Kansas-based bitcoin mining supply firm Butterfly Labs has announced that deployment of its 28nm Monarch mining ASIC will be delayed roughly four weeks.
The most recent setback means those who ordered units, some more than six months ago, will need to wait until April to receive their products.
Butterfly Labs informed the community of the news in a statement on 4th March, which explained that the delay is the result of an issue with the top metal layer of its chips.
, the company's VP of marketing and corporate communications, elaborated on the problem in an interview, suggesting that this will be the last roadblock to delivery.
, the company's VP of product development, also moved to calm frustrated buyers, revealing they would ultimately receive a unit that boasts power consumption numbers that are "better than anticipated", and that some customers would be eligible for full refunds and delay compensation.
, the 28nm Monarch unit has been delayed since September when optimism was high that production issues would soon be ironed out. At the time, the company was already developing a reputation for delays and delivery issues, but said it expected the first run of shipments to begin in January or February.
The latest announcement will likely do little to quell concerns about further setbacks.
Though he acknowledged some consumers will be disappointed about the delay, Ownby moved to put the focus on the improved product Butterfly Labs' buyers will receive.
Ownby said Butterfly Labs expects the Monarch unit to consume 0.45W/GH, down from the 0.6W/GH originally announced. According to Ownby, this means the end result will be a chip that is less power hungry and more economical than those offered by competitors.
Explaining the significance of the change, Zerlan said:
In an attempt to assuage customers, buyers who ordered 600 GH Monarchs prior to a reduction in price on 28th November will be given the Imperial Monarch, a high-performance version of the card. The original asking price for the 600 GH Monarch was $4,680, but this retail cost has since been reduced to $2,196.
Individuals who have been waiting for less than six months for their order, but paid the full original amount will receive an Imperial Monarch, as well as a 50% off voucher for an additional standard Monarch unit to be delivered at the end of the current queue.
Those who have been waiting for their order for more than six months can elect to receive a full refund in US dollars or double the amount of hardware they ordered.
The post details:
Customers who ordered the 300 GH Monarch at full price are now eligible for additional offers, though the full details of available compensation plans are not yet available.
Changing industry to blame
However, Ownby suggested that these buyers should have patience with the company as it works through new issues. In his statements, Ownby evoked comparisons to Butterfly Labs' performance, which he suggested is on par with its competitors.
Ownby said that his company has been under the microscope, but that this is due in part to the "exaggerated timelines" it works under.
When asked whether delays will become less regular soon, Ownby once again indicated that this would need to be the result of an industry-wide change.
"The one thing that could come out of this at some point is if someone developed a chip and sold it off the shelf, but I don't see it happening."
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