Cryptocurrency mining requires software and hardware for the proof-of-work (PoW) mining algorithm. Whereas other cryptocurrencies accept CPUs and GPUs, Bitcoin only accepts custom Mining Firmware. This article explores the custom firmware for Bitcoin mining machines, how they work, and their advantages.
Why Use a Custom Mining Firmware?
Bitcoin has achieved a lot in just over a decade since it was created, going on to revolutionise finance and open up a new window of digital finance. Today, large and small financial institutions alike, including banks, corporations, and even governments, are hopping on Bitcoin as an asset and currency. The increasing use and adoption of Bitcoin globally means that it has a strong future and demand. But at the base of Bitcoin supply is the mining activity that creates new Bitcoins and develops the blockchain.
Bitcoin mining entails nodes receiving mining rewards for validating transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin mining is energy-intensive, and requires special equipment. The mining difficulty, market value, and mining algorithm create a demand for large-scale Bitcoin mining to acheive profits. Bitcoin miners therefore need cheap electricity, custom firmware, and favorable market to stay profitable.
The specialized Bitcoin mining machines, ASICs, require custom firmware to maximize their efficiency and leverage other technologies such as immersion cooling and auto-tuning to maximise profits. These technologies may mean the difference between matching or surpassing mining targets.
ASIC firmware, such as the Antminer firmware and Bitmain s9 firmware, offer their manufacturer-grade efficiency which miners use. Miners, however, can significantly improve the efficiency of their ASICs by installing firmware, while making sure that the new firmware does not reduce mining effiiency. You might trade one feature for another, but the output should increase.
As a Bitcoin miner, installing a custom firmware opens up many advantages for your mining process, and could be the key to becoming a profitable Bitcoin miner no matter the conditions.
When you only use stock firmware from a manufacturer, you have no control over changes that impact efficiency. The ASIC firmware that comes with your machine is what you’re stuck with forever, or at least until you decide you need more control over things. If you’ve installed custom firmware, you’ll need to be careful that any changes you make don’t cause a corresponding drop in efficiency in another area. For example, you can improve the hash rate, but at the cost of faster component depletion or degradation.
The Features of the User Firmware that Are Most Useful
Custom firmware improves the efficiency of mining machines; you can do more with a custom Antminer S4 firmware, for example, than you would with the stock firmware. This is possible through the features provided by custom firmware that you can leverage to improve mining efficiency. These features are:
- Robust distribution: custom firmware allow easy distribution of configuration files on blockchain nodes, and remain robust so nodes can start operating without restarting the machines.
- Temperature control: the lower threshold of custom firmware allows them to operate efficiently with immersion cooling. This allows miners to turn off the fans to conserve energy.
- Immersion cooling: immersion cooling is a technology that cools machines in special liquids. Custom software works fine with immersion cooling.
- Anti-virus tool: most custom firmware have tools that scan for viruses including less-known ones.
- Performance stability: custom firmware leverages auto-tuning to operate efficiently at stable levels, prolonging the life of mining machines.
- Power and energy monitor: most custom firmware includes a built-in wattmeter function.
- Auto-tuning: auto-tuning the device frequency impacts the performance.
Beginners are advised to use stock firmware for mining, but once you get a hang of things, switching to custom firmware could improve your mining efficiency.
Pros and Cons of Custom Mining Firmware
There are advantages and drawbacks to consider when installing custom firmware over stock firmware. Some of these are:
- Energy-efficient optimization that delivers up to 20% more J/TH power
- Anti-virus protection to protect your software
- Auto-tuning and scaling to improve performance
- Stable remote and manual configuration
- No fees charged for using some custom firmware on stock miners and pools
- Improved machine performance and lifespan
These features make custom firmware useful for ASIC mining hosting firms.
- Risk of damage from unprofessional setup and use
- Cybersecurity risks
- Manufacturer warranty limitations
- Developer fee payment for some firmware
Increased Income Through Customised Firmware
Bitcoin miners looking to increase their mining income typically perfor efficiency and hashrate improvements instead of always buying latest mining machines. Using custom mining firmware for older machines enhances their performance and maxmizes their mining potential. It maks more sense to spend less and get more from your machines than to always upgrade to latest versions.
Performance autotuning is key in this aspect. You can overclock or underclock your machine and also use the autotuning feature to adjust the hashing frequency, and ultimately the performance, to meet mining requirements. Autotuning is quite better at improving machine performance by optimizing performance of individual chips though calibration of voltages and frequencies, whereas overclocking simply increases the rate of J/TH while the machine performs less efficiently.
What products can be found on the market now?
Hiveon ASIC Firmware was introduced to boost users’ hashrate up to 30% on machines such as Antminer firmware, Bitmain s9 firmware, reduce electricity consumption and keep the miners safe from viruses, and a bunch of Hive OS features to manage all the farms even more easily and for free. The firmware provides options for individual fine-tuning of frequencies, anti-virus protection, temperature, hash rate watchdogs, and many other benefits.
Hiveon OS is available for Antminer S9, S9i, S9j, S10, S17, S17+, S17E, S17 Pro, L3+, L3++, T9+, T17, T17+, and T17E, S19, S19 Pro, S19j, S19j Pro, S19+, T19. This firmware also prolongs the life of your chips by preheating them at launch so that there are no sharp rises in temperature.
Braiins is a cutting-edge mining firmware with an implementation of Stratum V2 and mining software written from scratch in Rust language. Increase hashrate on your Bitcoin ASICs, improve efficiency as much as 25%, and get 0% pool fees on Slush Pool. It features per-chip frequency auto-tuning increases hashrate while maintaining optimal power consumption. Each device’s results will vary depending on the quality of the silicon and the cooling conditions. You can make your Antminer S17 or your Antminer S19 more profitable by configuring auto-tuning to undervolt each of your chips, minimizing power consumption, and keeping it more profitable.
VNish custom mining firmware is excellent as for Antminer ASICs: S19, S19A, S19A pro, S19j, S19jpro, S19jpro-bb, S19pro-a-bb, S19pro, S19pro-a, S19i, S19+, T19, S17+, T17+, S17, S17pro, T17, S9, S9i, S9j, T9+, L3+, L3++, Innosilicon T2Tz. To go along with this Antminer custom firmware, there’s also a free ASIC management platform he developed called Anthill. VNish firmware allows you to quickly and efficiently manage your ASICs and increase the profitability of your equipment by up to 50%. The Antminer S9 custom software firmware prolongs the life of your chips by gradually preheating them before launch to avoid too big temperature differentials to damage the chips.