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Burnin started an open source project to develop printed circuit boards (PCBs) for use with Avalon ASIC chips. The project was originally announced on April 18th and plans to publicly open orders on their web site today, under the product name BitBurner. The store was briefly opened at 9pm GMT yesterday, however was taken down almost immediately due to shopping cart difficulties. Those trying to access it while Burnin resolves the issue will notice the web site is inaccessible.
ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) chips are the customized components that perform bitcoin mining calculations. In April, Avalon announced they would be selling chips in batches of 10,000 and the first of these pre-orders will be arriving this week. There are two types of PCBs available for sale from BitBurner: 10 chip (2.82 GH/s standard, estimated 4.5 GH.s over-clocked) and 20 chip (5.56 GH/s standard, estimated 9 GH/s over-clocked) modules. Additionally, each PCB is offered either with or without an additional heatsink and fan. The heatsink is used to dissipate heat from the ASIC chips and some hobbyists may prefer to use their own heatsinks or water cooling. Prices can be paid in BTC, or EUR through PayPal or wire transfers.
Burnin’s sales model differs from companies like TerraHash and Krater, who also offer the option to purchase PCBs with ASICs pre-installed. Since Burnin requires customers to send their own chips, there were several group buys of Avalon ASIC chips on the bitcointalk.org forums over the past several months. Avalon requires minimum orders of 10,000 units, so customers pooled funding in order to make this minimum requirement. So far 13 batches totalling 130,000 chips (36.6 TH/s) have been sold. The group buys are scheduled to ship individual’s chips to Burnin, where the chips will then be added to boards before shipping to the end customers. While most of the group buys are now closed, some chips are still available from organizers of group purchases.
Customers can expect products to ship one week after Burnin receives the chips, so allowing for several stops in shipping, the first of these should arrive in customers’ hands in the second week of August. At a projected production capacity of 1,000 modules per week (1-2 batches of 10,000 Avalon ASICs), Burnin alone will likely add 3-5 TH/s per week to the network over the next few months.
Burnin is organizing one of two open source projects for Avalon’s ASIC chips, the second being Klondike. While Burnin has 10 and 20 chip PCBs, the Klondike team used a 16 chip and 64 chip design. Terrahash (40,000 Avalon ASICs ordered) opted to use the Klondike design and is currently producing boards amid the controversy surrounding their change in refund policy. While the exact number of Avalon ASIC chips ordered is not known, it does not appear that the large weekly increase in network speed will be slowing down any time soon.