Let’s talk about ASIC mining

I don’t think it’s that easy and simple. While this may apply to current asic designs (cheap designs) i doubt it would be the same with really good designs.

Just as a theory example as i’am indeed not an asic/fpga hardware expert:

  • An Asic design is made with easy software update function.
  • The Asic has free unused slots for memory upgrades.
  • Memory upgrades are produced as plug&play.
  • Eventually other critical components are upgradeable as well.

This would only rise a given cost factor, not? Which for companies with big pockets woulddn’t be a real problem. Instead of having a doorstop asic you invest another USD 200-500 for example to upgrade it and are in the race/game again?

As said, just a more or less logical thought of mine and i would like to hear a comment from someone that has good hardware knowledge to see if this would be possible at all.

Edit: What for example would happen if there was an easy way to make the Z9/Z9 mini upgradeable with 10x the memory it currently has? What would be the result? Would it be able with some software/firmware tweaks to mine on 144_5 or 192_7?

Maybe questions for @mistfpga

Expandable memory slots are easy (and cheap!) to do but off-chip RAM is horribly slow & there’s not much you can do to speed things up… not really a viable product.

The reason ASICs are so fast is because the memory is on the chip, if you moved it to expandable slots, it would most likely have to travel down a BUS lane to get to the processor, this greatly slows down the process.

Imagine a store where everything was stored at the checkout lane(small storage, but extreamly fast), You walk in, walk to the checkout lane and make your purchase, and your done. on chip memory

Compared to a store, where you have to walk all over the store collecting the items(huge storage, but extremely slow), sometimes you have to drive to another store location to find what you are looking for, after taking time to find everything you needed, you then bring them to the checkout lane and purchase them. off chip memory


Also when memory is off-chip, you really want a high-speed interconnect.

An interesting example of this is AMD’s Threadripper 2 (2990wx):


I understand and i’am fully aware that current asics are like that. But i was more talking about possible future next generation asics and if it would be possible. The current asic design is here of no interest at all, hence i wrote a better asic design.

I understand that one of the current factors they are fast is the onchip memory. But than again, what would be IF:

  • the onchip memory is 10x or 20x times bigger on the Z9(mini)? How much more would that cost to produce on Bitmains scale for example?
  • Would it be possible to use off-chip memory and really high speed interconnect? Eventually cheaper?
  • What are the current limits for high speed interconnect?
  • How much off chip memory would be needed in case there is a solution for a very effective high speed interconnect to make an asic again superior on an algo like the different new equihash algos?
  • How much onchip memory would be needed to make them again superior on the new equihash algos?

I ask these questions as i think it’s pretty important while thinking about possible new algos someone should make the calculations not only just on current asics but as well on improved or next generation asic designs, not?

Edit: May sound stupid but just trying to read through the memory issue, so some more questions:

IT would cost much more…Z9 mini on 144/5 would need 70 gb off DDR5 Ram…for 192/7 more then 100 gb off DDR5 …and would slow his performance against GPU drastically… so for ETH Bitmain E3 has 18 chips with 4 Gb each mining a 10 mh…And that is costly … all algorithms that ASIC are much better then GPUs are one with low memory requirements …like curent Zcash…even Monero has very very low memory requirements…just 2 mb per thread ( so it can fit in CPU cash) but they doing fork every 6 months to not have ASIC.

Zcoin switching to MTP on December 10th https://zcoin.io/mtp-zcoins-new-proof-of-work-algorithm/

I was talking about next generation/new asic designs, not current ones. I’am aware what the possibillities are of the current cheap asic designs. But that’s not of interest at all in my opinion.

I mean when we think and discuss a new algo it should be talking into account what the asics eventually could do with better designs.

Reading now the 2nd day about HBM2 i still think this would make new asics pretty good and way more flexible. (in case it could be used in an asic at all!).

high bandwidth, but not low latency for random access, which most mining is

If ASIC resistance is actually possible, I’m all for it. The problem is that we aren’t sure if ASIC resistance is actually possible. If we’re not sure then we shouldn’t act to give a false sense of security. That would allow secret, hidden ASICs to pose a greater threat. It’s better to have them out in the open, in front of us, instead of silently taking a greater percentage of rewards, or the potential of a hidden 51% attack.


i personally would love to read from a professional asic dev, about which algorithm would create conditions when even theoretically asic would be almost as GPU in terms of productivity.

And what difference it makes its on “open” …Bitmain has 51% hashrate on almost all ASIC coins.
Just look how hashrate oscillate on Zcash …almost 30% off network goes online out off nowhere and not on any pool and then after few hours go offline
Also Zcash did not even try to battle ASIC ,not even move the finger…instead it done everything to welcome it.

Only serious coin for me is Monero …they were ready for ASIC and combat it perfectly with out any single issue…and Monero is profitable minable and with GPU and CPU.

if you cant have pos then zec should make its own hardware. you cant let inflation be determined by outside sources anymore.

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Don’t forget BTG. They try as well ( despite the fact what 1 thinks of BTG as a coin )

This is a good article

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Should say “Article paid by Bitmain” in the bottom at least as its full of crap.


Found it on this a link to a pdf
The other link in that pdf is to this thread (lets talk about asic mining) which perfectly exemplifies the point made in the paper

" This is even before you consider the fact that many of the most vocal members of this “community” decision may in fact be miners, who are financially incentivized to lobby for hash functions they can either obtain edges on or have some expertise with. In the long run, my prediction is that this will likely serve as a centralization vector supporting economies of scale, prone to the wonderful world of regulatory capture, leading to many hours wasted on debates, distracting from real issues, and exhausting a coin’s capacity to make important and actually relevant governance choices."


You’re allowed to give reasons.

I would if I thought there was any chance of Zcash forking to being ASIC resistant but seeing how they gave up as soon as ASICs were announced, i dont think there is. But keep convincing yourself ASICs are the best invention ever made guys, i dont care.