Mining or Proof Of Work is the main mechanism that secures many digital currencies. In the Bitcoin network and dozens of other digital currencies, the approval of transactions, the creation of new blocks and the establishment of network security are the responsibility of the participants, whom we call “minor”. But the word miner does not refer only to one person or group, but also to the hardware used to extract digital currencies today. There are many types of miner devices, but the term miner is now more commonly used for ASIC devices. After reading this article, you will become fully acquainted with the types of extraction hardware.
What is Miner or Extraction Hardware?
Miner or miner device refers to the hardware used in the process of extracting digital currencies. Mining digital currencies requires a lot of processing power and the role of miners in the network is to provide this processing power. Extractors operate in the network with their miner devices and are rewarded for the processing power they provide to the network.
Any digital currency can be extracted with one or more computer hardware. For example, bitcoin mining is only cost-effective with ISIC devices. In general, these four pieces of hardware can be used today to extract digital currencies:
- Graphics processors or the same as the graphics card (GPU)
- Programmable Digital Integrated Circuit (FPGA)
- Special Application Integrated Circuits (ASIC)
In the following, get acquainted with the types of miner devices with digital currency.
The CPU was first used to extract bitcoins in early versions of this digital currency. The first bitcoin acceptors extracted thousands of bitcoins from their regular computers from 2009 to 2010, but soon with the expansion of the network, the bitcoin network hash increased so much that it was no longer profitable to use these processors; To the extent that sometimes the entire amount of bitcoin mined did not cover the cost of electricity for the device. Gradually, the use of this hardware in extracting other digital currencies also lost its effectiveness.
However, there are still currencies that are mined with a CPU, the most famous of which is Monroe.
Also read: Monroe extraction video tutorial (new update)
The Monroe development team actively resists the entry of ISIC devices into the XMR currency extraction and tries to prevent monopoly and concentration in the Monroe network with constant updates.
Graphics processors or the same as the graphics card (GPU)
Mining with a Graphics Processing Unit, or “GPU” for short, is the process of solving complex mathematical problems to add transaction information to a digital currency in a distributed general ledger, or blockchain of that currency using a GPU. .
In other words, mining with GPU means using the computing power of a graphics card to alert the information contained in a block of a Blockchaink. Graphics cards are designed to perform very complex calculations of computer games, and the same feature can be used to calculate hash blocks in the mining process. Like the CPU, the GPU has been used in the past to extract bitcoins; But with the advent of ISIC devices in the field of bitcoin mining and the sharp increase in network hash rates, the use of GPUs to extract bitcoins was no longer profitable.
Of course, extraction with a graphics card is not obsolete. In addition to bitcoin, bitcoin cache, Litecoin, and digital currencies that are only cost-effective to extract with the ISIC device, dozens of digital currencies, including Ethereum, can now be extracted using a graphics card.
It goes without saying that on paper, it is possible to extract all digital currencies that work by the “proof of work” consensus mechanism with the GPU.
Programmable Digital Integrated Circuit (FPGA)
The next step in the development of bitcoin mining devices was the use of a “Field-programmable gate array” or FPGAs for short. Engineers are able to program FPGAs for their intended purpose after construction. This feature allows mining hardware manufacturers to purchase the chips in bulk and customize them specifically for bitcoin mining before placing them in the mining machine.
The launch of the first FPGA devices was a great success and completely changed the Bitcoin mining environment. FPGAs were the first tools developed specifically for bitcoin mining. They brought benefits to miners such as energy efficiency and ease of use. A typical GPU with a power of 600 MHz per second requires 400 watts of electrical power; While an FPGA with a hash power of 826 MHz per second requires only 80 watts of power. This dramatic development made it possible to build the first bitcoin mining farms.
FPGAs performed much better than CPUs and GPUs. Newer, better-performing versions were released very quickly, and in addition, they were relatively simple to design, with low development, design, and deployment costs. However, shortly after these machines took over the mining industry, ISIC machines expanded both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The production of ISIC devices is less expensive than FPGAs, consumes much less power, is several times faster than FPGAs, and takes up much less space. The sum of these factors made the efficiency and effectiveness of ISIC devices much higher than FPGA. These devices gradually dominated the mining market, and after a while, the use of FPGA to extract bitcoins practically lost its profitability.
