FPGA vs ASIC Mining – The Merkle

The bitcoin mining ecosystem has undergone some massive switches overheen the past eight years. During the initial stage of bitcoin mining, using a rekentuig’s processor wasgoed more than sufficient. Straks on, software wasgoed developed to permit for GPU-based mining. Eventually, computers were substituted by FPGAs and the now ever-present ASIC miners. But what sets thesis last two hardware types bijzonder?


Spil most people are well aware of, FPGA stands for Field-Programmable Gate Array. Ter the bitcoin world, thesis devices were fairly popular among miners once GPU mining became far too competitive. To offset the investment costs and electro-therapy draw, a cheaper solution had to be created. FPGAs are designed so their integrated circuit can be configured by the user after the manufacturing process is finished.

After a period of tinkering, bitcoin miners successfully began using FPGA’s spil a way to mine bitcoin at an efficient, yet far lower power consuming rate. The main selling point of FPGAs is how they can be used to implement any logical function, similar to how ASIC chips work. The very first consumer-grade FPGAs began appearing ter 2011 and 2012, which permitted companies such spil Butterfly Labs, ZTEX, and a few individuals te the bitcoin world to position themselves spil market leaders for this “new” mining hardware.

Thesis FPGAs were fairly powerful for their time, back when a mining speed of 500MHz or more wasgoed still considered to be competitive. Te fact, Butterfly Labs wasgoed one of the very first companies to surpass 25 GH/s of mining power with one device, albeit it contained numerous FPGA boards, Legitimate ventilatoren for air circulation, and generated more noise than the average jackhammer. FPGAs were a excellent miracle at their time, even tho’ their success wasgoed rather short-lived thanks to the emergence of ASIC mining hardware.


It is not hard to see the parallels inbetween FPGA and ASIC hardware. Both types of hardware process very similar logic function-based operations, and generate a loterijlot of bitcoin mining power ter a power-efficient manner. However, once ASICs became widely available, FPGAs were quickly substituted due to the sheer superiority of this fresh hardware. Once again, it wasgoed Butterfly Labs who announced ASIC hardware spil one of the very first.

To be more specific, the company announced one 60 GH/s miner and one Four.Five GH/s miner. However, the company attempted to not jeopardize its FPGA sales, thus they launched a trade-in program. All of this wasgoed well before Butterfly Labs turned into a finish scam and eventually found themselves ter court overheen their malpractices. Everzwijn since that time, a lotsbestemming of companies have entered – and left – the ASIC mining wedren. More powerful machines were built and used, resulting ter a stronger bitcoin network overall.

Quick forward to today, and there are only a handful of bitcoin ASIC hardware manufacturers around. BitFury Group and Bitmain Technologies Ltd. are the two major companies most people still know today. A total list of previously known ASIC bitcoin miners can be found on Wikipedia . It is overduidelijk the Bitcoin ASIC mining hardware business is exceptionally competitive, with many companies eventually moving on to fatter and better things despite their best efforts.

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About The Author


JP Buntinx is a FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living ter Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world’s leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he aims to achieve the same level of respect ter the FinTech sector.

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