Cointerra itself is a fairly new company, however, many of the members of this new company are industry veterans that have worked at many CPU and GPU companies including Qualcomm, Nvidia, Intel and Samsung just to name a few. These guys are planning to come with a custom designed ASIC specifically designed to be optimized for Bitcoin mining. They've put together an incredibly informative video below to help you understand what they're trying to do.
Now, this custom ASIC that they are building will go into special mining boxes that they will sell to consumers. The ASIC itself is called the GoldStrike1 and will be a 28nm chip, which means that it will be using one of the latest manufacturing processes in the industry. The 28nm chip will be fabbed at Globalfoundries, and when asked about why they chose that fab above all others, Cointerra had countless praises about doing business with Globalfoundries. He stated that they were a little more flexible, and easier to work with as well as more customer friendly and capable of meeting their commitments. However, when we asked their CEO Ravi Iyengar about the ASIC taping out, he had said that they haven't actually taped-out yet and their are currently shooting for a September tape-out. I also asked exactly which 28nm process at Globalfoundries they were planning to use and he said that they would be using GloFo's 28nm HPP (High Performance Process) which means that this ASIC will likely have a high clock speed and high performance
Each GoldStrike1 ASIC is capable of 500 GigaHashes per second and four of these GoldStrike1 ASICs will populate a single one of their TerraMiner IV systems, which is currently being sold as a $13,999 system capable of 2 TeraHashes/s . The devices will be simple and have network connectivity as well as the ability to connect to a PC, but are fully capable of running on their own. Under peak power consumption, one of these TerraMiner boxes should consume between 1 and 1.2 KiloWatts. They are also offering volume discounts of the TerraMiner boxes with a discount for certain quantities sold and they are also selling the GoldStrike ASICs separately for those that wish to build their own systems. However, 20 GoldStrike ASICs will run you $57,400 which comes out to $2,870 per ASIC compared to buying Cointerra's system which includes 4 ASICs at $3,500 per ASIC.
Considering that the current price of an individual Bitcoin is hovering around $120, it would definitely take some time to actually get the box to pay for itself and that would be especially difficult to do if the price were to fluctuate and drop as much as it has in the past. Additionally, regulatory hurdles may eventually make Bitcoin mining a taxable process, which could further reduce the value of owning an expensive mining machine.
However, the guys at Cointerra seem confident in their ability to build this new ASIC for this new digital currency and they are poised to deliver a finished product by December this year. While we have seen other custom ASIC solutions promised in the past for Bitcoin mining, few have actually delivered. Because of this fact, Cointerra has built in some guarantees to buyers so that they are not scared away by previous companies' failures.
•On-Time Delivery Commitment – If CoinTerra fails to deliver chips or rigs within 30 days of its promised December delivery window, the company will credit your account 20% of the hash power of your order;
•Price Protection – For any undelivered orders, if the company changes the price of TerraMiner systems or GoldStrike1 ASICs before delivery, CoinTerra will re-price all orders and offer either a cash refund or a larger and more valuable hash power credit;
• Customer Exchange – If a customer has a confirmed order and their circumstances change to prevent them from completing the sale, CoinTerra will help them find another party amongst their existing customers to take their place in the product queue. While CoinTerra cannot guarantee there is a buyer for an order or a place in the queue, the company will do its best in good faith to help
That pretty much wraps up everything there is about this new company and their new custom ASIC. We can't wait to test this new chip against some of the latest GPUs to see how much more efficient it is or is not.