However, these devices can still be used to extract some digital currencies. DigiBite (DGB), Nero Network (CKB), VeriBlock (VBK) and Kadna (KDA) are some of these coins.
A “goal-oriented integrated circuit” or ASIC for short is a device designed specifically for the extraction of digital currency. In general, each ASIC miner is only used to extract currencies with one (or more) specific algorithms. Nowadays, if you want to extract bitcoin, bitcoin cache, Litecoin or ziksh, you have no choice but to get an ISIC device.
Special purpose integrated circuits, or ASICs, are designed to do just one thing: extract high-speed digital currency and consume low power. ISICs were created as a result of the development and enlargement of the blockchain network and the increasing difficulty of the network and, consequently, the unprofitability of graphics cards to extract some currencies.
Also, ASIC miner devices are similar to microprocessor chips and random access memory (RAM) in computers; The difference is that instead of the general electrical circuits used in the manufacture of these components, bitcoin ASIC miners use special electrical circuits designed exclusively to store data related to bitcoin mining.
An integrated circuit (IC) or microchip is a class of electronic circuits made using small semiconductor materials. If several transistors are made in one microchip, it is called a compact integrated circuit. Each integrated circuit or microchip performs specific tasks in a circuit. Each of them has several inputs and by processing these inputs, they produce output values. Some microchips work with analog signals and some with digital signals.
ISICs are made up of chips that are far better than conventional chips in terms of efficiency, operating speed and power consumption. But on the other hand, they do not have the flexibility and scalability of ordinary chips; Because a specific application is embedded in them as hardware. Therefore, these chips can not perform any specialized task other than the main task for which they were designed and manufactured. On the other hand, the cost required to produce these chips is so high that if the number of chips required is less than a certain limit, its production is not economically viable.
Currently, Bitcoin, MicroBT, Innosilicon, Canaan and Ebang are the largest manufacturers of ISIC devices in the world.
Bitmain Technology, headquartered in Beijing, China, was founded in 2013 and is now the world’s largest miner manufacturer. The company’s flagship antminer mining machine continues to dominate the mining hardware market, and its mining pools account for about a quarter of the bitcoin network processing power. This Chinese hardware giant has a strong position in the field of bitcoin and digital currencies.
In 2016, Ant9 Miner S9 designer Yang Zuoxing split from BitMin and founded Microbate a month later. In the same year, Bitmin sued Zeoxin for patent infringement; But in the end, Bitmin was declared the loser in this case. Microbit is currently the maker of Whatsminer devices and is one of the main competitors in the field of mining equipment.
The table below shows the best bitcoin mining machines in 2020:
|Brand and model||Perks||electricity consumption||Release date|
|Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro||110Th / s||3250W||May 2020|
|Bitmain Antminer S19||95Th / s||3250W||May 2020|
|MicroBT Whatsminer M30S||86Th / s||3268W||Apr 2020|
|Bitmain Antminer S17 +||73Th / s||2920W||Dec 2019|
|Bitmain Antminer S17 Pro||53Th / s||2094W||Apr 2019|
|MicroBT Whatsminer M31S||70Th / s||3220W||Apr 2020|
|MicroBT Whatsminer M20S||68Th / s||3360W||Aug 2019|
|StrongU STU-U8 Pro||60Th / s||2800W||Sep 2019|
|MicroBT Whatsminer M21S||56Th / s||3360W||Jun 2019|
|Ebang Ebit E12 +||50Th / s||2500W||Sep 2019|
|Canaan AvalonMiner 1066||50Th / s||3250W||Sep 2019|
Miner is hardware or device used to extract proof-of-work digital currencies. In fact, miners make money from their owners with the processing power they provide to the network. Any computer hardware that has processing power can be used for mining, but not all hardware can be considered cost-effective and logical. For example, bitcoin mining was once possible with the CPU of ordinary computers, but today it is only possible to extract this digital currency cost-effectively with an ISIC device. When we say “minor device”, we usually mean the same ISIC device.