Friday, December 1, 2023

Bitcoin mining enthusiasts have been put on alert by Compass Mining after the company reported on a significant design change in Bitmain’s ASIC miner rigs. The two affected ASICs, the Antminer S19 and S19 Pro, made their debut in early 2020 but are now undergoing an update to their designs. Compass Mining has identified “three issues” with the new design that could cause problems for miners who are using these devices. In this article, we will discuss what these issues are and how miners can best adjust their operations to minimize disruptions.

Antminer S19 and S19 XP Design Changes

Compass Mining, a premier bitcoin mining solution provider, recently identified three potential issues with the Antminer S19 and S19 XP due to the changes in Bitmain’s ASIC design.

The first issue is the lack of a peripheral interface controller (PIC), which is a programmable integrated circuit (IC) that helps manage inputs and outputs on the electronic device. Without this circuitry, miners are exposed to several problems such as hardware malfunction and underhash rate. Of course, third-party firmware could address the PIC issue, but it’s important to note that implementing any non-Bitmain firmware can void warranty. Moreover, having a third-party firmware installed would also help keep the miner cooler by allowing users to adjust the fan speeds and find other optimal settings.

The second design change is the switch from traditional lead solder to aluminum plating on the hashboards. This change may make it more difficult for miners to repair their machines if they experience any sort of hashboard failure. That being said, if miners are able to diagnose and pinpoint where exactly the failure is coming from, they can contact professional repair services, who should be able to repair them without too much hassle. The downside is that this may come at an additional cost as components on the board require special handling due to aluminum plating instead of tin solder.

Lastly, many components have been consolidated on one side of the board in order to reduce size and weight. This “shuttle shape” requires specialized tools and techniques in order to ensure proper service or repair when necessary. For miners who are not tech-savvy, it is important that they select environmental conditions and peripherals that will optimize their units for efficient operation since repairs may be a bit tricky.

In conclusion, Compass Mining believes that the design decision to switch to aluminum plating on the hashboards is a net negative, as it will likely increase ASIC failure and underhashing while increasing service and maintenance costs. Therefore, it is recommended that miners double down on their repair game when onboarding next-generation units into their fleets.

Compass Mining’s alert system is a powerful tool for bitcoin miners to stay up to date on any design changes from Bitmain’s ASICs. By understanding the differences between the Antminer S19 and S19-XP, miners can make sure they’re running the most efficient and profitable setup for their mining operation. Through Compass Mining’s efficient alert system, miners can stay ahead of the competition and maximize the potential of their mining rigs.

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