New in this release will be the "i=" password argument. "i=" allows customers to specify the type of miner they are using. The information on the type of ASIC will provide several benefits:
- We found in recent testing that Antminer Z11 miners do not function well at low difficulties, so they would not submit shares, and therefore the mining server thought they were weak miners and was never able to assign them a higher difficulty. When "i=" is used, the mining servers will now assign the miner its optimal difficulty from the start, so that it submits one share every 30 seconds. This benefit will make sure that all miners will submit shares optimally from the start, and some miners which wouldn't submit shares at all will now function properly.
- The power consumption of the miner is automatically entered from the manufacturer's database. If you overclock miners, you can override the power consumption with the "w=" argument.
- The algorithm of the miner is determined automatically, even if you connect to the wrong port or are using the proxy server. The "a=" password argument is ignored when "i=" is used.
- Most importantly, the hardware type will be recorded with every share, disconnect message, and worker status update in the database. This reason alone is enough to suggest that all customers using ASICs add the "i=" password argument as soon as possible. Once we get enough customers using it, and once enough time has passed, we'll be able to run queries against this massive amount of data to figure out which miners are performing suboptimally, and to fix bugs.
Because this release adds tracking of hardware to many areas of the database, we need to create foreign key constraints to the miner hardware list. Creating foreign keys creates an index, which locks tables. The worker status history table has about a billion rows, so Chris anticipates that creating the indexes could extend the downtime by several minutes.
Once the system is back online, we will need to determine the optimal difficulty values for x17 mining, since we haven't been able to find what the multiplier is for x17. Compared to scrypt, for example, x11 mining difficulties are 65536 times harder. If any customers are aware of what this difficulty multiplier is or what a typical GPU for x17 uses for its difficulty, please reply.
Chris will perform this release in about 6 hours.