Yesterday AMC announced they will be joining the ranks of ASICMiner, Avalon, Butterfly Labs, and KnC as an ASIC chip manufacturer. Two days ago Active Mining Corporation posted they had a large announcement, and would be preceding it by selling 2,000,000 shares for 0.0025 bitcoins each (totalling 5,000 BTC). As many advocates had predicted, the announcement was the preliminary results of their ASIC chip development. The self-proclamied “World’s Fastest Bitcoin Minnig Chip” will use 28nm technology estimated to run at 16 to 20 GH/s per chip. This is an estimated 70x increase over Avalon’s 280 MH/s chips that should start shipping next month. AMC expects low rate initial production to start Q4 2013 and ramp up into full rate production Q1 2014
AMC will be producing a wide range of products, including 110nm, 45nm, 28nm designs. Smaller manufacturing techniques will provide a higher performance and lower power consumption, making the 28nm chips their top of the line. To develop these next-generation ASIC miners, AMC will be partnering with eASIC, an established manufacturer. A review of their past manufacturing experience only indicates expertise in 90nm and 45nm chips, raising some question as to how reliable their estimates will be using the more advanced 28nm design.
ASIC chip development frequently costs $1,000,000+ in upfront costs, so to fund this AMC will be issuing additional public shares, as well as pre-selling mining rigs beginning with their announcement today. Their Fast-Hash-XX line (110nm) will run at 20 to 80 GH/s and cost 25-75 BTC per unit. They claim these units will be modular and expandable up to 1.28 TH/s. In addition to these pre-sales VMC’s website describes a variety of products for each chip technology:
|110nm||Fast-Hash-XX||20 GH/s 1.28 TH/s|
*The Fast-Hash-400 is listed as 400 TH/s, but this is presumed to be in error.
In addition to their pre-assembled rigs they will copy Avalon’s business model and sell wholesale bulk orders of ASIC chips. The 16 GH/s Fast-Hash-ONE chips will be sold in lots of 100 for $30,000, or $300 per chip. These will require VMC to release information regarding board designs relatively soon inorder to give the bitcoin community time to develop, produce, and test the requisite boards.
Unproven mining hardware providers should be considered carefully alongside the risks involved with any such purchase or pre-order.