Chinese manufacturer of Bitmain miners finally put an end to many rumors and speculation concerning the existence of ASIC chips for Ethereum. Today the company has opened pre-orders on the first batch of ASIC miners for Ethereum — Antminer E3 with delivery in the second half of July. The following characteristics approximately correspond to those announced in February, but the cost was much lower:
E3 Batch 1 Antminer
Hash algorithm — Ethash;
The expected hash rate — 180 MH/s;
The Power Consumption Is 800 W;
Price — 800 USD;
Delivery dates — 16-31 July 2018.
No shipping to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Very strange is the fact that the energy efficiency of the future ASIC from Bitmain was much worse than a modern GPU. So, 6 graphics cards based on AMD Radeon RX 580 and Nvidia GTX 1070 180 MH/s hash rate yet consume about 600 watts of power (excluding the platform), while Antminer E3 will consume 800 watts, playing cards almost a third. Usually the advent of ASIC chips, on the contrary in tens and hundreds times reduces power consumption for a unit can see. On the other hand, at current retail prices, farm of six of these GPUs cost around $3000, which is about three times more expensive Antminer E3, to which must be added the cost of the power supply and delivery.
Given all the above, as well as planned in the autumn of the transition of mining the air for a combined PoW+PoS with a five-fold reduction in the awards prospects of recoupment Antminer E3 even at this price look rather vague. But if GPU miners will be able over the months to achieve hard forks change hashing algorithm, all Antminer E3 will be scrap before going to buyers. And yet, despite the dubiousness of profiting from a new device the first batch was sold out within a few hours after the announcement.
Timetable will be updated on 6 April at the next meeting of the developers of Ethereum. Perhaps it will be discussed and the question about hard forks.