Bitmain Releases Overt ASICBoost Firmware for Antminer S9

Bitmain Releases Overt ASICBoost Firmware for Antminer S9

Miner manufacturer Bitmain has published firmware to activate Overt ASICBoost, an algorithmic optimization aimed at cutting costs, increasing efficiency, and boosting the Bitcoin network’s overall hashrate, on their popular Antminer S9 miners. 

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‘Making the Bitcoin Network Stronger Than Ever Before,’ Says Bitmain

On October 21st, Bitmain released firmware to activate Overt ASICBoost in the Antminer S9. The firm announced the development publicly the following morning on their website.

Headquartered in Beijing, Bitmain is presently the world’s leading manufacturer of cryptocurrency miners, particularly miners underpinned by ASIC chips.

ASICs, or application specific integrated circuits, are specialized chips that, in the context of Bitcoin, are deployed to compute the hashes of new blocks. Overt ASICBoost is an algorithmic optimization that increases computational efficiency further.

The functionality, which was in-built in all of Bitmain’s rigs that rely on their BM1387 ASIC chip, has now been unlocked in the Antminer S9. Bitmain said they’d be releasing similar firmware for the S9i, S9j, R4, T9, and T9+ Antminers in “one week.”

More efficiency means better odds of winning a block.

The firm had waited until now to release the firmware over the previously ambiguous intellectual property situation surrounding Overt ASICBoost.

“Based on legal opinions from various jurisdictions, we believe that there isn’t and may never be a patent right over AsicBoost,” Bitmain wrote today, October 22nd. “Thus, all miners should be entitled to make their own choice on whether to use AsicBoost technology without anybody having an exclusive right over it.”

Eyes on the Horizon

At the World Digital Mining Summit in September 2018, Bitmain co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu surprised the audience by announcing the BM1391, the company’s next-gen ASIC chip.

In lab testing, the firm’s engineers found that the BM1391’s power efficiency could go down as far as 42 J/TH.

Also in September came Bitmain’s formal application for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In the filing, the manufacturing power reported revenues of $2.85 billion USD through the first half of 2018.

Bitmain will look to keep up the pace of its profitability and developments in the months and years ahead, even as others in the space are working to box them out.

What’s your take? Do you think Overt ASICBoost should or shouldn’t be used? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images via Pixabay, TheBitcoinMiner’s YouTube

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