Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are based on scrypt hashing algorithms (Lifecoin, Auroracoin, Dogecoin, and Mastercoin) are on the rise. Scrypt-based cryptocurrency ASIC mining solution start-up Flower Technologies and eSi-RISC soft processor core and encryption and peripherals company EnSilica have partnered to develop the Orchid, which boasts high hashing speed, energy efficiency, and price/performance for an ASIC scrypt miner.
Orchid benefits from EnSilica’s recently developed Massive Array of Script Threads (MAST) architecture, a highly parallel and dedicated array of scrypt threads. It enables the hardware to reconfigure itself each clock cycle according to which threads are in progress. This allows for increased performance as all computational elements are doing useful work during any given clock cycle.
Flower Technologies Orchid features:
- 20 megahashes per second (Mh/s)
- 4 watts per megahash (W/Mh)
- Available in Q3 or Q4 2014
Cryptocurrency mining is extremely compute-intensive and is required for creating new cryptocoins, whose block chains (records of creation and trading) need to be recorded. In order to add new blocks to the chain, a puzzle needs to be solved of finding a message that results in a hash with certain required properties. New coins can be created if the puzzle solving hashes are calculated and proof of work is provided.