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Today Cointerra released more information on their ASIC bitcoin miner product line, as well as a more competitive pricing on the 2 TH/s miner. Cointerra is led by Ravi Iyengar, who was lead CPU Architect at Samsung Corporation prior to founding Cointerra. He has recruited a robust team of specialists and advisors including their most recent announcement of Timo Hanke as their Lead Cryptographer, who brings with him 15 years of research experience in computer algebra and number theory.
Application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are specialized chips that perform bitcoin mining calculations and have been rapidly changing the mining landscape. Disclosed in Cointerra’s announcement is that they will be producing 2 PH/s (2,000 TH/s) worth of chips; at 500 GH/s per chip this amounts to 4,000 ASIC chips in their first run. Considering the current network hash rate is approximately 500 TH/s this amounts to 4x the current network speed, though they do not expect chips to arrive until December.
Bulk Chip Sales and Reduced Prices
To capture a different segment of the market, Cointerra will be joining other ASIC bitcoin companies such as Avalon, Butterfly Labs (BFL) and Bitfury in bulk ASIC chip sales. They have two bulk sizes available: 20 chips for $57,400 or 50 chips for $139,750.
In order to mine using a chip from the bulk-order sales, the chip must be mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB) and attached to a power supply. Purchasing chips in bulk quantities poses two advantages to customers:
- It allows for more flexibility in design, since customers can decide how many chips they want to mount to each PCB.
- Miners don’t have to worry about Cointerra managing PCBs and power supply integration in-house, an issue that caused Butterfly Labs months in delays.
It’s advantageous to Cointerra to sell chips in bulk since it allows them to focus on chip design and production, and will reduce their customer support requirements. Those that are more price sensitive can organize large group buys to obtain the discounted rate for large orders, much the way Avalon orders have been organized. Cointerra expects to release specific ASIC chip specs in the next few weeks so the community can begin working on the PCB design.
Last week Cointerra announced a fully assembled miner running at 2 TH/s. The miner consists of 4 ASIC chips running at 500 GH/s each, a PCB, a power supply, and a case. The price of this miner, the TerraMiner IV, was just reduced from $15,750 to $13,999 due to customer feedback, and earlier purchasers will be refunded the change in price. It appears likely these announcements will be followed by a fully assembled smaller miner using one or two chips. Additionally, they plan on offering a 20% bonus in hashing power if they miss their December target by more than 30 days.
The anticipated 2 PH/s will have a significant impact on the bitcoin network. With several companies planning on delivering ASICs over the next few months it would not be surprising to see the network over 5 PH/s total by the end of the year. ASICMiner is planning to ramp up to 1 PH/s with their second generation chips, Avalon is expected to deliver a total of 320 TH/s, Bitfury sold over 500 TH/s, and KNC expects to deliver anywhere between 500 TH/ and 2 PH/s, just to name a few companies. While execution and time to market will be everything for these companies, Cointerra is poised to be one of the most significant contributors to the network.