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Paul How

7nm ASICs coming to market by 2019, MicroBT’s Jordan Chen says

At CoinGeek Week, MicroBT Technology Vice President Jordan Chen presented the current market leaders among ASIC miners, and also shared his projections for the industry in 2019 and beyond.

Jordan Chen of MicroBT Technology foresees the end of Moore’s Law, where computing power will cease to double every two years. He cites foundry companies’ technology roadmaps placing 2023 or 2024 as the time when Gordon Moore’s observation will no longer apply, due to physical limitations. By that time, one-nanometer (nm) chips are expected to be available in the market, and power consumption per terahash (W/TH) will go down to single digits.But this is getting ahead of things. While one of MicroBT’s goals is to extend Moore’s Law for as long as possible, the current reality is that leading BTC miner, MicroBT’s WhatsMiner M10, released in September 2018, has a 16nm chip, operates at 65 W/TH and generates 33 TH a second, costing $30/TH. On low power mode, consumption is 57 W/TH, at 28 TH/s.

“I can be proud to announce that this is the best product which you can really test in your mining farm, in the market at the moment,” Chen said during his presentation at CoinGeek Week’s invitation-only Miners Day event last month. By 2019, he expects miners will be using 7nm chips, with their energy efficiency making for competitive market prices.

“Of course, you may have heard a lot of people like two Japanese players, a handful of Chinese players working on the 7-nanometer process, and there’s also launches in the market, a couple of them. But the majority of them, the actual performance is above 80 W/TH,” he said.

Chen explained that “it will still take a while to ramp up the yield, ramp up the maturity of the technology. In the short time being, we think our product… is still the best product in the market.” This, according to him, includes those who use AsicBoost for operations.

Chen said that the chips to come, whether 7nm or 10nm, will continue the downward trend for power consumption, lowering this by 30%-50% in 2019, while increasing TH/s by 30%-50%.

A little later on, he sees the rationale for the proof-of-stake system (PoS), of requiring less power for block generation, as moot. “The guys promoting PoS will surrender. So we really provide the environmentally friendly, energy-saving solutions,” he said.

Chen also presented how full-custom design made for more efficient miners, in that energy can better be allotted for the specific task of mining. “We firmly think that full-custom will be the trend for the chip design,” he said.

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