Posts Tagged ‘Innosilicon

alcheminer-logo

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…

bitcoinwisdom-bitcoin-price-chart

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.

a2oc-modified-web-interface

Innosilicon still has not made any release of the source code of their cgminer fork with support for the A2 Scrypt ASIC chips, what you get with their A2 Terminator Scrypt ASIC devices is a Raspberry Pi with a preloaded cgminer and simple web interface to control the device. The standard web interface however is a bit limited in the supported operating frequencies – 1000 and 1200 MHz. The recompiled cgminer does allow for a few more operating frequencies to be used, however they are not selectable by default through the web interface of the miner. Some time ago there was a modified image released by a user called Emdje that supposedly allowed more overclock options. However it has turned out that it was not really functional as even though you could select operating frequency at steps of 5 MHz the cgminer did not accept these values and instead defaulted to some of the supported frequencies.

Back when we first had the chance to do a remote test of a A2BOX Scrypt ASIC miner we have discovered that the only supported operating frequencies by the Innosilicon A2 Terminator Scrypt ASIC miners are: 1000, 1080, 1100, 1200, 1280, 1300 and 1400 MHz. This is why we have made a modification to the standard RPi image that ships with the A2 miners, so that you can quickly and easily add the supported frequencies to be selectable from the web interface of the miner. This should allow you to squeeze some more extra performance from your device, regardless if it is the smaller 2 module or the large 6 module ASIC model, as our tests have shown that most of the miners should be able to work pretty well at up to 1280-1300 MHz up from the maximum of 1200 MHz that you have by default. Below you can download the modification we have prepared along with the instructions on how to update your miner, so that you get the extra OC options available.

How to login to your miner via SSH/SFTP using putty/WinSCP:

– username: pi
– password: innosilicon

Where to find the miner and web interface:

/var/www

Replace the index.php file with the following modification:
modified index.php

All that is left is to refresh the webpage with the miner interface and you should see the new options for operating frequencies available in the dropdown boxes for the A2 modules. For the smaller miners you need to select just the first two frequencies as you can see on the image above, for the large A2 miners you need to set all of the six frequencies. Do note that each of the modules can operate at a different frequency, so experiment and set the best frequency for each one that gives the lowest HW error rate and optimum performance.


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