Chinese cryptocurrency giant Bitmain officially announced its Antminer E3. This new ASIC is the first specialized mining system for Ethereum, Bitmain claims the device can achieve a hashrate of 180MH/s, while consuming 800W.
The company is still working on further optimizations and expects the final hash rate will be even higher. The Antminer E3 will be sold for $800, pre-orders are open but the devices won't start shipping until sometime in the second half of July. At the moment, Bitmain has set a limit of maximum five miners per user.
The advertised hash rate means the device is about as powerful as six AMD Radeon RX 580 video cards, although the Antminer E3 seems to have a slightly higher power consumption than optimized RX 580s.
The availability of Bitmain's Antminer E3 is still over three months away and it's not certain whether the product will become a success. While it looks good on paper, one of the key risks it faces is a hard fork. Top Ethereum developers are considering such a move because they don't want the market to shift to ASICs. A successful launch of Ethereum ASICs could be good news for gamers, as it implies less demand for GPUs.