All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
With the release of the latest generations of powerful mining hardware such as the Bitmain AntMiner S7 and Avalon 6 that is available to normal miners and not only to large mining operations along with the increase of the Bitcoin price lately mining for Bitcoin has started to become profitable again. As a direct result of the new hardware getting released and the price increase there was the inevitable total hashrate and thus difficulty increase in the Bitcoin network and that increase has been quite significant. If you take a closer look at how difficulty has risen in the last month and a half or so you will notice that the things have developed quite rapidly with close to 50% increase and the rise will apparently continue with a lot more more new hardware still getting added. So while it is still quite profitable to mine with new hardware such as the latest ASIC miners mentioned above and fast ROI times for these devices the miners with older hardware might already be struggling to make a profit. So you should be careful with making investments in new mining hardware even though at the moment things look quite nice if you do the math.
Do note forget that in a couple of months, roughly this summer, another halving of the Bitcoin reward is expected and even though it will most likely be coming with another significant increase in the price of BTC you should still have it in mind. The current situation on the Chinese financial markets are also significantly influencing the price of Bitcoin with many people saying that the trouble in China are also responsible for many people turning to BTC and thus further increasing the price of the crypto currency. This all means that we have an interesting year ahead of us with many expecting to see Bitcoin price getting back to levels like $1000 USD per BTC when the reward halving occurs and even more by the end of the year. Still this does not mean that there could be some negative surprises as well, so you should be carefully and not rush into buying Bitcoin or getting back into mining it without thinking things through first.
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.
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 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.