Bitmain, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware manufacturers, announced the selling date of its long-promised next-generation cryptocurrency mining hardware — the Antminer S17 series.
Beijing-based technology company Bitmain has announced that its next-generation mining hardware is set to go on sale on April 9, 2019, though pricing has not yet been released.
Although details about the new ASICs are relatively spare, the announcement did reveal that Bitmain will be releasing a whole new line of S17 hardware — with at least three models on the way: the Antminer S17 Pro, Antminer S17, and Antminer T17.
The new hardware will be the first to use Bitmain’s second-generation 7nm ASIC BM1397 mining chips — which will reportedly offer a modest 28.6 percent efficiency bump over its previous generation chip, the BT1391.
Commenting on the current state of ASIC hardware development, Bitmain product manager Yangxin had the following to say:
From a technical point of view, there is no end to the development of technology. However, in the short run, the driving force behind the development of next-gen miners beyond 7nm chips is slowing down due to physical limitations.
Yangxin is referring to the increased difficulty chip manufacturers are facing when trying to scale down the semiconductors used in mining hardware. At the 5nm process size and below, quantum effects start coming into play and electrons begin tunneling out of transistors — with this leakage severely crippling the chip performance.
Despite this, Yangxin promised a “steep improvement” when it comes to hashrate — which should mean that its latest hardware should be capable of outputting significantly more than the 19.5 TH/s the previous generation Antminer 11 is capable of.
Yangxin further elaborates that the Antminer S17 will have a higher hashrate in a single miner, increasing the amount of hash rate per unit area while keeping the energy consumption low. These changes will apparently increase the profitability of Bitcoin mining — which has become much more challenging thanks to the recent price slump.
Like its previous offerings, the new Antminer S17 mines SHA256-based cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), PeerCoin (PPC), and several others.
It remains to be seen how these new generation chips will compete with other offerings — such as the MicroBT Whatsminer M20S, currently one of the most powerful machines available, which draws 3,300 watts while offering up to 72TH/s of performance using older 12nm chips.
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