The Lasting Legacy of the Bitmain Antminer S9
The launch of the Antminer S9 corresponded with the starting gun used in the 2017 bull run of the great bitcoin, which lead to a high of $19,783 – something that has never occurred before. The Antminer S9 has remained a large part of the cryptocurrency industry much like Bitcoin.
Leading up to 2017, there was an increase in mining activity. Hardware struggled to keep up with the algorithm’s difficulty because many miners were joining the industry.
The Antminer S9’s launch in May of 2016 included triple the improvements on existing models, marking a change in delivering higher hash rates without diminishing energy efficiency.
The S9 can mine the SHA256 algorithm at 14 TH/s, dominating the crypto mining industry. New batches sold out every few hours, offering a significant ROI increase, which at the time was unmatched by other ASIC miners.
The Antminer S9 has stayed in demand ever since, as the requests continue to pour in for new batches.
Out of the miners that are currently being used, the Antminer S9 is still used the most often. This Bitcoin miner is among the first to use 16nm chips. This kind of chip can power one of the world’s most energy-efficient bitcoin miners.
Now would be the best time to launch newer Antminer S9 models, as this would be a great opportunity to review all of the progress that has been made since the first S9 model went on the market several years ago.
Next Steps: Evolving
The S9 was launched during the bull run’s peak as Bitmain engineers tirelessly worked to improve its overall performance.
In May of 2018, the team released the Antminer S9i, and, several months later in August, the Antminer S9j. Each model had improved hashtag rates of 14.5 TH/s and achieved a reduction in overall energy consumption.
Also in August, Bitmain experimented with environmentally-minded cooling and running down miners using the Antminer S9 Hydro along with its water-cooling system. It operated with an 18 TH/s hashrate, while it ran a better-quality cooling mechanism and maintained a lower noise level.
During this period of major growth, the mining community felt it important to have the best technology available without diverting much from business-wide long-term developments and goals.
Entering Into a New Phase
The demand for Antminer S9 models hasn’t shown any signs of slowing, as Bitcoin has continued working on making this model more affordable and efficient than ever before.
New structural designs were introduced for the S9k and S9 Special Edition, both of which limited power consumption and achieved improved performance. The hashtag rate for the S9k was 13.5 TH/s. The power efficiency rate was 85 J/TH.
The S9 Special Edition goes one step further by delivering a 16 TH/s hashrate and achieving an energy-efficient rating of 80 J/TH. It weighs only 4.5 kg, which is the most energy-efficient in the Antminer S9 series.
At the time, the first generation Antminer S9 was innovative with a hashrate of 14 TH/s, but required 100 J/TH, which was 15-20% more power. This significantly ate into mining earnings.
One thing of note about the new Antminer S9 Special Edition is that it does break even after 3 months, based on the current price of Bitcoin as of this writing. With this in mind, access to cheaper renewable energy or less expensive electricity could see profits much earlier. This is a huge improvement over the standard that was set by the original S9 and will continue to be improved upon in the future.
Cryptocurrency mining is evolving rapidly by the day. Engineers are never sure where their experimental developments will take them, so when a better-quality product has been unveiled, it is always an exhilarating day.