155 USD (0.671 BTC) and you factor in the cost of shipping and custom taxes, electricity and the slowly increasing network difficulty you are already looking in probably 8-9 months at least to get back what you have paid for the miner. So although specifications wise the device looks very good it is still slow to ROI in the current not so great for Bitcoin conditions, but then again this is probably the best Bitcoin mining hardware available to end users at the moment. You can already pre-order a BitMain AntMiner S7 from Batch 1 with expected shipping date announced as late September of 21~30 with a possible delay of up to 10 days extra.

bitmain-bm1385-asic-chip

Bitmain has announced that they have their 4th generation Bitcoin ASIC mining chips in the form of BM1385. The new BM1385 ASIC chip is apparently produced using 28-nanometer process by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), capable of 32.5 GHS per chip at just 0.216 Watts of power usage per GHS with 0.66V core voltage. The BM1385 is probably going to be the most power-efficient Bitcoin mining chip ever released to public when it hits the market inside the upcoming AntMiner S7 miners that should be available pretty soon.

Since its founding in 2013, Bitmain has successively released three other generations of chips. The first was the BM1380, which utilized a 55 nanometer process node size. After that came the 28 nanometer BM1382, and then the 28 nm, semi-custom BM1384 chip. The new BM1385 chip is Bitmain’s first to feature a full custom design. This means that the chip engineers have to meticulously lay out each and every transistor inside the chip. This process requires significantly more time and effort than semi-custom chip designs, but can also result in faster processing, lower power consumption, and greater density of transistors. A well-designed full custom chip can attain massive performance gains over digital design and semi-custom design, but along with greatly increased investment required in engineer labor and time, there is a much higher risk that the chip will fail at tape-out – a very costly mistake. Bitmain concluded through internal research that a full-custom 28 nanometer chip could greatly outperform chips built on 14 and 16 nm process nodes without the use of full custom design techniques.

The BM1385 chip powered at 0.66V can attain a 32.5 gigahash per second hash rate with a power consumption of 0.216 watts per gigahash second. When compared to the BM1384, Bitmain’s newest generation of chip has a 45% greater hashrate, while simultaneously consuming 50% less electricity. This has potentially huge implications for the bitcoin mining industry, as it can significantly reduce electricity costs of miners. There are other Bitcoin ASIC manufacturers out there that claim to have better and more efficient solutions or that are working on such, however they will not be made available to end users like Bitmain will with their upcoming AntMiner S7 miners that will be based on the BM1385 chips. The AntMiner S7 Bitcoin miners are expected to be available in the third quarter of the year, so we should see them available by the end of next month. There is no word about expected specifications, aside from the fact that they will be based on the new chips and will be capable of 1 THS at just 230W power usage measured at the wall or with other words more than half the power usage of AntMiner S5 for the same hashrate.


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