Mining hardware giant Bitmain has released new firmware to prolong the lifespan of its ETH-mining Antiminer E3 product.
As previously reported by The Block, Bitmain's Antiminer E3 device was expected to become obsolete in April 2020 due to its inability to process the increasing size of ethereum's directed acyclic graph (DAG) files. Such a drop-off in operation could have led to a notable drop in the ethereum network hashrate as a result, according to researchers who had been investigating the issue.
In response to this, Bitmain has now put out new firmware to expand the usage of Double Date Rate (DDR) memory and create more space to process the DAG files.
According to Bitmain's announcement, the firmware will allow Antimer E3 to keep operating "for the foreseeable future," though it included the specific date of October 2020 later in its blog post.
"The new firmware has been designed to better support the Antminer E3, and so Bitmain is confident that miners can continue using the hardware past April 2020," the company said. "With the new firmware update, the final approximate block height of the Antminer E3 is 11,400,000. According to calculations, mining can continue until October of 2020."