Priyeshu Garg · 11 hours ago · 5 min read · Insights via Vitalik Buterin
News › Bitcoin · Bitcoin Cash › China › Mining
Bitmain Launches New Energy-Efficient 7nm ASIC Chip for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash
Bitmain, the largest mining hardware manufacturer in the world, has launched a new 7nm ASIC mining chip which achieves new levels of performance, chip size, and energy efficiency for mining Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
New Chips For Mining Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash
Chinese mining giant Bitmain has launched a new generation of ASIC mining chip in a bid to reverse the trend of mining unprofitability. The company announced the development in a press release on Feb. 18, saying that the new 7-nanometer bitcoin mining processor will offer new levels of energy efficiency.
The new ASIC chip, or application-specific integrated circuit chip, is called the BM1397 and will be used to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and other cryptocurrencies which use the SHA256 proof of work (PoW) mining algorithm.
The BM1397, much like its predecessor, the BM1391, will be powered by the 7nm FinFET process, an advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology that “integrates more than a billion transistors.” The technology is optimized for “maximum efficiency,” Bitmain stated, adding that its engineering team has thoroughly customized the chip design to optimize its architecture, circuit, and production economics.
Energy Efficiency Could Solve Unprofitability
The new BM1397 chip requires lower power and can offer an energy consumption to computing ratio as low as 30J/TH, making it a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency in comparison with the BM1391. The chip will be featured in the new S17 and T17 Antminer models with the release dates still pending.
The company said that the BM1397 is a testament to its work on improving chip design methodology. Despite the market downturn for miners, it seems that Bitmain has continued to develop some of the most advanced cryptocurrency mining chips.
The launch of the new chip may come as a surprise considering the mining giant’s recent cutbacks. Bitmain has suffered operational issues in 2018, with the company firing a large percentage of its employees and both of its co-CEOs. The decline of Bitmain is likely a direct consequence of the crypto market crash of 2017 and 2018, with mining revenues closely linked to the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
These falling cryptocurrency prices have forced many small and middle scale mining operations to close their doors. However, industrial-scale miners have been able to weather the downturn, with deep cutbacks. Instead of switching off rigs, the new BM1397 chip provides an energy-efficient alternative, potentially enabling profitability for miners on the fringes.