Next-Gen Nigh: Jihan Wu Announces Bitmain BM1391 7nm ASIC Chip
In a surprise on-stage announcement at the World Digital Mining Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu announced Bitmain will soon begin mass production of its anticipated next-gen 7nm ASIC chip, the BM1391.
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Announcement Greeted Well by Miners
Wu made the announcement late in his presentation on his projections for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry over the next 10 years. The miner-heavy audience at the ongoing World Digital Mining Summit in Georgia cheered and applauded in response to the revelation, which many present had been generally expecting, though not at today’s summit events.
— David Li (@davidli_rawpool) September 21, 2018
The move, announced concurrently in a blog post, will also be welcomed by those who have claimed Bitmain’s chip design and development have stagnated in recent times. Wu said the BM1391 is his company’s “best-ever performing and most power-efficient cryptocurrency mining chip.”
The BM1391, which will appear in Bitmain’s next-gen Antminers, will include over a billion transistors, and Bitmain’s lab testing had demonstrated the chip’s power efficiency could go down as far as 42 J/TH.
To put that figure into perspective, Bitmain’s S9i — the “world’s most efficient miner,” as the manufacturer has branded it — can only reach an efficiency rate as low as 94 J/TH.
With the new chip, miners will be able to mine any coin that relies on the SHA-256 cryptographic algorithm to solve transaction blocks — most significantly, that includes bitcoin and bitcoin cash, though miners may switch to a handful of other less-famous SHA-256 digital assets depending on price fluctuations.
BM1391 and Other 7nm Chips to Provide a Mining Advantage
7nm (7 nanometer) chips represent a new phase in bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining technology, with those who can get their hands on machines containing them being positioned to enjoy considerable advantage over others in solving bitcoin (or bitcoin cash) blocks and collecting lucrative block rewards.
Though 7nm ASIC technology has been talked about for some time now, some have doubted whether it could be mass-produced at a reliable rate. Rival chip producer Canaan announced mass production of its own 7nm chips to power Avalon miners just last month, while Japan’s GMO also announced miners with the 7nm chips it designed itself in July. Bitmain needed to have their own next-gen chips on the market ASAP to remain competitive.
Wu: Other Technology Will Also Change the Blockchain Game
Wu also spoke of the role other technological developments would play in the blockchain industry over the next decade. These included artificial intelligence to streamline the way disparate parties share mountains of data and new parallel computing techniques that make it simpler for data centers to expand their operations without big changes to the software architecture.
The World Digital Mining Summit 2018, co-hosted by BitKan and Bitmain, runs until Sunday in Tbilisi. Notably, the BM1391 miner revelation comes on the heels of reporting last month that suggested Bitmain was pivoting toward an IPO.
Bitsonline will continue to track both threads — both the BM1391’s development and a possible IPO — in the weeks and months ahead.
Will 7nm chips like Bitmain’s new design change the mining game? Why or why not? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Jon Southurst