Back in March we reported on SFARD’s then newly announced 28nm dual algorithm mining chip, dubbed SF3301. Yesterday, they announced on Twitter (of all places) more details about the chip, including its price and power consumption.
For those who haven’t heard: SFARDs was created through the merger of Wiibox and Gridseed. As mentioned, in March they announced a new chip that would have at or near cutting edge power consumption while also having the ability to mine both Bitcoin and Litecoin. The Gridseed half of SFARDs already has experience creating dual-mining chips, they released the GC3355 which was capable of mining both currencies simultaneously, but fell behind Bitcoin’s then rapidly increasing difficulty and also suffered heating problems. That miner nevertheless is remembered fondly because of its extremely low power consumption when mining Scrypt (Litecoin) exclusively.
Yesterday, they announced that sample versions of the chip are now available for USD $200 in a pack of two and USD $400 for a development board pack, which includes a development board, two power supply boards, a radiator and a fan.
The chip, as previously reported, is capable of near cutting edge power consumption levels. The previous figures for power consumption put the new chip at of 0.31 Js/GH for SHA256 Mining and 1.79 J/MH for Scrypt Mining under “normal” conditions according to their data sheet.
According to a mining consultant firm who is familiar with the chip and spoke to Bitcoin Magazine, this makes it the most powerful chip currently available. I’m sure a few other ASIC manufacturers would have something to say about that, not the least of all would be BitFury with their 28nm 0.2 Js/GH chip announced earlier this year. That chip, however, is not currently available for customers and can not dual mine. SFARDs’ chip is apparently shipping now, albeit not on anything approaching mass scale.
Initially, according to the same Bitcoin Magazine post, they plan to start with a USB mining stick for those interested in dipping their toes into the cryptocurrency waters, in addition to 16 and 24 chip full miners for more serious players. SFARDs hasn’t announced an official launch date but a spokesperson told us it was “nearly” ready. Of course, companies or individuals wishing to design their own miner utilizing SFARDs new chip can purchase the developer boards and start work on that now.
Bitcoin mining may be getting more difficult for lowered rewards, but the companies that remain in the space are looking for avenues to squeeze every bit of blood possible out of the cryptocurrency-mining stone. A cutting-edge chip that can mine Scrypt and SHA256 at the same time would certainly be that. Now, we just need to get some full miners using it so we can see how it performs in the real world.