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KnCMiner Deploys Next-Generation 16nm Bitcoin ASIC

(@GCaffyn) | Published on June 4, 2015 at 17:56 BST

Swedish mining hardware firm KnCMiner is deploying a new bitcoin ASIC it says will be a "game changer" for the industry.

First announced last November, the 16nm Solar is six times faster than the company's previous 28nm design. Unlike conventional 'flat' chips, its components are stacked three-dimensionally to increase efficiency and processing speed.

Sam Cole, KnCMiner's CEO, said in a statement:

"We've produced four consecutive all-new chip designs in only two years, exceeding even Moore's Law and we see no signs of this development slowing down going forward."

KnCMiner, which raised a $15m Series B in February, also unveiled details of a new mining facility in Boden, Northern Sweden. The 18,000-sq ft warehouse – roughly the size of four basketball courts – is scheduled to launch this September.

The company said it has earmarked land adjacent to its two flagship data centres, located at a former military base, for future expansion.

All upcoming data centres will run exclusively on the 16nm Solar, Cole told CoinDesk, with all 28nm chips being "phased out".

Green concerns

At a time of declining profitability and squeezed margins, efficiency is paramount as mining firms jostle for economies of scale.

KnCMiner's operations in the Arctic Circle use locally-sourced hydroelectric power – Europe's cheapest – alongside sub-zero air to lower the firm's energy footprint and keep costs low.

The company says the "environmentally friendly" chip, capable of 0.07 w/GHs, will increase the efficiency of its industrial mining farms by six to eight times.

Despite concerns about mining centralisation, the firm said its increased hashing power, which will push the overall hashrate higher, will also bolster the network as a whole. Cole told CoinDesk:

"A higher total hashrate further increases the network's integrity and security. As such, this piece of news should make many bitcoin aficionados worldwide rejoice."

When the Solar was first announced, the ASIC pioneer suggested it would bolster the consumer hardware and cloud services offered by KnCMiner.

However, in a period marred by shipping delays, customer complaints and a potential class action suit, KnC has been withdrawing from the highly-competitive consumer space to focus on its role as an industrial-scale transaction processor.

All cloud mining contracts are currently listed as "sold out" on KnCMiner's site. Cole declined to reveal if contracts would return following a boosted bitcoin price.

Chip image via Shutterstock.


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