Things are getting closer for KnCMiner, the Swedish mining firm that is preparing to ship 28nm boxes next month. The firm has taken delivery of the first boards to go into its ASIC miners, and is hinting that its design may allow for higher hash rates than it is publicising.
Each of the boards will contain one ASIC chip, says the company. That would put each chip’s hash capacity at a theoretical 100Gh/sec. The firm says that it has overengineered the boards deliberately to cope with 320 W, even though an ASIC will only consume 250 W maximum.
“Margins upon margins upon margins is what we do,” said Sam Cole, co-founder of KnCMiner, explaining his design philosophy. “There is wriggle room for lots of things.”
The board has been overspecced by 30-40% for extra heat and power consumption, according to Cole. This could enable the chip to be overclocked, he adds.
In a blog post, the company said that it has used a large package for its die, to ensure that it can cope with the power and heat requirements of the ASIC chips.
The firm has added another mining box to its lineup in the last month. It is now selling the Mercury, a 100 GH/sec box, for $2,000 with a 250 W power consumption. The company decided to add another model to its line at the low end after deciding that the margins were good enough to warrant it, Cole says.
Cole adds that he is erring on the side of caution as far as hash rates are concerned. So, 100 GH/sec, 200 GH/sec, and 400 GH/sec are the official specs for his boxes, but he personally expects the hash rate to be above 400 GH/sec on the Jupiters.
“We have simulations where our numbers are far higher than we can publicly disclose,” he says.
Cole is also adamant that the gap between his boxes and those that competitor Cointerra is promising will be far less than Cointerra is making out. “We are underpromising. I think that they are overpromising but then they would have to. They have to be significantly better.”
Cointerra is promising 500GH/sec per chip for its 28nm ASICs when they ship in the second half of Q4.
KnCMiner may have its boards ready, but it still doesn’t have any ASIC chips. Right now, it is testing FPGA chips on its boards. “The boards that have arrived are identical, except that it’s an FPGA. So, we can do the programming, and variations for heat and power,” said Cole. “We can get everything set up and Mark test the devices. They will just run at 1 GHz, rather than 400-plus.”
The company is still on track to receive its chips in September. “It won’t be at the beginning of September, I’ll tell you that,” Cole said. “Everything is still on track for me to have Jupiters in customers’ hands in September.” He expects to fill most of his customers’ orders in early October, and says that he should have cleared the current queue of orders by mid October.
This means that he is planning to have sufficient capacity to fulfill all current orders within a three-week period. “We can supply current demand and demand that we expect to receive once we show a Jupiter online.”
The company is still offering hosting services for mining, although there are not many spaces left, Cole said. “We started selling it about a month ago, and it’s been quite a decent uptake.” It will offer multi-Terahash hosting facilities next year for larger bitcoin miners, to compete with new firms such as Alydian. “We’re concentrating on getting Jupiters and Saturns and Mercuries out the door. Then, hopefully, we can get a large investment into fully fledged hosting.”
Once the company has shipped these boxes, it will consider more powerful devices. Internal testing has confirmed that its Linux controller boards will support up to 1.2Th/sec.