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Bitcoin mining powerhouse Bitmain launches next-generation 7nm mining chip

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 1 October 2018, 13:02 IST

Chinese Bitcoin mining giants, Bitmain have recently announced the development of a new 7nm mining chip that could change the game for the mining of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and a host of other burgeoning digital assets.

This ‘next-generation’ 7nm application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chip, known as the BM1391, was launched at the World Digital Mining Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia. Jihan Wu, CEO, Bitmain, confirmed that the BM1391 chip is set for deployment in its next iteration of mining rigs – the upgrade to the Antminer S9.

The developments at Bitmain come literally hours after competitors, Bitfury confirmed the launch of a new 14nm mining chip, labelled the Bitfury Clarke.

However, the next-generation offering from Bitmain is said to offer improved hashing power and energy efficiency in comparison with older models of ASIC processors. The new 7nm mining chip is built for mining cryptocurrencies using the SHA256 algorithm.

The BM1391 chip incorporates an advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology, known as 7nm FinFET. It features over one billion transistors that are optimised for energy efficiency. At a time when energy consumption is a major talking point in the crypto mining space, Mr Wu confirmed that the BM1391 chip is capable of achieving “a ratio of energy consumption to mining capacity that is as low as 42J/TH”.

Although more detailed specifications are yet to be unveiled for the BM1391 chip, Bitmain confirms it is now at the point of mass-producing the new ASIC chip.

Bitmain's Antpool to launch exhibition in Houston

Bitmain owns one of the largest automatic mining pools, called AntPool. The brand is the fourth largest Bitcoin mining pool, boasting almost 11% of the network’s total hashrate in recent weeks. In a bid to increase the exposure of Bitcoin mining and to shine a spotlight on its expansion efforts – including a mega crypto mining and data centre in Rockdale, Texas – AntPool has signed on the dotted line with a sponsorship deal of NBA team, Houston Rockets for the 2018/19 NBA season.

As part of the agreement, AntPool will be launching a new exhibition at the Toyota Center, which is the home of the Rockets. The Houston Rockets have a surprisingly large supporter base in China, where Bitmain is headquartered.

However, this may also be attributed to China’s most decorated basketball player, Yao Ming, who played for the Houston Rockets for nine seasons. Haijiao Li, overseas operations manager, AntPool, spoke in glowing terms of the sponsorship deal with the Rockets.

Li said that “as the cryptocurrency industry around the globe continues to evolve and develop” there will be a greater need for brands such as AntPool to drive the “conversation and conversion of consumers” to educate the benefits of digital assets.

AntPool’s sponsorship deal is not the first piece of Bitcoin-related news to emerge from the world of NBA this month. Rockets’ team owner, Tilman Fertitta, revealed that his own high-end automobile dealership will be taking payments for brand-new vehicles in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, which are viewed in the crypto space as the new “digital gold” and “digital silver”.

Furthermore, the Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban confirmed his team would be permitting the use of Bitcoin for the purchase of tickets during the 2018/19 NBA season.

First published: 1 October 2018, 13:02 IST