Bitcoin mining rig company, MyRig, formerly BitmainWarranty, confirmed that the Halong DragonMint T1 miner uses 10nm Samsung chips, according to a recent tweet.
Now Dragon Flying (Shipping), this is what powers @halongmining DragonMint T1. Yes Samsung and Yes 10nm. i'm sure someone had seen some news in the past about it from big foundry about bitcoin and cryptos. pic.twitter.com/CyPhK4XMxy
— MyRig (@MyRig_com) April 11, 2018
Samsung announced that it would start manufacturing ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) for mass production on January 29, 2018. This was confirmed by the Korean publication, The Bell. At that time, Samsung concluded a foundry contract with a Bitcoin mining hardware maker in China. In addition to the ASICs, Samsung Electronics has been mass producing 10nm, 16gb GDDR6 DRAM for graphics cards. These chips are twice as fast as conventional GDDR5 DRAM and require 35% less power while improving overall performance.
While Samsung has entered the ASIC space, their footprint is small. According to Hwang Min-seong, an analyst at Samsung Securities, “Samsung Electronics could increase its revenues through ASIC chip manufacturing but because the foundry only accounts for a small portion of the company’s semi-conductor manufacturing plant, it is difficult to predict that the firm’s mining venture will have a significant impact on the company’s revenues.”
Halong Mining was founded in December 2016. Their mining products include the DragonMint B29 Blake256 Miner, the DragonMint B52 Blake2b Miner, the DragonMint T1 Miner and the DragonMint X2 Miner 248kh/s. Halong makes the claim that the DragonMint T1 miner is “the world’s most efficient Bitcoin miner, operating at 16TH with AsicBoost technology inside for greater power efficiency.”
The company has received criticism, suggesting that their equipment is private-labeled Innosilicon Bitcoin miners, and that their release and shipping process is flawed. While some of these comments may warrant investigation, others are related to the large order requirements, where purchasers must buy bundles of 5 miners at a time.
Halong Mining has also received some very positive feedback about the design, hashrate and energy usage. Assuming that the Samsung chips work as advertised, the result would appear to be very profitable compared to other miners, depending on local energy costs.
Regardless of the quality and availability of Halong miners, Samsung is a well-established company that makes quality products. In January, it posted 2017 year-end financials that show that it has surpassed Intel as the world’s biggest seller of chipsets, according to Tech Crunch.
Up until Samsung’s foray into ASIC manufacturing, Bitmain and Canaan Creative have dominated the market, each having partnerships with TSMC, according to Tech Crunch. At present, Samsung provides parts to companies that build finished mining products. However, it is possible that Samsung may decide to manufacture its own miners, much as the company manufactures TVs, computers and other electronics. In 2017, Samsung booked $69 billion in chip sales, mostly due to the smartphone industry. Moving forward, we may see Samsung invest more into ASICs and other cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
This is not Samsung Electronics’ first go at ASIC development. They were producing 0.5-micron ASICs as far back as 1996, and other ASICs as far back as 1984, albeit the chips were not used for crypto mining. At that time, Samsung had eight design centers around the world. There are plenty of options for mining rigs, but this level of experience makes a strong case for the future of Samsung ASICs.