Bitcoin mining firm Compass Mining claims to have discovered “three points” within the ASIC design of the 2 new Antminer S19 miners, items which might be primarily used to mine Bitcoin (BTC).
These points may consequence within the machines overheating and in some circumstances, fully breaking down.
The agency’s mining operations staff warned in its Mar. 6 put up that “Miners have to be prepared,” significantly those that bought the S19 90T and S19 XP Antminers manufactured from 2022 onwards.
Bitmain modified its ASIC design. Miners have to be readyhttps://t.co/cs8z96lR1L pic.twitter.com/2NN4O3sEfP
— Will Foxley (@wsfoxley) March 7, 2023
Whereas the agency acknowledged that “different variations could possibly be affected as nicely,” the three flaws the agency recognized stemmed from an absence of a peripheral interface controller (PIC) on items, the implementation of aluminum plating as a substitute of laminate materials, and the bunching up elements onto only one aspect of the board.
In response to Compass Mining, peripheral interface controllers, or PICs, are used to regulate and monitor a spread of gadgets and techniques throughout all kinds 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 high of a hashboard and permits every hashboard to be spoken to individually. With out it, you must handle the unit as one unit, as a substitute of three hashboards.”
Compass Mining defined that this lack of PIC implies that ought to one hashboard fail, your entire unit “fails fully.”
“As a substitute, a miner fails fully. We’ve discovered this to be the case with our S19 XP 141 TH items, which have failed fully when just one board is having points.”
The pink dot within the heart represents the PIC, which was current on older fashions S19 Antminers. Supply: Compass Mining.
The mining firm additionally stated that by implementing aluminum plating on the hashboard, it could overheat and due to this fact result in a better “failure fee” than these constructed on printed circuit boards (PCBs) — which is what the outdated S19s had been constructed on.
This might result in “increased 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 damaging.”
“We view the design determination to swap to aluminum-plating on hashboards as a internet damaging–one that may improve 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 interchange 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 your entire unit will go down as a substitute of only one board.”
Compass Mining stated they first realized the drop in efficiency once they deployed the S19 XP at its Texas associate facility — which may have been impacted by humidity and warmth.
As for the third subject, 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 may 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 can be to extend the mass air circulation sufficiently to dissipate the warmth saved throughout the miner – a unique design or stronger followers.”
Different potential options proposed by the agency embody discovering third-party firmware that enables the frequency and voltage of the machine to keep up affordable temperature and humidity ranges with the intention to get extra longevity out of the mining machines.
A few of the newest S19s wouldn’t have a PIC on every hashboard of the ASIC. Supply: Compass Mining.
The agency did nevertheless acknowledge that they could have simply gotten a “unhealthy batch” from Bitmain, noting it’s “widespread data” in Bitcoin mining to not purchase the primary batch of Bitcoin ASICs.
“Unknown errors are sometimes solely revealed over time, so it is best 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).
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