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My Thoughts on the Canaan Avalon A9 Bitcoin ASIC Miner – Should We Be Hyped About It?

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Note: I’m not here to encourage or discourage you to buy a certain product. I’m just trying to point some things out regarding this new ASIC that some of you will hopefully find useful.

Short Answer: Probably not

Long Answer:

A couple weeks ago, Canaan has unveiled that they are working on a new Bitcoin miner,  with some incredible specs.

We are talking about the Avalon A9. Based on the cutting-edge 7nm chip technology, the A9 is expected to output 30 TH at a power consumption of only 1730W. That’s a mind blowing 0,06 to 0,07 W/GH ratio, something that haven’t been seen before.

The Japanese company GMO Internet Group was the first one to announce and manufacture a 7nm ASIC, though the results were disappointing – despite the benefits this new technology should offer, the GMO B3 miner is still lagging behind the newest Bitmain 16nm ASICs.

Apparently, the 7nm chip technology has got a lot of hidden potential and now Canaan seems to be making the next step in unveiling it.

If what Canaan has announced is true, it might mean that the company already has a prototype of the Avalon A9, though it doesn’t have a release date yet. Moreover, the retail price of the Avalon A9 is an enigma too – while power efficiency is indeed crucial in the long run, the initial price of the miner will decide its target audience.

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Is the Avalon A9 A Leap Forward or Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

Eventually, 7nm chip technology is steadily making its way to the consumer market. As always, the first products to implement it were a little bit raw and pretty much failed (I’m looking at you, GMO 2 and 3 miners). However, newer models will hopefully bring better optimized 7nm chip based miners with more interesting specs.

(Read more on how and why 7nm is superior to its predecessors. Hint: it’s way more than just the size)

Looking at how it all evolves my question is – what is the true potential of the 7nm technology in the field of ASICs? Canaan has shown us that they can use this technology to beat the power efficiency of a 16nm-based Antminer. Moreover, this technology can even beat the efficiency of a 10nm ASIC such as the newest Innosilicon Terminator 2. Now, even though what Canaan did is indeed impressive, can we be certain that the company has unleashed the true potential of this new chip technology?

I’m pretty confident that nowadays, every existing ASIC manufacturer is working on their own 7nm-based ASIC models. 7nm technology offers too much potential to be ignored. While I don’t expect a lot from the lesser ones such as Baikal, I am quite intrigued with what giants like Bitmain and Innosilicon will come up with.

Say, one one day soon the Avalon A9 will appear in the official Canaan online shop. And just for the sake of our example here, it will have a reasonable price tag – something that will make it a way better option that any of the existing Bitmain 16nm products. My question is – will that be enough reason to jump into the Avalon A9 bandwagon?

Maybe not. Simply because the next day after we invest into the A9, Bitmain might announce their own 7nm ASIC that might, or might not, beat the Avalon A9 big time (the same way it happened before, several times). After all, Bitmain is the biggest fish out there and they can invest more money than anyone else on developing an ASIC that would squeeze the most out of this new technology. And if Bitmain won’t do it in time, there is also another giant – Innosilicon…

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In Conclusion

Maybe I am wrong but all of the above makes me question whether I should be hyped about the Avalon A9. Even if it will be announced with a reasonable price tag and release date, personally I might prefer to wait for other bigger companies to release their own 7nm based ASICs first and then see what’s up.

This way, I might save myself from buying an ASIC that is profitable for the first two months only.

Again, I’m not saying that Bitmain or Innosilicon will necessarily beat Canaan in this race. In fact, it is possible that this new technology will allow Canaan to be the first to create a series of truly revolutionary 7nm ASICs and take the leading position as an ASIC manufacturer and developer. Overall, people seem to trust Canaan more than Bitmain (in terms of product quality and customer service), so if Canaan will offer better performing ASICs than its competitors, it might as well take over the market really quickly.

However, personally I would first like to see what Bitmain and Innosilicon have to offer before jumping into conclusions. I suppose those two companies will be announcing their own 7nm miners soon.

What are your thoughts on this whole situation? Do let me know in the comments section below:

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

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