All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
We have been keeping track on the development of the new Innosilicon A4 Dominator Scrypt ASIC miners since the initial announcement back in November last year and it is time for another update. It seems that Innosilicon is starting to take pre-orders for the final ASIC miners with shipping expected to start in September and there is already a thread on Bitcointalk about a group pre-order that you might want to check out if interested. In the past we have tested the previous generation of Innosilicon A2 Scrypt ASIC miners in the form of the 86 MHS A2BOX Innosilicon A2 Scrypt ASIC Miner that was consuming about 1000 Watts of power, so we can see what the development is and how good actually the new generation is going to be. A solid first generation Scrypt ASIC miner that was built well and performed really good when it was released with the only drawback being the very high initial price of the device, so we were anticipating another good solid product with much better specs when the first A4 details surfaced.
The initial announcement from last year claimed that the A4 Dominator is so efficient that it should be able to deliver about 850 MHS for Scrypt mining with 1020W of power usage. This was really impressive number and really caught our attention, especially considering that the first generation A2 Terminator miners were able to achieve just about 1/10 of that hashrate with the same power usage. A little bit later, in March this year, there was an update on the power usage and efficiency of the new A4 ASIC chips that has significantly lowered the initial numbers – down to 400 MHS from 850 MHS per kilowatt of power. Although the expected performance was lowered more than half it was still a pretty impressive number, but unfortunately this was not the final change and now we have a new number available. Apparently the final product will only be capable of about 260 MHs per 1 KW of power and be available for about $1800 USD without shipping and with power supply not included in the price. While the final performance per KW of power usage is not that bad either, we are not as excited as we were with the initial announcement or the March update. At 260 MHS per 1000 Watts things aren’t that bad, but with these specs we are not going to be pre-ordering one of these miners for sure. Maybe we are going to try to get one unit to test when they come out if it is not a pain in the ass to secure a single unit order.
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 exchange price of Litecoin (LTC) is still on the rise with the alternative crypto currency already testing the $8 USD target and this has caused a lot of speculation about the reasons behind this recent rise. Some people say it could be due to the recent high load on the Bitcoin blockchain and transactions processing slow due to a lot of unconfirmed ones in the backlog. Other say the reason could be just another pump and dump scheme by a big player with a lot of coins. Another plausible possibility is due to the upcoming fist halving of the LTC reward at the end of August, or the unfavorable situation in Greece at the moment or that on the issues with the China stock markets and the list goes on and on…
Regardless of the reason behind the jump in the exchange rate it is already causing increased demand for Scrypt ASIC miners and services offering Scrypt cloud mining, however nowadays these are scarce and had to find. The best thing you can probably get at the moment is an Innosilicon A2 Scrypt ASIC miner at a discounted price if you manage to find yourself a good deal for a SilverFish Scrypt Blade miner. With Bitmain Tech and ZeusMiner canceling their Scrypt ASIC projects last year (maybe they can restart them if the trend continues) and KnCMiner stopping to sell their Titan Scrypt ASICs and any other ASIC miners to end users there is just one new interesting option coming up. The new SFARDS SF100 Dual-Miner ASICs that are supposed to be available later this month, though SFARDS is still keeping silent about their pricing and expected availability is said to be July.
In the end it is good that we are finally seeing some movement surrounding LTC along with some other Scrypt crypto currencies as nothing much has been happening around Litecoin in the last few months, so the recent price jump and revived interest is definitely a good thing for people that are into altcoins. Especially now that Bitcoin mining is moving away from home miners and more and more towards large mining farms, whereas Scrypt mining is still at a phase where it is still focused mostly in the hands of small mining operations. So we are keeping a close eye on the development around Litecoin and so should you…