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Coming in at 11 TH/s and 1,200 W, price and availability remain TBD.

Canaan Creative has officially unveiled the next generation of their line of Bitcoin ASIC miners: the AvalonMiner 821.

In an email sent out to mailing list subscribers at approximately 6:00 AM on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 (UTC±00:00), Canaan revealed the official specifications of the AvalonMiner 821. They also provided a rare glimpse of their “roadmap” for the near- to mid-term future; this included their plan for the rollout of the 821 and a rough outline of the development and release of successors to the 821. The announcement was later posted on their website.

The immediate successor to Canaan’s previous-generation AvalonMiner 741 and using 104 of Canaan’s new 16 nm-based A3210 ASIC chips each, the 821 weighs in at a specified hash rate of 11 TH/s and a power consumption figure of 1,200 W. This puts the 821 at an efficiency level of approximately 109 W per TH, a marked improvement over the 741’s efficiency level of 150 W per TH (although just a hair under the Antminer S9’s 98 W per TH). Notably, the 821 will continue to use the same AvalonMiner Controller, AvalonMiner USB Converter 3 (AUC3), and AUC3 I2C 5-pin cable as the 741.

The price of the 821 was not revealed, however. Canaan did not specify an exact reason for why this is so, although they hinted that they may be struggling to find the most appropriate valuation for the 821 — Canaan cited extraordinary demand and the skyrocketing price of bitcoin as main factors that will influence the eventual price of the 821. The 821’s price will therefore be “driven by market forces and the price of Bitcoin.”

Likewise, Canaan did not announce concrete availability dates for the 821, but only gave “estimates” for when the 821 will eventually be rolled out to the public. In a nutshell, production of the 821 will begin in January, and only a select few of Canaan’s customers will be able to receive the first batches in late January. Canaan expects to have wider availability of the 821 by the end of March, when production of the 821 has ramped up into full swing.

Mixed Response

The Bitcoin community’s response to the announcement of the 821 was notably mixed. On the one hand, the prospect of a new generation of AvalonMiners — noted for their reliability — that may finally be able to hold a candle to Bitmain’s dominance had some buzzing with anticipation. On the other hand, others were disappointed at the “underwhelming” figures that Canaan announced for the 821 — they expected the 821 to at least outperform the S9 by a reasonable margin.

Back to the Future

Perhaps the most interesting nugget from Canaan’s announcement may be their outline for the near- to mid-term future.

In particular, Canaan plans to release an updated version of the 8 series, dubbed the 841, sometime in Q2 2018 (just a few months after the planned wider rollout of the 821). The 841 will apparently have a hash rate of 13 TH/s at a power consumption level of 1,200 W. This puts the 841 at an efficiency level of approximately 92 W per TH (finally outperforming the S9, although Bitmain could have released a more powerful and efficient miner by then). It’s not clear at this time, though, whether the 841 will replace the 821 or complement it.

Canaan also makes a passing mention of the AvalonMiner 921 and AvalonMiner 10, noting that although it’s still “too early” to discuss them, “2018 promises to be a great year.” Could we see the AvalonMiner 9 and/or 10 series that soon?

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for pricing and availability details for the 821. If the current anticipation building around the 821 is anything to go by, expect to see a massive line forming at Canaan’s official retail distributors very soon, if not already.