All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
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…
This weeks did not start well for the worldwide financial markets, and things were especially not good in USA and China as a result the exchange rates of Bitcoin and Litecoin as well as other crypto currencies are also down. The crypto currency price volatility is not something new, but the exchange rates dropping at this particular moment, especially for Litecoin, are not that good. Today LTC is expected to have its first block reward halving and the price going down to as low as $2.5 USD means that the mining profitability after the halving will be awfully low if any at all. Though later today we are probably going to see some recovery for both Bitcoin and Litecoin that will also most likely rise the fiat exchange rates for other alternative crypto currencies as well.
Back on to mining LTC, we had high hopes for SFARDS to have their new generation dual-mining ASIC capable of mining simultaneously SHA-256 and Scrypt-based crypto coins such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. The more interesting parts with the SFARDS SF100 miners is their high hashrate for mining LTC only with very low power consumption, roughly 1/3 of the closest competitor in the form of Innosilicon and their A2 Terminator chips. Unfortunately SFARDS is late, they are apparently going to miss the opportunity to release the hardware before the block reward halving, so their pricing will either have to go even lower in order to get user interest if/when they have wider availability. In fact some people have apparently received first batch units from SFARDS earlier this month, very limited early availability, and the feedback was not only positive. It seems that aside from the high initial price of the miners, there is more to be desired from the build quality and in terms of reliability as well. Meanwhile it seems that Innosilicon is selling well their A2 miners as they are currently the best you can get on the market and with good price policy and availability people that want to mine for Scrypt coins such as LTC have no other choice for ASIC miners.
We are going to see how things will work on for Litecoin, but meanwhile it is already experiencing a strong competition by Ethereum (ETH) in terms of market capitalization. Ethereum has been in development for quite a while, but mining has been officially launched at the end of last month along with the network starting to support transactions a few days later. The current high market capitalization of Ethereum is due to the availability of 72 million coins prior to the mining even starting, 60 million of which were sold to early investors and another 12 million to be distributed to early supporters. AS for the mining part, we have not even reached 1 million coins mined by users as we are getting close to the first month of mining. The expected rate of mining for Ethereum is about 30000 ETH a day or less than a million a month, but this does not mean that there are actually very few coins available. At the moment the daily trading volume of Ethereum is between half a million and a million coins, lately a bit lower because of the general drop in price. On the other hand Augur (upcoming application using the Ethereum network) is currently running their crowdsale and have already collected over 1 million Ether coins from users and close to 10000 BTC. So we are going to be keeping a close eye on the Ethereum development as well.