All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
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.
Innosilicon is apparently looking for investors into their new A4 Dominator Scrypt ASIC (both chips and miners based on them) to help them bringing the new the next generation 14nm chips on the market in a few months time with 1.2 Watt power usage per MHS. It seems that they have already designed and taped-out the A4 Dominator chips and are now entering the next round of full mask mass production using apparently Globalfoundries 14nm production process.
A4 Dominator ASIC & Miner Specifications:
– A4 ASIC: 3 MHS per chip at 3.6W nominal, support DCDC less PCB
– Extreme Low Power: daisy chained ASIC running at 0.7V, only in 14nm
– Miner Performance: 600 MHS from 720W at the Wall or 850 MHS from 1020W
– PSU Requirements: common PCI-E 8 Pins/6+2Pins with 12V output
– Included: Reprisal Pi running the most user friendly A2 terminator Software
“We have opened our A4 ASIC/Miner production to committed partners in order to share in both the cost and the profit. Anyone who commits $1.5 million to this partnership will get to share our ASIC production masks or purchase miners at cost for your mining farms. We have fully de-risked the design by shouldering all the R&D and MPW costs for the testchips. Also, we will showcase our testchip and test miners in couple of months to demonstrate the A4’s unsurpassable efficiency. We need only 4 to 5 partners to participate in this incredible risk free win-win partnership round.”
Apart from the new A4 chips that will be for Scrypt the company is also working on new A3 chips for SHA-256 that apparently offer less than 0.2 Watt per GHS, so things should be similar to their first generation A1 for BTC and A2 for LTC mining hardware. In our opinion however Innosilicon will have to work on something else as well and that is securing partners to make their mining hardware more easily accessible to users and not only to large mining operations. They could also work on an approach similar to that of Bitmain to offer direct sales to end users as apparently they could be the new driving force behind Scrypt mining with SFARDS going completely silent and other companies just now starting to look for partners to work on development and not production.
AlcheMiner has posted that they are planning to start work on a second generation Scrypt ASICs, however they are looking for investors to help them start the process and that they plan to gather $5 million to $7 million for the Alchemist II project. They are looking for serious investors offering multiple investment plans starting at 50K USD, 500K and 1 Million USD offering different benefits. According to the information published it will take them about five to six months for the first batch to be launched in the market after the fundraising goal is met. The new chips are supposed to be used in AlchemistII-128 128 MHS miner with 280W power usage priced at $1299 USD and AlchemistII-512 512 MHS miner with 1150W of power usage and a price of $4950 USD.
The brief specifications for the new chip:
– Hash rate: 2 MHS
– Power consumption on the wall: 3~4J (1.5J~2J/MHash)
– TSMC 28HPC tech node
– Full custom design
The problem with their offer is that with their first generation hardware things were not that bright, there were issues and delays, problems with some of their partners such as MAT. Now the company wants to find big investors for new Scrypt ASIC miners promising hardware delivery in half a year with not so attractive hardware prices although specs look promising. The problem is that their track record is not that good, even though they actually had some hardware released and the current situation with Scrypt crypto currencies including Litecoin is not so great at the moment. The low market price of LTC following the recent halving of the block reward and the general uncertainty in the future makes it hard for anyone to actually invest in Scrypt ASIC hardware that is actually not ready at the moment. The recent SFARDS fiasco with the company being very vocal prior to having their new hardware ready and then going completely silent after apparently it has been ready for market also does not do any good for initiatives like the one AlcheMiner is trying to do. So what you might be waiting with anticipation in regards to Scrypt ASIC hardware could only end up being the next generation Innosilicon hardware that might soon be available…