Author Topic: The ASICMINER Project Status  (Read 9356 times)

Offline maplesyrupghost

The ASICMINER Project Status
« on: December 30, 2012, 03:57:49 pm »
Hi everyone. Our team has just started a project of mining ASIC design & production. We believe it will be both profitable for us and good for the Bitcoin community if we fully work it out.

It is widely believed that the NRE cost of ASIC is very high, while the margin cost of mass ASIC production is very low. However, we happen to be in China, where the NRE cost is much more reasonable (~150k$ for 130nm, ~500k$ for 65nm, furthermore much less if you do a 1/N mask) than most people thought. And we are going to take well advantage of that.

Our approach is incremental in all aspects. We will set several milestones and see what will happen if we achieve each of them. The report on each stage will be posted here.

In the design stage, including both the front-end and the back-end, we are going to fund ourselves. When we are finally ready to turn our design into real chips, we will seek investments, possibly both inside and outside the Bitcoin world. The first batch of our ASIC will not be an end, and we are going to renew our technology with the evolution of the hardware industry, so we are going to make this project a long-term one. However, this thread is not for investment asking, but merely for discussion and our status report.

Open discussions (feel free to add more!)

1. Self mining .vs. Selling hashes .vs. Selling hardware

2. Warnings, e.g. what are the typical causes to a failed ASIC manufacturing

3. Approaches to get enough funding for production

(To be extended)

Status reports

July 18
We have had our IC design company registered at Shenzhen, China. The name of our company is "bitfountain"

We also have signed the confidential contract with the IC manufacturer and got the process library necessary for correct DC synthesis.

July 29

Front-end work done. Preliminary specification given.

August 2

More optimization and trade-offs applied. MH/J improved and Watt/mm^2 reduced at the cost of some chip area increase.

August 11

The pictures of our IC layer are revealed.

(Larger pictures:

September 22
We are in the taping-out process with the foundry. The chip spec and interface made public.

(To be extended)

Chip Specification Update September 22 2012


Chip Specification
Technology Summary:
  130 nm
  1 Ploy
  6 Metal
  1 Top Metal
  Logic Process
Core Voltage: 1.2 V
I/O Voltage: 3.3 V
Core Frequency: 335 MHz
Core Frequency Range: 255-378 MHz
PLL Multiplier: 28
Power Consumption: 4.2 J/GHash
Number of Pads: 40
  22 Data
  18 Power
Package Type: QFN40
Packaged Chip Size: 6 mm x 6 mm

Chip Interface
Data Pins (22 in total):
clk                    i
soft-reset             i
reset                  i
cs                     i
addr[6]                i
data[8]                i/o
w_valid                i
w_allow                o
r_allow                o
r_req                  i

Address Allocation:
0-31    writing midstate
32-43   writing data
44-47   reading nonce

Chip Photos Update December 27 2012


After a long and anxious waiting, we have finally got our packaged chip samples at hand. Everyone would be busy in the following 2-3 weeks.

The following pics are taken from my cellphone.

30GHash/s of computing power on one table:

Top and bottom side of the chips:

A closer look at our baby: founder

Offline maplesyrupghost

Re: The ASICMINER Project Status: Chips are fully functional!
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 02:20:14 pm »
Wow this is crazy awesome news.  First manufacturer with Bitcoin ASICs are the nobodies meanwhile we gave BFL a boatload of cash and they can't figure it out.


The samples passed all functionality tests. The power consumption is also within the expected range. And as our overclocking tests had shown, they still have a lot of potentials compared to our original spec. This means that the biggest risk of our project is gone and our NRE is a fruitful spend.

The first production batch of chips will be out of the packaging service tomorrow. Our deploying is on its way.

+1 for fast migration to a trading platform.
+1 for faster sending of confirmation email that I own my shares

-1 for migration to a trading platform.

