Bitmain announces development of new Bitcoin mining chip

Bitmain claims the new 7-nanometre Bitcoin mining chip offers much-improved energy efficiency over previous miners

Bitmain Technologies has announced a new 7-nanometre Bitcoin mining processor that it says offers new levels of energy efficiency.

The new ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit), called the BM1397, is said to provide improvements in performance, chip size, and energy efficiency for mining proof-of-work cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 algorithm. The most popular cryptocurrencies that mine today using this hashing algorithm are Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV).

Made using a 7-nanometre FinFET from Bitmain’s chip supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the new chip will look to provide a significant efficiency improvement over previous Bitmain offerings, with a consumption to computing ratio “as low as 30J/TH,” according to Monday’s announcement.

Bitmain believes that the chip will offer a +28.6% improvement in power efficiency compared to Bitmain’s previous 7-nanometre chip, the BM1391. This was enabled through the Bitmain engineering team’s customisation efforts to optimise the BM1397 architecture, circuit, and economics.

New Antminers on the horizon 

The new ASIC will feature in Bitmain’s new Antminer mining devices – the S17 and T17 – which are due to release in the coming months.

The announcement comes not long after the mining giant revealed its most recent Antminers (the S15 and T15) in November 2018. Both of these models are powered by the previous generation BM1391 ASIC chip.

Bitmain also launched ASIC miners for the cryptocurrencies Zcash and Ethereum last year. This prompted Ethereum’s open source development community to tentatively agree in January to implement a new algorithm that would restrict ASIC mining on the network (ahead of the planned move to a proof-of-stake blockchain).

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