Bitmain’s Antminer S19 series design changes causing problems for Bitcoin miners: Compass Mining

Compass Mining has published a report outlining three issues with Bitmain’s Antminer S19 series, which the company believes will negatively impact the Bitcoin mining industry. The report focuses on Bitmain’s recent production changes to various versions of the S19 series, including the S19 90T and S19 XP.

Compass Mining has identified three specific issues with these models, including the lack of a peripheral interface controller (PIC), the use of aluminum plating on one side of the hashboard, and the consolidation of all components onto one side of the board.

According to the report, the lack of a PIC means that individual hashboards cannot be easily controlled, which could result in increased ASIC failure and underhashing, as well as higher service and maintenance costs.

Older S19 Series Machines Feature a PIC in the Center with a Red Dot

The aluminum plating on the hashboards is also problematic, as it increases the chances of units overheating and failing, particularly in warmer temperatures. Additionally, the consolidation of all components onto one side of the board could cause an increase in hashboard errors.

Compass Mining suggests that the changes made by Bitmain could have significant implications for Bitcoin miners running newer generation units. The lack of a PIC means that units will not be able to continue underhashing on one or two boards, and the aluminum-plated hashboards will have a significantly higher failure rate in warmer temperatures than those built on printed circuit boards (PCB).

Bitmain’s Antminer S19 series

Furthermore, the consolidation of components onto one side of the board will make it more difficult for non-Bitmain ASIC repair shops to repair ASICs due to the increased difficulty of replacing malfunctioning chips.

The report also highlights possible deployment context factors that may have contributed to the issues with the S19 XP series, including location and the possibility of receiving a “bad batch” of units from Bitmain. Compass Mining recommends that miners exercise caution when purchasing newer generation units and consider waiting until any issues have been identified and addressed by others.

In conclusion, Compass Mining’s report sheds light on the opaque and often misunderstood world of ASIC manufacturing, particularly Bitmain’s recent changes to their S19 series. The report provides valuable information for Bitcoin miners looking to optimize their operations and avoid costly mistakes when purchasing newer generation units.

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