If it is not done in block chain with colored coins, or similar manner, please do not. It just will get busted, and create another mess like GLBSE. If we can trade it by using block chain +1.

Except friedcat was just going to run his own just for asicminer.
Briefly yes. But the new platform is not owned by us. We have more control to it than other third-party platforms. It's also more secure and easier to audit/monitor than others. We couldn't give an exact timeline but also as said before it will be before our first dividend payment, which is in the very near future since the first mining farm using self-designed ICs in the world is about to be born.

Crazy.  Sounds like they are selling shares in their company instead of selling devices.  Interesting.  Maybe it's a sham?  Dream come true?  /popcorn. founder - bitcoin buy/sell classifieds forum

Re: The ASICMINER Project Status: Chips are fully functional!
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 02:20:14 pm »

Offline maplesyrupghost

Re: The ASICMINER Project Status: Pictures of the ASICs!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 01:22:38 pm »

More ASICs.

Bitcoin going crazy.

Where is BFL with all our millions????

We are on our revised timeline, and are about to deploy 800 hashing boards in early February. The picture down below is the QC device we are about to take to the assembling service before we pick up all the assembled boards tomorrow:

The board on the upper-left is the power supply module. The upper-right one is the back side of the hashing board with VM connectors and heatsinks attached on. The bottom-left one is the front side of the hashing board without DIP components or heatsinks. The bottom-right one is the tester for QC, and it will be replaced by the controller board in real use.

A more detailed update is given to the board. Please note that the board member list has met its first adjustment, removing shareholders who hold much less than 5,000 after the initial offering from the board.

I'll fill in the blanks tonight in the log, I'm sure I missed a post or two! founder

Offline maplesyrupghost

Re: The ASICMINER Project Status: ASIC PORN!
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 12:26:06 pm »

Deploying has been consuming the time of all us devoted into this project in last week and this one. During the busy days we made us some spare time taking a few pictures:

Peeping over one of our subracks:

Four of them waiting to populate on racks:

Please stay tuned for the *really* good news since our chips arrived. And sorry if there's delay
in replying forum PMs or e-mails. When the most busy time is over the communication should
resume more active. founder

Offline maplesyrupghost

« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 11:57:02 am »
Pre Update

The deploying is in process. We are stress testing on btcguild with a portion of  our devices. The current computation power is close to 2TH/s.

We have been working day and night and still are. The real update will be given in a few hours. founder

Offline maplesyrupghost

Re: The ASICMINER Project Status: First dividend Thursday, 50 TH/s soon!
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 11:27:29 pm »
This is a very promising update.  I just wish I had shares.

Apparently the first dividend for the company is going to be paid this thursday, and the next wave of upgrades is coming sooner than expected.


The deploying is on its track. It's slowing down because we have been doing a new round of preparation. The reason why the first 3T went online so quickly, is that we did a lot of work during the unexpected delay of assembling delivery.

We are currently putting all of our hashpower on btcguild. We will split the hashpower (if/when) other major pools make corresponding adaptions to very large workloads in the next week. We tested on other pools but it seems that they had difficulty setting being a bottleneck for such a flood of hashpower at that time.

Self-mining is an option but not emergent plan. Besides having fluctuation and being the target for cyber attack, we do not want to be involved in voting with our portion of the network yet.

The original timeline is to deploy everything before March, but as our next order of wafers are going to be out of fab sooner than expected, the deploying of first and second batch will be closely one by one and we will be busy till all of them are online (and of course will still busy afterwards with new-gen chips).

The Bitcoin mined from the start are already more than enough to pay the urgent expenses and debts. Dividend payment will start in next Thursday. To avoid the time conflict of trading and dividend payment, please stop/delay the trading requests during Feb 28, 2013, 00:00:00 to Feb 28, 2013, 23:59:59 (forum time) so we can process all of older trading requests before the payment.

And please, make confirmation to me (friedcat on forum, or by mail) after the trade is finished.

