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1  Bitcoin / Hardware / Looking for system integrators for new asic on: February 23, 2013, 11:10:02 PM
update
 
We hoped to get in touch with at least a few new viable companies with the right competences and exposure to bitcoin, but we are frankly overwhelmed by the amount and quality of responses we have received so far.  We are more convinced than ever that this is the correct business approach to minimize our risks, guarantee proper execution and allow end users a choice of supplier and implementation.

However,  we also believe its in no one's interest to have too many partners duplicating their engineering and marketing efforts and killing each others margins. Therefore, we will review all current applications and new ones we may yet receive this week, and somewhere next week (first week of March), we will select and contact a few companies we deem to be best positioned to start formal negotiations with.

Original post follows.


Hello,

We are looking for system integrators to help bring to market another ASIC-based bitcoin miner.  Partners will be supplied with packaged and tested high performance ASICs, all technical specifications, a reference design for the PCB and early software. We expect our partners to implement or customize our PCB design, perform or oversee the PCB assembly, system design, manufacturing and assembly of the end-user devices, handle sales, marketing, logistics and after sales support.  We may also require some help with the software, but we are looking to contract someone for that.

About our ASIC

Our currently unnamed bitcoin mining chip taped out last October; we (ab)used spare estate on our 28nm SOI MLM test wafers we were running at ST Microelectronics. Several successful wafer test runs have been conducted since, and as a result, we currently have a limited number of functional chips that can be supplied for testing and validation.  We are about to sign a deal that allows us to produce these chips in volume. Packaged chips are expected to start arriving in volume in June of this year.

Since we use state of the art 28nm SOI technology, our chip is quite significantly more power efficient and higher performing than anything currently announced or shipping.  The downside of our technology is that we require expensive wafers and we are using a multi layer mask, so our per chip production costs are likely higher than our competitors. But since no one else is selling asics, and no one has a product that can match our specifications, we can assure prospective partners that our per chip prices will be low enough to allow them to compete very favorably in all relevant metrics with current known suppliers and that we have more than enough margin to follow aggressive price cuts that we expect will happen over the course of this year.  I realize this is vague, but we will release exact performance data and cost estimates under NDA to prospective partners. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Performance and costs aside, one other notable feature of our chip is that each one integrates an ARM Cortex M3 core which is fully capable of running linux and mining software. Our reference design board provides up to 256 MB RAM, USB, ethernet and Sdcard controllers allowing each board to mine without needing a host.  Our reference board hosts only one mining asic, but even a single chip is more capable than most competing multi chip solutions. We currently have no design for multi chip boards, but its entirely possible for partners to design a PCB that will hold many ASICs, without duplicating all the IO. The chips are designed to be used as slaves, although we have not yet tested this in hardware.

We currently have one integrator that has committed to bringing our chip to market, but we are looking for at least 3 more. Our prices will be the same for every partner, and will vary only with quantity.

About  us

I represent a small team of highly skilled engineers with decades of experience in developing custom soc's for embedded and mobile applications. Unlike our competition, we realize we dont have the skills, time, resources or expertise to go from silicon to end user satisfaction. Thats why we decided to find partners who can complement our skills and provide the mining market with more choice and competition.

We are in the process of setting up a GmbH under swiss law, but we prefer to remain out of the spotlight to avoid our non bitcoin customers perceiving conflicts of interest. Obviously any partners will get to know exactly who we are.  We can arrange meetings and demo's in Switzerland or France.

If you are interested in partnering with us, contact me helveticoin at gmail dot com and please provide some information to help us judge your ability to integrate our chip in a consumer product. Large scale mining operations are also welcome to inquire, but do realize you will face non trivial technical challenges and costs to develop a functional miner,  and we will require minimum quantities. Technical and financial details will be provided under NDA only.

I will try to occasionally answer questions on this forum, but serious inquiries should be sent by email.

Regards,

Helveticoin

(I would appreciate if this post could be moved from newbies to custom hardware and getting whitelisted so i can respond to questions)
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