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As Avalon ASIC chips enter the market, ASICMiner’s hold over the USB bitcoin miner market is about to be threatened. In April, Avalon announced they would sell bulk orders of ASIC bitcoin mining chips. These chips run at 282 MH/s each, or 300-450 MH/s overclocked. Each chip must be set in a PCB board in order to be used, which inspired several open source projects to design mining boards. As we reported yesterday, the first of these ASICs started arriving, and offer competitive pricing at about 0.1 BTC each.
Klondike, the open source project known for creating the 4.5 GH/s K16 board for use with ASIC chips, has released beta designs for the K1. The number in the name indicates the number of Avalon ASIC chips used, and the K1 will be a single 300 MH/s ASIC chip. The power requirements and form factor will be small enough to be run out of a standard USB port. Since it is an open source project, there are three manufacturers looking to sell this design to eager consumers.
BkkCoins, the organizer of project Klondike, created Klondike Design (KD) to manufacture and distribute components required for setting up klondike miners. He sells both K16 and K1 components, but the components require a fair amount of technical sophistication to assemble. Each K1 will require a $3 PCB Board and $1.20 Heat Sink, in addition to a $2 programmer to set up Klondike firmware, a $3 solder stencil, and any other assorted tools like solder and thermal paste. Clearly these costs are significantly lower than any mining device on the market, though some assembly is required.
Mitten is offering assembly services for anyone not able to assemble Klondike Design’s boards on their own. For the cost of 0.35 BTC and customer-provided ASIC chips, Mitten will assemble KD’s K1 PCB boards with Avalon’s chips. This leads to a total cost of around 0.45 BTC excluding shipping costs for each USB Miner. Mitten additionally offers 4.5 GH/s K16 boards for 0.9 BTC, and 18 GH/s K64 boards for 3.5 BTC. Like the K1, the customer must provide either 16 or 64 of their own ASIC chips both of these miners.
Big Picture Mining
Contrary to KD and Mitten, Big Picture Mining is selling the Avalon chips already assembled on K1 boards. They have a tiered pricing strategy depending on how many are purchased at a single time: 1-9 units sell for 0.9 BTC each, 10-49 units for 0.8 BTC, and 50+ for 0.69 BTC. Some group buys are starting to be organized on the bitcointalk.org forums and Big Picture Mining has indicated that it is willing to lower costs even more if 100+ are bundled together.
The king of usb miners, ASICMiner’s 300 MH/s ASIC miner, is seeing it’s first significant challenger. The price was lowered from 1.99 BTC to 0.89 BTC in late June, and with the competitive pricing of Avalon’s K1s it would not be surprising to see another dramatic price drop soon.