Chinese crypto mining giant and ASIC hardware producer Bitmain has announced a launch date of April 9th for its new energy-efficient Antminer S17 series miners. The news was revealed in an official Bitmain blog post on March 29.
As previously reported, the new miners will be fitted with Bitmain’s 7nm (nanometer) ASIC mining chip — dubbed “BM1397” — designed for mining cryptocurrencies that use the SHA256 algorithm for their proof-of-work (PoW) — most notably Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Three different Antminer S17 miners have now been specified as slated for release on April 9: the models Antminer S17 Pro, Antminer S17 and Antminer T17.
Yanxhin — Bitmain’s product manager for the new Antminer S17 series — is quoted in the blog post as saying that the new miners offer a “a steep improvement in the hashrate in terms of space and power consumption,” claiming that BM1397 chips provide “a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency in comparison with Bitmain’s previous 7nm chip, the BM1391.”
Alongside electricity consumption cost savings due to increased energy efficiency, Yanxhin proposed that having a “higher hashrate in a single miner [...] increases the hashrate density per unit space and saves deployment costs for mining farms.”
Yanxhin also gave their technical perspective on prospective future developments of higher hashrate miners beyond 7nm chips, noting that:
“There is no end to the development of technology. However, in the short run [...] the challenges of nanometer scale mass production require more investment and further research and development. [...] For the near future, 7nm would remain the most preferred in terms of performance and economics.”
Having weathered a trying six months as bearish crypto markets triggered company redundancies and a failed public flotation, an unnamed source at Bitmain had allegedly just this week hinted that the forthcoming 2020 Bitcoin block reward halving could offer a positive boost for the launch of the firm’s Antminer S17 series.
The Bitcoin block reward size is set to decrease from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC per block in May 2020. In line with previous patterns, some predict a Bitcoin price surge ahead of the halving — possibly beginning around June 2019.
The undisclosed Bitmain source thus reportedly stated that “Bitmain is now betting that its next flagship product [...] will turn out to be a winner in the mining gear market, capturing an expected rally.”
Bitmain had notably launched its Antminer S9 model in May 2016, just ahead of Bitcoin’s last halving in July of that year.