As controversies surrounding Bitmain’s looming IPO spell uncertainty for the future well-being of the mining goliath, competitors are fast to move in on the manufacturer’s territory.
One of these competitors, Innosilicon, now claims to have a new ASIC miner for bitcoin in the works that will outperform any current hardware in speed, profitability and efficiency.
Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, an Innosilicon representative, who asked to remain anonymous, said its upcoming ASIC, the Terminator3 (T3), “has been in development since February of this year.”
Founded in 2006, the technology company, which produces various IP and IT hardware, has made significant headway in the mining arena. With 12+ years of experience building ASICs under its belt, Innosilicon’s team has shifted its focus in recent years to engineering ASIC miners for Litecoin, Zcash, Decred and Dash. They’re prototyping a machine for Ethereum, as well.
Innosilicon began producing Bitcoin ASIC miners this year, and it was among the first manufacturers to implement overt AsicBoost into its hardware. Seeing as roughly 5 percent of Bitcoin blocks today are mined using overt AsicBoost, Innosilicon’s machines likely account for most of this activity.
Enter the T3
Scheduled for release in December of 2018, the company’s third generation Bitcoin miner builds on its predecessor’s architecture with some added improvements.
“We experimented with many different recipes and options in the T2 Turbo to learn the optimal points of the process and circuit architecture. So there’s a combination of improvements to circuit architecture and process options for the T3.”
Purportedly consuming only 44 watts of power per tera hash (44W/TH), the T3 could become the most energy-efficient miner on the market when it is released. With its single tube design and a power consumption of roughly 2100w, the miner achieves its efficiency with help from a processing chip similar to the groundbreaking design Samsung developed for its smartphones last year. The representative declined to specify whether it is an 8 or 10 nanometer chip, stating the exact specs will be revealed after production and before shipment.
This chip, and the low energy use it promises, should outfit the T3 with near-unmatched voltage, the source claimed. Like the T2 Turbo that came before it, the new model will be one of if not “the only ASIC design in the world to operate at approximately 0.35 volts.” To put this into perspective, the Apple and Intel processing chips that power most of the world’s computers and smart devices run at approximately 0.6 volts, and Bitmain’s s9 ASIC operates at 0.41.
This same metric means that the T3’s hashrate will capitalize on its energy efficiency. At 43 tera hashes a second (Thash/s), our source claimed the T3 will sport the fastest hashrate on the market. If this promise holds up in practice, this would make the T3 “200 percent faster than Bitmain’s s9,” the representative said.
These specs would have the T3 outperforming top-shelf hardware from other rivals as well. Founded in 2016 by Yang Zuoxing, Bitmain’s former head of design, Bitwei claims that its WhatsMiner M10 will be the most energy efficient on the market. But even with its still-impressive 66-68 W/TH — a figure that Innosilicon’s T2 Turbo-32T matches — the WhatsMiner M10 could lag behind the T3 if Innosilicon’s forthcoming product lives up to its potential. As described by our source, the T3’s design positions it most closely to Bitfury’s newly released ASIC chip. The Bitfury Clarke, as it’s called, is a 14 nanometer chip that promises a power efficiency of 55 milijoules per giga hash (mJ/GH) and a voltage requirement of 0.3v.
The circuit architecture behind the T3 was built from the ground up, the representative said, though Innosilicon took notes from Samsung’s manufacturing process. The South Korean electronics company made its entrance into the cryptocurrency space this year when it revealed it was producing ASIC processing chips for Halong mining.
“Samsung is our manufacturing process provider, not our design partner. We used some of their production line to experiment different combinations, so we use their nanometer chip process to invent and architect our own circuits. The circuit design is ours; the process model is mostly from them with our own data calibration.”
The representative indicated that the T3 will likely cost the same as the T2 Turbo ($1,568), if not “slightly higher,” continuing to say that the company will gauge production “depending on demand.”
In a bid to produce the most efficient hardware on the market, Innosilicon will continue to seek out innovative technologies. Our source believes that the recent bear market exposes the need for such innovations. Not only do they help miners retain profit potential, but they also push manufacturers to produce greener products to guide the community toward more sustainable solutions.
“I’d like to emphasize that currently there is a landscape change in terms of cryptocurrency mining because of the bear market and more focus on technological innovations. Previous products have been in the product for too long, and these are becoming defunct because they can’t pay the electric bill. It is important to pick the right product in the future to be more green, to sustain the growth of the bitcoin mining industry. For us, our goal is to keep innovating and to keep supporting the blockchain community.”