Bitcoin hardware company to build data centre near Arctic Circle
Tue 4 Nov 2014
Sweden’s ‘Node Pole’ is becoming a vogue destination for data centres, with Facebook a resident and Bitcoin hardware company KnC Miner announcing now that it will build a 20mw data centre in the chilly data colony at Boden.
The new centre is to be called ‘Boden 2’, and brings the KnC Miner footprint up to 161000 square feet and 30mw total. The company, based in Stockholm, offers upgradable modular application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining devices, and intends to have the new investment operational by the end of the year. Its range of devices, named after objects in the solar system, are modular and individually aimed towards specific usage, such as either Bitcoin mining or Litecoin or Scrypt-based mining.
By way of example, the company’s Mini Neptune product, based on its earlier Saturn model, offers a conservative minimum hashing speed of 1,500 Gh/sec through 20nm ASIC chips (with 2,250 Gh/sec observed in testing), and sells for approximately £2,180. The company’s Mini Titan device uses the same 28nm chips employed in the iPhone 5s.
The arctic circle seems an appropriate location for this frontier technology – a look over the KnC Miner site reveals how early we are in establishing Bitcoin or Blockchain hardware infrastructure, and some of the configurations recall the obscurity of computer configuration among ‘geeks’ in the mid-1990s. For instance the company’s 192 core Jupiter Bitcoin Miner is currently running at a surplus, sold in blocks of 200 with 70% of production chips delivering 100% usability, and can run at wildly varying capacity throughput depending on power and ambient design.
As for location, the Node Pole currently boasts a small but select occupation – Facebook runs two colocation centres there, at Lulea and Lulea 2. KnC Miner itself began in the region with a 10mw set-up at the Node Pole’s Helicopter Air Base. The new capacity will be employed for general cloud services as well as Bitcoin and Blockchain-based operations.
The area offers obvious benefits in terms of data centre cooling, but Boden also offers the cheapest electricity in a country which is already very affordable in this respect.