Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. If you’re brave enough to have dipped your toes into the Wild West that is cryptocurrency, you probably know that people have long since abandoned trying to mine on bitcoin mining rig usb wireless adapter desktop computers.
Farms of GPUs are all the rage now, but dedicated mining hardware has also enjoyed a following among those who are serious about their fictitious money. To that end, wrote in to the tip line to tell us about the progress he’s made reverse engineering the control protocol for the Antminer S1. As is often the case, the documentation didn’t have all the details he needed, but it did have a schematic of the BM1380 chip at the heart of the device. For example, he found that the could set the frequency of the BM1380 as high as he wished without any consideration for thermal overload. This could potentially allow somebody to run the hardware to the point of destruction, à la Stuxnet.
Once he figured out how to give the hardware hashes to work on over the UART interface, he setup a little head-to-head competition between the software he wrote to command the Antminer S1 and the official control software. No drop in performance was found between his software and the real deal, which sounds like a win in our book. Even if he can’t improve on the performance of this particular piece of outdated mining hardware, it still beats doing it by hand on a piece of paper. I wonder if n2 would cool enough to make overclocking worthwhile?