GigOptix has moved well into the crypto-mining space with its rollout of of Custom Structured ASIC applications for cryptocurrency mining.
ASIC’s (application specific integrated circuits) are customized toward a specific end use, as opposed to the general use IC’s more commonly found. Until now, mining equipment has traditionally employed FPGA technology, which basically combines standard IC’s with other components. The mining assembly is entirely designed and manufactured based on these standard parts, making for a lengthy and resource-intensive turn around time when it comes to highly specialized applications like Bitcoin mining.
According to Anil Choudhry, VP and GM of the ASIC product line, “GigOptix Structured ASICs provide a quickly deployed, low cost alternative in high-speed systems where FPGAs have been traditionally employed. We are pleased to see a strong interest in cryptocurrency applications where high speed is paramount and low power is becoming more important. Many cryptocurrencies have increasing computational complexity with rapid design cycles, which GigOptix Structured ASICs know-how and Intellectual Property (IP) address efficiently through advanced CMOS processes and fast turnaround times. We take care of the productized silicon so that our customers – from recreational hobbyists to the most advanced commercial digital drilling operations – can focus on their algorithms and system interaction.”
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The launch adds another dimension to the battle of power vs finesse when it comes to miners deciding on which equipment to purchase. In addition, the product sets the bar higher when it comes to speed to market, an element of increasing importance in the rapidly evolving world of mining.
Cointerra’s was a big success, but came with its fair share of trials and extra man hours. According to Ravi Iyengar, CEO of Cointerra, pressure was immense to get the product to market within an unprecedented short timeline. They were largely successful in doing so, but customers placing orders for the earlier phases had to wait several weeks after the anticipated launch date to receive their units, and were awarded with a 2nd unit free of charge as compensation.
The novel approach by GigOptix is somewhat reminiscent of Intel’s desperate battle of survival near the turn of the century. In what seemed to be dead-end arms race to achieve the highest clock speed, Intel broke the trend with its introduction of parallel processing. It was initially unpopular with Wall Street investors, but ultimately saved the company’s fortunes and paved the way for many years of dominance in the space.