Could Bitmain be driving the latest spike in hashing growth with Antminer S3s?

Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin Mining
Could Bitmain be driving the latest spikes of hashing growth with Antminer S3s?
Could Bitmain be driving the latest spikes of hashing growth with Antminer S3s?

With the imminent release of the much anticipated Antminer S3, Bitmain has pushed out 4.8 ph/s to their private AntPool. Officially they are saying that S2’s and some large private customers are driving up the hash rate in the pool there are many who are speculating that it is the initial testing of the S3s as well. All told, with the amount of Antminer S1 and S2 sales Bitmain units sold in the past months, Bitmain is estimated to be powering 20% of the total network.

Recently Bitmain announced the upcoming 28nm Chip BM1382. The BM1382 is a chip that Bitmain will be releasing in the Antminer S3 as well as in upgrades for existing S2 and S1 units. It has some great specifications.

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Chip specs: BM1382
Process Node: 28nm
Package Type: FCQFN-56
Packaged Chip Size: 8mm x 8mm
Number of Cores: 63
Core Voltage: 0.75 V
Core Frequency: 250 MHz
Hash Rate: 15.75 GH/s
Power Consumption: 0.59 J/GH (chip level, and it can be lower to 0.40J/GH by lowering the core voltage)

Antminer S3 Render
Antminer S3 Render

S3 Specs

Effective Hash Rate: 504 GH/s±5%
Power Consumption: 390 W on wall
Power Supply: 4 +12V DC input, PCI-e connectors
Power Efficiency: 0.77 J/GH on wall
Size: 331 mm x 137 mm x 160 mm (Dual blades assembled inside a box, including the fans)
Fans: Two 14038 fans mounted on both front and back ends.)
Operating Temperature: 0 °C to 35 °C
Complied with: FCC / CE
Network Connection: Ethernet

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The specs on the S3 and the 28nm BM1382 Chips are fantastic. I can imagine that over the next few months they will push out a huge amount of S3s and continue domination of the mining equipment market, further pushing out increasingly sloth-like companies such as Butterfly Labs and KNCMiner. KnCMiner has revealed the first 20nm Bitcoin mining ASIC chips with slightly better power consumption than their competitors, but that is not all that’s needed in this market. Not to mention the ones that are going bankrupt. Spondoolies-Tech is going to start shipping their 5 th/s to 6 th/s miners in a few weeks as well further putting BFL and KNCMiner customers behind. Bitmain is leading this wave of new mining technology. The S3 design is also going to allow even S1 owners to upgrade their units according to Bitmain. The upgrade path for the first generation miners is another first as they had already promoted an upgrade path for the S2’s. Here is their statement on the S1 upgrade from their official announcement.

Blockchain Hash Rate Distribution chart shows AntPool running 4% to 6% of the total Hash Rate. Recent blocks Found by AntPool on Blockchain show AntPool solving blocks at a steady rate. Is some of this power coming from the S3’s and the new 28nm chips? Is Bitmain in the finally stages of testing before deployment?

My inside source from Bitmain has stated:

“I can officially say Bitmain is testing an internal pool with their units and some other large customers.”

He went on to say that the miners being used are mainly Antminer S2s and some S1s. I am sure, as are many veterans of the mining community, that there are some S3s in there as well. S3’s probably aren’t the bulk of the hashing power; however, I would not doubt the presence of a few prototypes.

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Antminer S2
Antminer S2

I asked Juan Garavaglia of 112bit.com, Bitmain’s top authorized distributor what he knew of Bitmain’s jump in hashrate.

“The Antminer S3s based on the new 28nm chips are close to being ready for release. We will probably have news by the end of this week; AntPool is developed by Bitmain for internal mining done with Antminers S2s that belong to the company. Units that came in for RMA after sending replacements out the miners are repaired and instead of reselling are mining plus some large customers that are collaborating adding power to the mining pool.”

The building out of the AntPool at such a large rate signals that maybe Bitmain has plans for offering a larger hosting option to its customers in the near future as well?  The eagerly anticipated S3 launch is only days away and many are hoping for a repeat of when the S1 changed the landscape of the mining scene in a huge way by shipping affordable, speedy miners quickly and without long pre-order periods. This time Bitmain is doing it again while almost all the competition goes nowhere or is still selling pre-orders. I cannot wait to see how this unfolds over the coming weeks. I will get a review of the S3 up as soon as allowed.