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Product Updates

Development Update: Braiins OS+ 20.10

Full release of autotuning firmware for Antminer S17 and S17 Pro models. Plus 0% pool fees if you choose to mine with Slush Pool.

Published on Oct 26, 2020
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Published on Oct 26, 2020

Table of Contents

Today is a milestone release for Braiins OS+. It is the first full release for newer-generation ASICs, namely the Antminer S17 and S17 Pro. In addition, we have added the much anticipated beta support for the S17+, T17, and T17+ with this release.

In this update, we’ll provide an overview of features in the autotuning firmware for X17 models as well as the future of our open-source initiative as it pertains to Braiins OS and Stratum V2.

Braiins OS+ 20.10 Overview

If you’re an existing Braiins OS+ user or you participated in our beta for S17 and S17 Pro models with the Braiins OS+ 20.09 release, then you’ll already be familiar with the core feature set of the firmware: per-chip autotuning, Dynamic Power Scaling, saved tuning profiles, pre-heating for miners in cold locations, and more. Here’s some of what’s new in the latest release.

One install file for all S17 models

One new feature in this release is auto-detection of which hardware model in the S17 class that you’ve installed Braiins OS+ onto. In other words, there will be a single image for the S17, S17+, and S17 Pro, and BOSminer will automatically detect which machine type you’re using and dynamically set the default configuration (e.g. power limit) accordingly. (For now the S17+ is separate for the beta version.)

New default temperature settings 

Another noteworthy change from the beta release is that we’ve lowered default temperature limits to 72oC for the target temp, 85oC for the hot temp, and 92oC for the dangerous temp on X17 models. This was done because the S17 family is extra sensitive to overheating due to the manufacturer’s choice to use thermal glue as a solder material on the hashboard PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) instead of the relatively higher-performance thermal paste that had been used in previous generations.

NAND Flash and control board variations

In addition to machine type detection, there is also automatic detection of which control board variant your ASICs have (C49 or C52) in order to properly drive the fans. On a less positive note, there is a known issue with Macronix NAND Flash on S17 models that currently prevents the installation of Braiins OS+. We are working on a fix for this, but in the meantime only the Micron NAND Flash is supported. The vast majority of machines have Micron chips, so hopefully this issue is not relevant to you. The chips have brand names on them, so you can easily inspect your machines to determine which type they have.

What happens if you uninstall Braiins OS+?

Finally, we’d like to clear up one point of confusion. If you use the BOS+ Toolbox to uninstall Braiins OS+, you will be installing stock firmware. For S9 models, the stock firmware is a pre-2019 version so that SSH remains unlocked. For S17 models, the stock firmware image is Antminer-S17-user-OM-201912250945-ssh.tar.gz which has unlocked SSH as well.

Changelog 20.10

This is a major release that adds beta support for Antminer S17+

* All mining hardware types

  * [feature] procd now waits up to 20s to allow proper shutdown of BOSminer
  * [feature] BOSminer monitor now only spins the fans for when BOSminer has been stopped in order to cool down the machine
  * [bug] stratum client no longer complains about 'Stratum: unexpected accepted solution #0'
  * [bug] stratum client incorrect state bug has been fixed (i.e. you should not see "ERRO BUG: 'finish_shutdown_or_recover': unexpected state 'Starting'" anymore)
  * [feature] referral program support has been made more robust to support multiple hardware types in a single referral configuration
  * [feature] BOS management protocol is now relayed between devfee stratum V2 connections in case of fail over to a backup connection

* Antminer S9

  * there were no hardware specific changes

* Antminer S17

  * [feature] support for S17+ has been added
  * [feature] default temperature limits have been lowered even further to target temp: 72 C, hot temp: 85 C, dangerous temp: 92 C as the S17 family is very sensitive to overheating due to quality of the solder material used on the hashboard PCB's
  * [feature] we have added automatic detection of control board variant (C49 vs C52) to drive fans properly
  * [feature] Braiins OS would refuse to install on X17 machines that have the 'Macronix' NAND flash. Currently, only the 'Micron' NAND flash is supported
  * [feature] autodetection of S17, S17Pro, S17+ has been implemented and there is a single image for all of these machine types
  * [feature] power limits are now dynamically calculated based on the detected machine
You can view the changelog also in our documentation.
See the full changelog

