Avalon Announces Gen2 Specs And 7.5 TH/s Prize for Open Source Board Design

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Today BitSyncom, the bitcoin company known for producing Avalon miners, announced details about their second generation chip, as well as plans for a contest to create an open source PCB (printed circuit board) design for their chips. The new chips will use a 55nm technology and run 4x as fast as their first generation 110nm chips. The winner of their open source contest will receive 5,000 chips, totaling 7.5 TH/s overclocked.

Avalon will be selling both fully-assembled units as well as bulk chips, similar to their strategy for first generation products. While exact pricing has not been determined for the new products, they will not take any pre-orders and will only sell inventory they have immediately available. Avalon had been the focus of attention within the bitcoin mining community this September after refunding tens of thousands of bitcoins to Generation 1 customers who were affected by Chinese customs delays.

Generation 2 Chips

As expected, their 2nd generation chips will be created using a 55nm process and utilize the same packaging as their first generation 110nm chips, with small changes to padding but the same communications protocol. Although this constrained their design options, it will enable full backward compatibility with PCBs developed for their first generation chips. The new chips are seeing typical performance of 1 GH/s at 500Mhz, however they’re expected to overclock to 1.5 GH/s per chip at 3W (2 W/GHs). Generation 1 chips were originally clocked at 256Mhz, however they were able to run stable overclocked at 400Mhz. It would be reasonable to expect similar overhead in Generation 2 chips.

BitSyncom expects to receive products in late October or early November and will begin sales when they have inventory in their warehouse. Their fully assembled units are estimated to run at 250 GH/s and will be housed in 2U server racks. Bulk chips sales will also be available and will be offered a discounted rate for customers that were affected by Generation 1 delays.

Open Source Contest

ASIC chips that are sold in bulk quantities must be mounted by customers in PCBs. Avalon released a reference design after announcing sales of their first generation products in April, and several members of the community began working on developing open source designs. Unfortunately many of these were never completed – most famously the Klondike design – and significantly impacted customers relying on its completion. BitSyncom hopes to resolve that issue by offering a 5,000 chip prize for the best open source design.

Starting almost immediately, Avalon will begin taking applications for hardware developers that would like to enter the contest. The application process will include basic questions guiding experience and past projects to filter viable candidates. There are 50 slots available, and Individuals or teams that are accepted will receive 10 55nm chips for use in developing their boards.

The contest will begin on October 10 and entrants will have one month to submit their designs. The team will internally assess each candidate design and select one winner to receive the 5,000-chip prize. After the contest is completed all designs will be open-sourced and provided to the bitcoin community.

Update 10/5: Avalon has posted the 55nm chip data sheet to the github storing their Reference Documentation, Bill of Materials and Chip Communication

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About the author  ⁄ Jeff Schvey

9 Comments

  • Reply
    October 2, 2013

    Sweet Great Work, Can’t wait to grab one!!

  • Reply
    Nacer
    October 2, 2013

    In this war for mining product it seem miner are going to lose a lot.

  • Reply
    Alex
    October 2, 2013

    The winner might win 5,000 chips, but I doubt Yifu will actually ship them.

    • Reply
      Mukunga
      October 2, 2013

      “Avalon” and “shipping” can never be used in the same sentence. Its simply unintelligible.

  • Reply
    Sensi
    October 4, 2013

    Only hashing at 1.5 GH overclocked? Utterly useless chip.

    • Reply
      GenesisSchlock
      October 6, 2013

      And no working boards… they have to bribe some DIY to make them… sure, worked well the last time

      • Reply
        Phillip Archer
        October 7, 2013

        Avalon has working boards and they do not plan on using any of the open source designs. Their Gen1 boards are fully compatible. They’re trying to encourage more diversity within the community.

        • Reply
          Johan
          October 7, 2013

          The Gen1 boards does not seem to be compatible with the new chips. According to the datasheets it seems that several pins have changed place.

  • Reply
    bob
    October 17, 2013

    ” Generation 1 chips were originally clocked at 256Mhz, however they were able to run stable overclocked at 400Mhz. It would be reasonable to expect similar overhead in Generation 2 chips.”

    ER….. NO….
    it does not work that way due to clock jitter and other issues related to the way frequencies behaive as they decrease….

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