SFARDS, a company created through the merger of Chinese ASIC manufacturers Wiibox and Gridseed, has announced that they plan to launch a 28mm dual algorithm mining chip.
The chip will be capable of mining both Scrypt and SHA256 at the same time, or switching between the two to reduce heating problems.
Gridseed had previously released a dual mining device, the GC3355, that was capable of mining both Scrypt and SHA256, but reviews complained of heating problems and many users stuck to Scrypt mining. Those machines are well remembered for having impressively low power consumption when running in Scrypt only mode.
This new chip bt SFARDS represents the first dual-mining chip in the current generation of mining hardware. While the GC3355 was capable of 1.75GH/s SHA256 hashrate + 60KH/s Scrypt hashrate. The new chip, dubbed the SF3301, should be capable of hashrates significantly higher than that, but SFARDS is keeping that information close to its chest at this point.
They did reveal the chip’s anticipated power consumption. The chip is expected to consume 0.3 J/GH when mining SHA256 and 2.0 J/MH when mining Scrypt. 0.3 J/GH is near cutting edge for bitcoin, with the latest, most advance SHA256 hardware on the market getting around 0.2/J.GH the SF3301 looks to be near cutting edge, while having the advantage of Scrypt mining.
KnCminer claims to have a 0.07J/GH chip in the works set to release later this year, but it seems that won’t be passed onto individual miners and will likely be limited to their own cloud mining facilities and partnered large scale mining operations.
As the race for ever increasing hashing power and eve lowering power consumption continues, looking for other avenues seem to be an increasingly popular method for mining companies. Versatility and filling less competitive niches seems to be a growing trend, the Blockchain Factory’s Mining Slicer is another recent example of technology being developed to give users a leg up without focusing on pure hashrates versus power consumption.
Exactly how the new chip will get into the hands of miners is not known at this point. SFARD’s site mentions an upcoming cloud mining service, but has dropped hints that they will offer a variety of products, hopefully they will have not only offer industrial sized hardware and cloud mining, but also something for the at-home hobbyist miner.