Bitmain announces Antminer S4

Antminer S4 promotional image.

Mining hardware maker Bitmain released a teaser image today (and very little else) for their upcoming Antminer S4 unit. According to Bitmain’s website, the unit will run at 2 TH/s and the first batch ship at the end of September.

Beyond that, everything else about the unit is a mystery, including the price.

Given Bitmain’s somewhat embarrassing last-minute revisions to the S3’s hashing power estimates it’s not entirely surprising that they’ve decided to keep the details of the S4 under wraps until the launch.

The S3 is a 441 GH/s device retailing at 0.64 BTC, meaning the price would need to be no more than 2 or 3 BTC per unit to be competitive with their own products or to just buy bitcoin.

The unit appears to use the same housing and form factor as the controversial S2, and a stark departure from the double-vented shoebox design of the S3. As such, it’s possible that the S4 is simply a revision of the S2’s build with an improved version of the S3’s ASIC blades. In that case, the S4 might be more accurately called the “S3.5.”

It is possible that Bitmain has an ace up their sleeve with the S4, however. ASIC improvements have been huge in the last year, and the near-stealth launch could prove to be a canny marketing strategy.

Then again, releasing a new line so soon after the lackluster launch of the S3 could indicate nothing more than Bitmain having a lot of S3 ASIC blades and S2 form factors to clear out of their warehouse. Only time will tell.