The ASIC miner wars heated up this week, as another entrant prepared to announce who will get its first ASIC units. Swedish company KnCMiner said this week that it will be informing the first customers of their place in the delivery queue for its two mining units, named Jupiter and Saturn.
These devices will produce up to 350 GH/sec, according to the firm.
KnCMiner had allowed people to register in a queue to purchase the units, but only opened up its payment gateway earlier this month, offering people in the queue seven days to secure their place with a payment. Those paying during the first 48 hours were entered into a lottery. Three winners would get free machines.
The payment rush caused problems with its PayPal account, said the firm, slowing down the processing of payees. It has almost resolved the issue, it said this week, enabling it to announce final queue positions.
Those who didn’t get into the queue will be able to take preorders for the units on a first-come, first-served basis.
KnC promises delivery at the end of September, which is later than its competitors. The interesting thing about KnCMiner, however, is its fabrication technology. It will produce 28 nm ASIC chips, compared to Butterfly Labs’ 65 nm versions. BitSyncom, which produces the Avalon chips used by TerraHash, produces 110 nm ASICs. Chips with a higher density are more power-efficient.
The two companies announced the partnership in mid-April, with ORSoC AB taking on product design, production and testing.
The key problem for companies producing ASIC chips isn’t so much the design as the fabrication. Other companies that have begun negotiating ASIC designs for themselves report that it can be difficult obtaining a slot at one of the few fabrication plants available.
“The amount we were quoted was between $1.5 million and $2 million,” said Emmanuel Abiodun, CEO of UK-based hosted mining firm Cloudhashing. “The foundry where you have to get your chips done needs a slot for you, and you need to make a certain number of chips to make it profitable.”