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According to reports on bitcointalk.org, Avalon ASIC miner orders from early February have started shipping.
These miners run at over 65 GH/s, so the rapid increase in mining difficulty is not likely to slow down any time soon. The 600 miners in batch two will add an estimated 39 TH/s to the bitcoin network that’s already considered one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Avalon initially estimated a shipping date of April 15th, so these are being delivered one month late. I’m sure most customers are happy they bet on Avalon over BFL though, considering they still haven’t started shipping beyond a very limited quantity.
The ASIC miners initially sold for 75 BTC each, and at current difficulty will generate about 2.9 BTC per day. Given the current difficulty they are projected to break even in 26 days with no cost of electricity. Given electricity cost or 0.15 USD/kWh, and the current rate of difficulty increase, break even is projected in approximately 70 days.
This should significantly impact the break-even time for the 180 blades just purchased in the $1,000,000 hardware auction that ASICMiner just completed. The network is currently running at approximately 90 TH/s, and Avalon expects to ship all of these units over the next month. This should increase the blades break-even time from 110 days to over 150, exclusive of electricity costs, and any other miners joining the network.