Chinese mining giant and ASIC hardware producer Bitmain has announced its next generation 7nm (nanometer) ASIC mining chip, according to a press release published on Monday, Feb. 18.
The new mining hardware, BM1397, is designed for mining cryptocurrencies that use the SHA256 algorithm for their proof-of-work (PoW), such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
BM1397 requires less power for mining cryptocurrencies, representing a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency in comparison with the company’s previous 7nm chip, BM1391.
The new chip will be used in new Antminer models — S17 and T17 — which will be revealed later this year.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, Bitmain has recently faced difficulties due to the prolonged bear market and at least two class action lawsuits filed against the company. The Chinese giant reportedly shut down a blockchain development center in Israel, suspended its operations in Texas, and also reduced its operations in the Netherlands in the past few months.
Other major mining companies are also facing challenges due to the crypto market decline. For instance, Japanese internet giant GMO Internet Group revealed it was leaving the Bitcoin mining hardware sector in December 2018, citing the significant Q4 losses.
At the same time, United States gaming and computer hardware manufacturer Nvidia, which was one of the companies most affected by the market downturn and associated lack of demand for mining components, has recently reported full-year revenue gains despite Q4 losses and a “crypto hangover.”