The second public financial brief (first one was in last year) will also be given with the dividend payment. Here is what in our mind for achieving the transparency of financials:

Dividend payment: weekly on the blockchain, with the transaction id being public.
Pubic balance sheet: per quarter (fourth a year).
Balance sheet for shareholders: per month, or on demand by board members.
Income and expense details for board members: on demand, after the accountant is ready.
Auditing: sent by board members on demand. Also, professional auditing organizations may be invited in the future when seeking new investments.

Can we have a confirmation for the location of the IPO? I am not personally invested in ASICMiner, but I am holding escrow for a sizeable chunk of shares.
All confirmation letters had been sent more than one month ago. Please check your spam folder if you did not find it. And please PM/mail me if you still could not. founder - bitcoin buy/sell classifieds forum

Re: The ASICMINER Project Status: First dividend Thursday, 50 TH/s soon!
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 11:27:29 pm »

Offline maplesyrupghost

Re: The ASICMINER Project Status
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 01:56:51 am »
First ASICMINER dividends we paid on Thursday.  A lot of happy shareholders out there! 

He started it out with a test payment of 1 satoshi per share and then sent out the whole lot.


First week's dividends paid. Total sum 3860.41091438. This is all mining revenue minus the paid urgent debts and reserves.

I cannot hold myself from some sleep. We will explain the status of our project, how we are going to improve the deploying speed for the second batch, and give a public brief financial information after that. If I could get up before Feb 28. 11:59:59 PM forum time it will still be a Thursday update. :)

And then today's update:

Sorry for the delay in my awakening. Doing management on troubleshooting all day.
This update is sketchy but I will try making contact more frequently than once a week whenever I have time.

The speed of current deploying is indeed a concern, especially in this high time that both price and hashrates seem to be on an uptrend. We are as eager as every shareholder else.

The first batch is more or less a prototype for the second one, so the deploying process is also the period we are finding the right solution to large-scale mining farms. In this batch the work is split as follows:

  Wafer production, Slicing and packaging, PCB production, PCB assembly, Delivery.
Inhouse by us and our partners/employees/temps:
  Cabling for the power supply (double to triple digit kW needs special modification of the cable system), Wiring solution, Heat dissipation solution, Subrack and rack assembly, Network and firmware/software solution, System managing.

For the next batch, things will be much more smooth and automatic because the work will be like:
  Wafer production, Slicing and packaging, PCB production, PCB assembly, Wiring, Subrack and rack assembly.
Inhouse by us and our partners/employees/temps:
  Cabling for the power supply, System managing.

The deploying of the next batch will be boosted with their "normal speed" as well, since most of the factories which had been at hibernation during the long vacation are fully functional now. We are also building a team, preparing for the real scaled deploying.

(This is brief and imprecise, to be replaced by a spreadsheet)
 Fiat balance: ~86,000 rmb
 Creditor's rights: 1066.71 btc + interest
 Fixed assets: ~1,420,000 rmb
 Non urgent private loan: 150,000 rmb + interest, due: July 2013
 Non urgent bank loan: 120,000 rmb + interest, due: post 2013
 Non urgent private loan: 90,000 rmb, due: July 2013

Sorry because many shareholders and potential shareholders want more liquidity than what are currently on the auction board. But currently there are only limited manhours allocated on it and safety/bugfree guarantee is more important than in-time online. On the other hand, the time does not allow us to explore and investigate existing platforms for a temporary place. The new platform is kind of innovative and is very interesting in its own right, but the status quo may last for a while.

The market will find a way to increase liquidity by other financial mechanisms, we have no way to stop them. But from our side, we are only responsible for our direct shareholders (who really hold ASICMINER shares, not derivatives of any form).

Power consumption
On our final products our chip consumes 6-8 watts/G on rated depending on temperature and voltage. After reviewing and comparison it turns out that our result is already very good with standard cell based design and 130nm tech. founder