Novello enter ASIC mining race via Indiegogo


A crowd funding campaign has been launched to create a new generation of affordable ASIC mining rigs. The Scottish based company, Novello Technologies Limited, has created a campaign on Indiegogo, where it states “We think that profitable Bitcoin mining should be accessible to anyone, no matter what their budget”.

The campaign only opened on June 3rd, and will run to July 1st. At the time of writing (24 hours after the campaign started) there were five backers who had pledged a total of $4,009. The total funding goal required by Novello is $4.2 million.

The basics

Among its goals (quoted below), Novello stated that it wants to be able to offer small scale chip fabrication to other startup companies, in addition to its Bitcoin asic mining objectives. We spoke to Novello’s John Fowler, who explained that startup companies who need a new chip design can find it very difficult to get a design together, and so Novello wants to create a “sustainable” business that can help other businesses succeed and show working chip designs to larger manufacturers.

  • To make Bitcoin mining much more accessible to those on a low budget.
  • To create a core group of customers that will come back to us again for their Bitcoin mining requirements and use innovative programs to help them achieve their financial goals.
  • To fund independent academic research to enable continuous development of our mining device technology, which will keep our customers competitive no matter how high difficulty becomes.
  • To develop our company into a full service, full custom silicon design bureau that will offer small business startups a low cost gateway to prototype chips, costing typically less than US$50k in total.

The mining products proposed by Novello (see below) cover a large range of prices. Technology hobbyists may find it particularly interesting that all asic mining products, but the lowest cost unit, have a built-in custom Raspberry Pi as an on-board controller.

  • Systems priced from $59 (128GH/s) to $30,000 (120TH/sec)
  • Systems financial metrics : $0.25 to $0.5/(GH/sec)
  • System power averages 0.30 Joules/Gigahash, at the wall socket.
  • Full custom asic chip built in 40nm LP process
  • Inbuilt Raspberry Pi with WiFi (except in basic $59 system – needs a hostlaptop/PC or NOVA – HH)
  • All systems come with fully regulated, high efficiency (> 87%) power supplies
  • Future Proof Modular system infrastructure, reusable, easy to upgrade
  • Deliveries will start Dec 2014
  • Innovative programs to keep our early Contributors competitive!
Novello's USB miner concept

Novello’s USB asic miner concept

The track record of Bitcoin mining companies

Those who have been part of the Bitcoin mining world for over a year have become used to names like KNC, Butterfly Labs, etc, who have all had trouble delivering products on time which in turn affects customers’ return on investments.

It is not guaranteed that miners will even make their equipment investment back, because of the way in which the Bitcoin difficulty level adjusts itself according to the amount of hashing power on the network. The more mining hardware, the harder it is to mine. The cost of the electricity to run the devices has to be considered, and with that and the increasing difficulty level in mind, there comes a time when every Bitcoin mining rig has to be turned off before it starts running at a loss, whether or not the owner has broken even.

To Novello’s credit, it openly addresses this problem on its campaign page.

We want to tackle this subject head on to give our potential contributors all the facts and figures they need – both good and bad – so they can make truly informed decisions about whether our project is right for them.

Delivering on promises

Novello also shared its complete (projected) production schedule, which it will operate to. If funded, Novello claims that it will start shipping devices in December this year.

We want to make it clear from the start that we have a different business model to our competitors; we want to be a volume supplier, but want most of that volume to come from our initial customers in the form of repeat purchases. In return, they will get the best possible deals that we can give them, and access to exclusive mining power development programs.

Who are Novello?

Novello says of itself:

The driving force behind Novello Technologies is a group of professional engineers based in the UK with over 120 years combined experience in the design and manufacture of complex, highly reliable electronic systems and devices

Novello’s John Fowler told us that the engineers working on Novello each have a long individual history of electronic design and had worked for companies including Texus Instrument and MSi. He added that they “have a lot of experience but not a lot of people to share it with”, and so it is hoped that Novello will not only be a successful Bitcoin venture, but will help other companies learn and succeed in the electronic design business.

Up Next

Discussion about this post