It has been an eventful few days in the bitcoin ASIC race and to be honest it would not surprise anyone if you where wondering where, when and even if bitcoin ASIC mining devices will start to make a dent on the bitcoin difficulty.
In order to attempt to clarify things, and to put the information all in one place with relevant links I have put together a few paragraphs detailing the progress of each of the four ASIC vendors so you can decide for yourself what might be happening.
ASICMiner(Bitfountain): After receiving their first batch of ASIC’s back on the 28th of December friedcat has been giving steady weekly updates in their official thread over at BitcoinTalk and they are progressing towards making their ASIC’s operational. In the latest update friedcat is still concerned that Chinese New Year (10th February) may interfere with their plans, but he remains hopeful.
The process of recovering and re-organising their shareholder registry after the collapse of GLBSE also appears to be progressing with many users reporting that they have received confirmation of their shares.
Avalon ASIC: BitSyncom recently upgraded their speed estimate for Avalons ASIC devices from 60 GH/s to 66 GH/s bringing their cost per GH/s down to $19.68 and as their countdown shows, they are still expecting to ship next week with their first batch of 300 units.
That is a total of 19,800 GH/s (close to 20 TH/s) to added to the bitcoin network and that has the potential to double the network hash rate to 40 TH/s bringing the network difficulty to 6 million within the next month, possibly before anyone else even ships.
BTCFPGA: After requesting that everyone puts in refund requests (or does a credit card charge back) buzzdave over at the BTCFPGA official forums still seems to think that some deal may be reached to bring bASIC devices to a desktop near you sometime in March.
While March is still a long way off the way that delivery dates have been constantly pushed back by most vendors in the race for bitcion ASIC devices miracles do happen and they still may be the first to market (I do doubt this very much though, it seems that it will be a miracle if they ship at all).
Butterfly Labs: BFL_Josh has published a comprehensive plan that ends in the week of February the 10th with the start of their 1/3 shipping plan where one third of available stock will be shipped to new orders (first order number in, first ASIC out), the second third will be shipped to people who have upgraded their existing Butterfly Labs FPGA units (and sent them back in the week of Febuary the 3rd) and the final third will be randomly picked from both upgrades and pre-orders.
Butterfly Labs does not have the best reputation when it comes to meeting shipping dates though, the original date was closer to the middle of last year than February this year.
And so to summarise, according to the latest information available from the vendors I have built the following table.
|Name||GH/s||Price||Dollar / GH/s||Expected Ship Date||Watt / GH/s|
|Avalon ASIC||66||$1,299.99||$19.68||21st January||???|
|bASIC 36 GH/s||36||$599.99||$16.67||March ???||???|
|bASIC 72 GH/s||72||$1,069.99||$14.86||March ???||???|
|BitForce Jalapeno||4.5||$149.00||$33.11||10th February||0.8 – 1.2|
|BitForce Little Single||30||$649.00||$21.63||10th February||0.8 – 1.2|
|BitForce Single||60||$1,299.00||$21.65||10th February||0.8 – 1.2|
|BitForce Mini Rig||1,500||$29,899.00||$19.93||10th February||0.8 – 1.2|