The Bitcoin mining firm is stumped as to why Bitmain modified the design of the S19 Antminers.
Bitcoin mining firm Compass Mining claims to have discovered “three points” within the ASIC design of the 2 new Antminer S19 miners, models which can be primarily used to mine Bitcoin (BTC).
These points may end result within the machines overheating and, in some instances, fully breaking down.
The agency’s mining operations workforce warned in its March 6 post that “Miners should be prepared,” significantly those that bought the S19 90T and S19 XP Antminers manufactured from 2022 onwards.
Bitmain modified its ASIC design. Miners should be preparedhttps://t.co/cs8z96lR1L pic.twitter.com/2NN4O3sEfP
— Will Foxley (@wsfoxley) March 7, 2023
Whereas the agency said that “different variations might be affected as properly,” the three flaws the agency recognized stemmed from an absence of a peripheral interface controller (PIC) on models, the implementation of aluminum plating as an alternative of laminate materials, and the bunching up parts onto only one facet of the board.
In accordance with Compass Mining, peripheral interface controllers, or PICs, are used to regulate and monitor a variety of units and programs throughout all types of electronics. In ASICs, they’re used to interface with hashboards individually, fairly than addressing them as one unit.
This, nevertheless, has been eliminated in the latest design, stated the agency.
“In ASICs, a PIC sits on the prime of a hashboard and permits every hashboard to be spoken to individually. With out it, you must deal with the unit as one unit, as an alternative of three hashboards.”
Compass Mining defined that this lack of PIC signifies that ought to one hashboard fail, all the unit “fails fully.”
“As an alternative, a miner fails fully. We’ve discovered this to be the case with our S19 XP 141 TH models, which have failed fully when just one board is having points.”
The mining firm additionally stated that by implementing aluminum plating on the hashboard, it could overheat and due to this fact result in the next “failure charge” than these constructed on printed circuit boards (PCBs) — which is what the previous S19s had been constructed on.
This may result in “larger servicing wants,” the corporate stated.
In the meantime, the corporate has additionally raised issues in regards to the mining unit’s transition to aluminum, referring to it as “internet detrimental.”
“We view the design choice to swap to aluminum-plating on hashboards as a internet detrimental — one that can enhance ASIC failure and underhashing whereas growing service and upkeep prices,” it wrote.
The agency additionally defined that the presence of the aluminum would make it tougher to exchange malfunctioning chips:
“The dearth of a PIC is compounded by the abrupt change to aluminum-plates on all hashboards. If a board overheats due to the aluminum’s warmth dispersion properties, then all the unit will go down as an alternative of only one board.”
Compass Mining stated they first realized the drop in efficiency once they deployed the S19 XP at its Texas accomplice facility — which may have been impacted by humidity and warmth.
As for the third difficulty, the agency famous that by implementing the aluminium plating with out altering the chassis — the bottom body of the ASIC — would additionally contribute to the upper failure charges.
As a result of aluminium could be very warmth emissive, the steel will trigger “convective heating” contained in the chassis, the agency defined, earlier than proposing some options:
“An answer to this in an air-cooled atmosphere could be to extend the mass air move sufficiently to dissipate the warmth saved throughout the miner – a distinct design or stronger followers.”
Associated: Bitcoin ASIC miner prices hovering at lows not seen in years
Different attainable options proposed by the agency embody discovering third-party firmware that permits the frequency and voltage of the machine to take care of cheap temperature and humidity ranges with a purpose to get extra longevity out of the mining machines.
The agency did nevertheless acknowledge that they might have simply gotten a “dangerous batch” from Bitmain, noting it’s “frequent information” in Bitcoin mining to not purchase the primary batch of Bitcoin ASICs.
“Unknown errors are sometimes solely revealed over time, so it’s greatest to have others discover them out first,” it stated.
Cointelegraph reached out to Bitmain for remark however didn’t obtain a response by the point of publication.
Bitmain Antminers have been used to mine proof-of-work cryptocurrencies reminiscent of BTC, Dogecoin (DOGE) and Litecoin (LTC).