The hashing algorithm Ethash (Dagger Hashimoto) used for the extraction of air and its forks, despite the high profitability, more than two years remained immune to ASIC miners because of the high requirements to the volume and speed of memory. However, it is now possible comes his turn.
Recently, Chinese media have reported that one of the largest manufacturers of equipment for mining, the Chinese company Bitmain, «threatened the sacred» is the main source of profit for GPU miners, and working to create Antminer F3 – ASIC-miner for the extraction of ether.
In the streamlined scheme, Bitmain, Antminer F3 will be equipped with three motherboards, each with six chips for the production of ether and 32 DIMMs DDR3 1 GB. Hasrat, the device will be 200-220 MH/s with power consumption not specified. On the market Antminer F3 will appear in the II-III quarter of 2018. The device will cost from $2500 to $3000.
So far the only more or less specialized units for the production of ether was compact GPU-miners collected on the basis of mobile chips from AMD and NVIDIA, but their market share remains insignificant.
Try to understand how real the prospect of Antminer F3. To date, official information from Bitmain is missing, as a primary source typically provides the above publication technews.cn, which contains quite contradictory from the technical side information.
Let’s start with the fact that according to an article in F3 will be set to obsolete and slow DDR3 memory, whereas for the extraction of the ether, the memory speed is a major factor, and not even any chips much faster GDDR5 is quite effective. For example, this is done to reduce the cost of device, since the residual party of DDR3 chips manufacturers probably bought at bargain prices and a shortage of memory for graphic cards (GDDR) is already well known and was one of the reasons for the rise in price of cards.
Further, the specified hash rate F3 (200-220 MH/s) corresponds to the farm of 6-8 cards and it’s quite a bit of wins they have value: even at retail prices, such a farm will cost about 4.5 — 5 thousand dollars. The power consumption of the Antminer F3 is not specified, however, it is unlikely to be less than 500 watts, otherwise it would have more chips. The above farm on the GPU if you configure will consume 600-700 watts, that is, even the sum of all the key parameters of the latter-day «killer GPU-miners» will outperform conventional farm on the GPU in 2.5 — 3 times, difficult to considered a breakthrough. Usually ASIC miners give a performance increase by orders of magnitude in comparison with the universal processors.
Consequently, even Bitmain is in the middle of the year will begin serial production of Antminer F3, it will reduce profits for GPU miners, but to completely remove them from the market will not. There is another point: the developers of Ethereum for the second year have been working very hard Casper Protocol and transition to mining by the method of the Proof-of-Stake, which will make ASIC miners for Ethereum useless. And despite the constant delays, the transfer could happen this year or early next. This means that the owners of Antminer F3 will be very little time to recoup their hardware, not to mention a substantial profit, as other cryptocurrencies working on Ethash will not be able to provide are similar with ether profitability. On the other hand, in 2013-2014 we all know that the profits of miners is of little concern to manufacturers and sellers of shovels.
We will remind, recently Bitmain has released the Antminer A3 sale – ASIC miner for mining cryptocurrency Sia and its forks. This caused anxiety among the miners Sia, as increased hash rate of the network, and the company Obelisk, which gathered investments for the miner to SIA with the support of its developers, left behind. However, the developers Sia has decided not to conduct hard forks and shift hashing algorithm. Open opposition to mining on ASIC today decided to provide only the developers of Monero: every six months they will modify the hashing algorithm to prevent ASIC development.