On 4/20/14, Innosilicon announced sales of their A2 Terminator Scrypt ASIC on Bitcointalk andtheir website. Innosilicon is not a newcomer to the ASIC mining realm, by any means. They have previously completed the design and fabrication, through Global Foundries, of an A1 CoinCraft SHA-256 ASIC chip that was used in many cheap, ready-to-ship miners out of China in recent months. From their A1 chips revenue, Innosilicon was able to manufacture these A2 Terminator Scrypt ASIC chips without crowdfunding through preorders, as many competitors have. Innosilicon is taking bulk orders for shipment in the next weeks via email and Skype. The A2 Scrypt ASIC chip is the first 28nm Scrypt ASIC to come to market. Innosilicon purposefully chose not to accept money until a prototype was filmed. Since Innosilicon is able to deliver 28nm sooner than all its competition, they are charging high prices (. However, even at these high prices, Scrypt ASICs will soon put GPU Scrypt miners out of business.
The last few weeks has seen a large increase in the Litecoin network difficulty. Experts in the Scrypt cryptocurrency space have postulated that many Dogecoin miners made the switch back to Litecoin due to the “halving happening” (halfening?) in Dogecoin block reward earlier this week. At Dogecoin’s 200,000th block, the amount of Dogecoin released to the miner of each block (the block reward) halved from 250,000Ð to 125,000Ð. As often happens with block halvings, the exchange rate experienced a slight bump prior to the halfening as a combination of hype and miners drove the BTC/DOGE exchange rate up in an attempt to maintain the same mining profitability. Projecting mining profitability requires accounting for halfenings, and also the shipping dates of new technologies. In the days of yore, Scrypt miners were always aware of the next release date for AMD’s newest line of Radeon graphics cards. Nowadays, companies are spending effort posturing and undercutting each other’s prices while offering six month windows for their Scrypt ASICs to be delivered. Of course, for many, this style business practice is preferable to continuously missed deadlines, or entirely botched delivery batches. Another reason for the increased pace of difficulty jumps in Scrypt based cryptocurrencies is the fact that Gridseed miners have been leaking into brave miners’ hands over the last few months. Needless to say, the rising difficulty is just beginning.
About the machine
Innosilicon is using the same PCB from the A1 Bitminers for the blades in these Scrypt ASICs. The advertised hashrate varies from 74 MH/s to 140 MH/s depending on how many blades and chips are put inside the box. The prototype only has 40 A2 chips and is able to achieve a hashrate of over 74 MH/s after 10 hours of stress testing. The A2 Terminator is presented in a server rack mountable 4U case with 3 efficient 120mm fans. Furthermore, the temperature on the heatsinks of the Scrypt ASIC blades within the Innosilicon A2 Terminator run at a temperature of 32 C, “which is very cool.” The chips themselves hash at around ~1.7 MH/s for 13W and are also available for bulk order, as the A1 CoinCraft chips were before. Don’t be surprised when different Scrypt ASICs with fancy names run on A2 Scrypt ASIC chips also enter the market in months to come.
(Original video was posted to youku)
KnCMiner and Mining ASICs Technologies have both promised to deliver by the end of 2014. Fibonacci will begin deployment of their Scrypt ASICs sometime in July or August. Zeusminer is fast on Innosilicon’s heels as they have also gone received chips from tape out and will soon reveal a video of a hashing prototype, shipping is due to begin before the end of May. Alpha Technology is currently awaiting their chips, which have already been taped out. Alternatively, Gridseed Scrypt ASICs like the dualminer USB, and more recently the Gridseed Blade, are also available for purchase right now from Chinese manufacturers and also American re-distributors. Other Scrypt ASIC companies include Bliss, Flowertech, Alcheminer, and SiliconArt.