Bitmain Technologies Ltd., a producer of high quality and efficient computing chips, high density server equipment, and large scale parallel computing software, has recently unveiled their Antminer S9.
The Antminer S9 will produce 14 TH/s of mining power per unit, using 16nm ASIC chips. In fact, there are 189 chips packed into every miner. The power consumption sits around 1.38 kW, although there is a 7% variation to take into account. However, this makes the miner very power efficient, as just 0.1 Joule per GigaHash.
The Antminer S9 is backward compatible with power supplies used in older models. The machines keep their air-cooled system, which is easy to maintain by both experienced and novice users. Besides, there are no hidden upkeep costs, other than electricity to be paid by the consumers themselves.
There will only be a limited quantity available for every batch of Antminer S9 miners, and interested parties are advised to place their order as soon as possible. Speaking of the ordering process, Bitmain will limit the number of devices one user can order in total, which should help distribute these devices in a decentralized fashion over time.
The company expects to sell their first batch of Antminer S9 devices very quickly. If the trend of previous hardware generations keeps up, it may take 15 minutes or less to sell out an entire batch of Antminers. With such a power-efficient device hitting the market right in time before the upcoming Bitcoin halving, it is expected there will be a lot of interest. Retail price is $2100 per unit excluding shipping cost. Shipping out starts from June 12th after fully paid.
BitFury is also expected to start shipping a new 16nm chip in the near future, with reportedly similar specs. BW pool is reported to be putting out a 14nm ASIC as well, in addition to Innosillicon launching a chip in the 16nm range.
With so many ASICs coming online at similar levels, with fewer power jumps, making a robust machine that can last longer and require low maintenance is going to be key. Bitmain is using the S7-type form factor which is air cooled and very robust in large and small data center environments. They have been refining this format in increments ever since the S1. The S7 is easy to deploy and cool; and from early images, the S9 follows in that vein.