ASIC S15 ASIC T15 review. Profitability. Is ASIC S9 still relevant?
The Antminer S9 remained the most efficient Bitcoin mining device for two years. In 2019, the new 7nm Antminer S15 and T15 ASICs will replace the less energy efficient 16nm chips. The Bitmain plant announced the start of sales of these devices in November 2018, but did not mention some characteristics in the specifications. Let's analyze the available information.
Antminer S15 preview
The first batch has already been sold out at a price of $ 1475, a batch is available with shipment from December 20 to December 31. Antminer S15 specifications:
- Hashrate (mining speed) – 28 Th / s.
- power usage − 1600 W.
- The weight – 7 kg.
- Power Consumption Efficiency: 57 W / Th.
With the bitcoin rate of $ 6400 and the cost of electricity at 3 rubles / kW, the payback period for Bitmain Antminer S15 is 400 days. The data on the temperature of the chips and the emitted noise of the device turned out to be hidden. Bitmain's website states that shipments for this miner may be delayed. This means that the parties will reach Russia only in 2019. The warranty is established from the moment of shipment of the goods for a period of 180 days and is canceled when the device is overclocked..
It should be noted that the new ASIC miners have increased energy efficiency by only 30% compared to the S9. Due to the use of the new process technology, a more powerful increase in efficiency was expected. Miner control is now divided into 2 modes: normal and economical. In economy mode, power consumption will be reduced to 850 W, and the hash rate – up to 17 Th / s. In this situation, the new bitcoin ASIC will consume 50 W for 1 Th.
Antminer T15 preview
The T15 is 5 Th / s slower than the S15, but pays off faster with a starting price of $ 913. In economy mode, the characteristics of the Antminer T15 are as follows:
- Hashrate – 20 Th / s.
- Power consumption: 1200 W.
- Energy efficiency: 60 W / Th.
- The weight – 7 kg.
- Hashrate – 23 Th / s.
- Power consumption: 1540 W.
- Energy efficiency: 67 W / Th.
- Payback Antminer T15 at the current BTC rate – 336 days.
In 2018, new ASICs will only be sold at high prices due to two circumstances:
- Bitmain should sell the remains of Antminer S9 i / j, Hydro. If you set the optimal price right away, old devices will be left without demand..
- There are always people who want to buy a novelty even at high prices..
In Russia, resellers have already published ads with a price tag of $ 2000.
Process potential 7 nm
Antminer S7 has a 28 nm process technology, Antminer S9 – 16 nm. The energy efficiency difference between these devices is almost 200%: 260 W / Th versus 90 W / Th. The difference in efficiency between Antminer S9 and S15 is only 30%. This indicator can be considered fair for comparing 10 and 7 nm technological processes, but not 16 and 7.
Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to follow Moore's Law, which states that the number of transistors per die area will double every two years. In the desire to follow the pattern, a lot of money is spent on exotic materials and nanosheets, but the number of defective devices is still high. Despite the difficulties, architects try to follow Moore's empirical observation.
Global Foundries canceled its 7nm chip designs. Intel devices with a 10nm process technology are not expected to be mass-produced until 2019 at the earliest. Samsung and AMD have a similar situation. In today's competition, it is very important to create loud headlines, and the use of the 7nm process technology is such.
There is a chance that under «hood» new ASICs from Bitmain are far from perfect 7-nm technical process of the first generation. Also, the plant can deliberately lower the performance of devices in order to generate additional profit on other, more powerful miners, which will already use 7-nm chips using EUV technology (ultraviolet extreme lithography).
The jump through 14 and 10 nanometer manufacturing processes looks rather strange, but it explains the debt to the chip supplier TSMC. − the high cost of developing a 7-nm process technology. TSMC Corporation is the world's leading chip developer. Representatives of the organization said that profits from orders from the cryptocurrency sphere are falling. Initially, it was planned to receive 9% of income in 2018 from mining development, then the figure dropped to 6%.
We also recommend to learn about price changes for video cards and ASICs for 3 years.
About Antminer S15 and T15 on forums
The news from the Chinese flagship did not greatly excite the miners' society, although they had been waiting for high-profile new products from Bitmain for mining SHA-256 for a long time. The community has split into two camps: S9 vs. S15 + T15. Quite a lot of members of the forum express the opinion that now is a good time to buy a used Antminer S9 for $ 280, given the new AsicBoost firmware (+ 20% efficiency). On the other hand, new ASIC miners in 2019 will take the S9 out of the border of profitability..
The best option would be to wait for the fall in prices for the ASIC Antminer S15 and T15, and then draw conclusions about the purchase of specialized devices. A large number of members of the forum believe that December may be marked by a BTC pump in connection with the sale of new ASICs. This assumption gives rise to speculation whether the price of new products from Bitmain will rise in December. If you hope for an increase in the rate, then it is easier to buy cryptocurrency and not worry about it..
Final conclusions about new miners will be made only after reviews of working models and inspection of devices by independent specialists. Bitcoin recently turned 10 years old, we considered its further prospects in the analytical material.