Winter is Coming (WIC) Ethereum Miner

Aquila Systems, November 2021

The Winter is Coming (WIC) Miner is an Ethereum cryto-currency miner that uniquely is designed to run on Intel/AMD based server type computer systems.    It does not require any GPU/Graphics Card unlike most Ethereum Crypto miners that require a modern high end graphics card.

All Crypto mining provides two products crypto-currency and heat.     In most cases the crypto-currency is collected and eventually totals a non-trivial asset.    However the heat properly used especially during the Winter can be another valuable and necessary product if used effectively.   To read more on this and for useful suggestions see the Crypto Heat Page

We targeted server type computers for five key reasons:

  1. Most servers have multiple memory controllers typically 4-16,  which provide a much higher bandwidth to a large randomly accessed working memory as is required to solve the Ethereum Hash.
  2. Most modern servers have a large number of processing cores that are usually more power efficient than desktop CPU cores.    These facts allow for fast and efficient aggregate processing.
  3. Server type systems are electronically designed to run full out 365x24.    This is not the case with modern graphics cards and desktop PC’s that have electronic components that will degrade and ultimately fail (sometimes after just months) mostly due to high heat and component quality if run full out continuously.
  4. Many servers are powered up all the time using some power.    The WIC Miner will increase the power usage but in exchange provide crypto currency offseting the additional power cost and providing useful additional heat, see Crypto Heat Page
  5. There are millions of server type computers out there that either due to movement to the cloud, server age, or the system was purchased as a backup that are not currently in use and in many cases there are no plans to ever use.    This application can make use of these servers as very low operating cost Crypto heaters.
The WIC Miner will run on any modern Intel/AMD CPU based computer but the hash rate will be low (under 2Mhash/sec) on typical desktop type systems.    Most servers can achieve 4-12Mhashes/sec.     As of this writing this mining rate will make you the equivalent of a few US$ per week paying most of the electricity cost. 

The WIC Miner does not monopolize the server and can be used cooperatively with other common applications used on modestly loaded servers.    The threads that do the hashing run in idle time minimizing the impact to performance of other business critical processes that may otherwise be running.    It will quickly pull back on Crypto processing if a higher priority process spins off a group of threads allowing time critical workloads to burst process without issue.   

The current version of the WIC Miner for Linux is available for download here.

WIC Miner usage instructions are here.   

WIC Miner download MD5SUM value is  965df97e20218936474845e2805156b9

The WIC Miner can be used on almost any modern computer without installing it by booting a popular live Linux from USB and following the simple and quick instructions here.

The WIC Miner on a server requires a single or dual CPU Intel Xeon or AMD Epyc/Threadripper based system.     In the case of Intel Xeon it must be a Haswell based (Xeon E5-26XXv3) or better as we require AVX2 CPU support.    We will have a version soon optimized for the older Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Intel Xeon CPU’s check back after November 29th.

To get the best performance it is very important that all available memory channels are populated with RAM!    Read here for more on this important topic.

WIC Miner has been tested under Red Hat 7&8, CentOS 7, Suse Enterprise 12 & 15, OpenSuse 42.1, and Ubuntu 16.04.    It has also been tested on more recent versions of these popular Linux Distributions.   It should  work under any Linux release from the past 5 years.   

The WIC Miner can run under VM Ware or a similar hyper-visor.    It will run fine under widely available (on internet) Linux VM images of CentOS or Debian.     The VM you create for WIC Miner should be set to (number physical cores per physical CPU – 1) for VCPU and 8GB of memory for the VM.

We are not aware of a way of ensuring that memory can be allocated on the RAM attached to each CPU of a dual processor system.   The best solution for a dual processor system is to run an instance of the WIC Miner under two VM’s each one locked to one of the physical CPU’s.

We are looking at doing a Windows version but must first see how much interest there is?  We would like to hear from organizations at wicminer@aquilasys.com that would plan to use a Windows version of the WIC Miner on ten or more servers in your organization.

We do not have the resources to provide formal support for the WIC Miner but if you have a usage question after reading the usage page and looking for your question on our faq page you can write us at wicminer@aquilasys.com with server make/model, cpu config, memory config, Linux version, and if the WIC Miner is running the wic.stat file and someone will write back in a few days usually to indicate that the FAQ page has been updated to provide an answer to your question/issue.