Antminer S17+, T17, and T17+ Beta Testing

As was the case with the prior release for S17 and S17 Pro Antminers, this release is being labeled a beta for the S17+ due to the relatively limited external testing thus far. Besides getting more testing completed, another goal for the S17+ full release is to iterate on the tuning algorithms to work more effectively with high power limits (overclocking). S17 models are notorious for overheating issues, so we want to be extremely diligent about maximizing the tuner’s effectiveness when operating near peak capacity.

As mentioned in the previous development update, we’ve also been working on the T17 models in parallel with the S17 models as they are quite similar. The 20.10 build runs on both the T17 and T17+, so we plan to make it available in the nightly feed by the end of day tomorrow for anybody interested in trying it out.

Be aware that we have been more focused on the S17 models and have not yet performed thorough testing on the T17 models. If you have a larger operation, please test it on just a few machines at first before rolling it out to more machines if you are pleased with the results. We will be gathering data and feedback in the coming weeks in order to make the next update a full release for the T17 and T17+.

The best place to send us your feedback or get technical support is in our Telegram support groups, so join in if you haven’t already:

Braiins Open-Source Initiative (BOSI) Update

With 20.10 being a milestone release in terms of the support added for new hardware, this is also a good time to provide an update on our open-source initiative in Bitcoin mining.

Due to some tooling limitations, we are not publishing sources for the Antminer S9 with this release. However, we will resolve the tooling and publish the full sources including the Stratum V2 implementation in Braiins OS 20.11, next month’s release. The most recently published sources can be found here.

As for the newer hardware we are supporting (Antminer S17, S17+, and S17 Pro now along with the T17 and T17+ in an upcoming release), our approach is going to differ from the Antminer S9. 

In the case of this newer-generation hardware, we will not be publishing the full sources and instead focusing strictly on Braiins OS+ — at least for the foreseeable future. The biggest reason for this is that the autotuning firmware revenue is now a significant portion of our business, and we simply cannot afford to help our competitors by giving away the knowledge and code we’ve spent many intensive months to build. Writing BOSminer from scratch requires a comprehensive understanding of the ASIC architecture. As such, open-sourcing this code for newer-gen hardware would weaken one of our competitive advantages. In this ultra-competitive industry, it just doesn’t make sense.

Our Director of Business Development discusses changes to the mining pool industry and why we are focusing on firmware as a core part of the business.

At the same time, the incentive to continue dedicating resources to the open-source Braiins OS isn’t there. We’ve received minimal outside support and collaboration thus far on the open-source version for the S9, and even people who do build on top of our codebase haven’t been providing their code back.

That being said, we are not burying the open-source initiative. We remain open to the idea of publishing all sources for S17 models after 1 year or more has passed, if we feel that doing so will not significantly harm our business. Meanwhile, we will continue releasing Stratum V2 code for ALL hardware models, which can serve as a reference implementation for other firmwares to add V2 support.

Development Pipeline

We will have two main focuses for the upcoming development cycle:

  • Preparing full releases for the S17+, T17, and T17+ and fixing any issues that arise for all S17 and T17 models.
  • Continuing to work on support for more hardware models, specifically the Whatsminer M20S and M21S. 

Other hardware models on our radar include the Antminer S17e and T17e, as well as the newest generation from Bitmain and MicroBT — the S19 family and M30S family, respectively. We will be sure to inform you of our plans to support more hardware in the next development update.

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About Braiins

Operators of Slush Pool. Creators of Braiins OS+ autotuning firmware & a fully open-source mining stack: Braiins OS + BOSminer + Stratum V2.

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