GMO's New B2 Miners

A look at GMO’s new miners.

Why the race for smaller processor chips?

GMO’s 7nm ASICs Chip

No one has produced 7nm chips.

Not Intel, not IBM, not AMD or Bitmain, no one. What does this tell you?

It’s not the most efficient solution.

DC-to-DC Regulator

Old Bitcoin miners were designed to draw power from some power supply, and a DC/DC converter was used to convert the (high) voltage power supply to the (low) voltage chip. This conversion would happen multiple times, at least once coming into the miner, and another time on the board itself. But you lose somewhere between 5-10% efficiency in every DCDC conversion.

This is partly how the GMO miners are designed- they appear to be a hybrid, between this and a full string design.

Regulator-Free: String Design

Since 2013 miners have used regulator-free string designs. The string design was started by bitfury, and nearly every miner in the industry has done it since then.

A regulator-free design uses 12V to power the chips directly. In both cases, you need a 12V supply. You are not saving money on power directly, but you do get more efficiency out of the power you put in because there is one less voltage conversion.

In addition to being more efficient regulator-free designs tend to be more reliable, so your mining mansion has a lower overall failure rate. Regulators produce lots of electrical interference that can degrade the reliability of the overall system. No chip manufacturer outside of the mining industry does this, so it makes sense that GMO would neglect it.

Total System Efficiency > Chip Efficiency

The goal of a system is to prioritize total system efficiency over component efficiency.

You see this all the time. People, companies, manufacturers they hyper-focus on the efficiency of one component instead of the system as a whole. Yes, total system efficiency depends on its components but what people do is they make one piece as efficient as possible then forget about the rest and they are regularly outperformed by people who understand this.

When everyone was hyping 20nm chips, Bitfury was making 55nm chips and outperforming them.

More on this in some bitcointalk threads 1, and 2.