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mar 29, 2022

Light miners: what's the deal?

All Hotspot Miners will become "Light Miners" in the near future


What's the difference between "Light Miners" and OG Miners?

In the next 6 to 10 weeks Helium will release a "Light Miner Firmware Upgrade" to ALL hotspots from ALL manufacturers. This firmware upgrade will solve a number of stability issues that hotspot owners have been challenged with, including getting rid of "relay" hotspots and SD card issues. Overall this update should improve the quality and usability of the Helium network.

So all Hotspot Miners will become "Light Miners" in the near future and there will be NO functional difference. The "Light Miner" firmware does take less CPU power than the legacy OG Miners so in the future, new hotspot products may come to market with less powerful CPUs. In theory products with lower power CPUs may cost less than legacy OG Miner products however given the global supply chain issues in the near term it's likely to see hotspot pricing returning to standard MSRP price ranges.

What are the benefits of the "Light Miner" firmware update that all miners (including the OG) ones will be receiving?

  • No more "relay" status or the need to open "ports" on your home router
  • No longer needs to be a full blockchain node
  • Way less network usage
  • No more syncing issues

If in the future “Light Miners” and OG Miners all become the same, why is the DeWi tracking “Light Miners” on a different tab

Again all existing OG Miners will be firmware upgraded to the “Light Miner” firmware. Since the new “Light Miner” firmware requires less CPU resources, by default all approved OG Miners meet the DeWi requirements for “Light Miner”. For new products being designed to only support the upcoming “Light Miner” software release the minimum CPU requirement is lower and therefore the MOC created new specification and test processes for these new products which will only support the "Light Miner "firmware. In other words, all currently approved OG Miners meet the “Light Miner” hardware requirements, but moving forward not all Hotspots approved as “Light Miners” would be able to meet the higher CPU performance OG Miner hardware requirements. This is a bit of a moot point, as looking forward everything will become a “Light Miner”. 

When are "Light Miners" going to be available to the market? 

If you currently own a miner it will become a "Light Miner" after the firmware update. If you buy a current in-stock OG Miner it will also become a "Light Miner" after the firmware update. If you wait another 6 to 10 weeks to buy a miner it will likely come with the "Light Miner" firmware already installed.

So all in-stock miners will become "Light Miners" and are available today. CalChip is working with all our suppliers to bring new hotspots to marker in 2Q22 what will ship with the "Light Miner" firmware.  

What will be the price point?

Price points will vary by manufacturer.

Will "Light Miners" cost less than Full Miners? 

In theory, new products designed specifically for the "Light Miner" firmware could use a less powerful CPU and less memory which could allow for cost savings. However the elevated OG miner prices over the past year where mainly caused by the combination of the global semiconductor supply chain shortages amplified by the large supply demand imbalance for Helium hotspots. In the near term, Helium hotspot price points, including new "Light Miners", will mainly be driven by overall Helium hotspot market supply demand. We are optimistic that the market for Helium hotspots is starting to return to more balanced supply demand state and all hotspot miner pricing will come back to manufacturers suggested MSRP. CalChip is will working with our manufactures to bring as many new Helium Miner products to market as possible in 2022. We are also working on bring more IoT solutions that use the Helium network to market, everyone benefits from having more people use the network. (Try out our Invoxia tracker.)

Will CalChip be distributing these? 

CalChip is committed to offering our customers a wide selection of Helium compatible Hotspots, including our current inventory of OG LoRa Miners, new Hotspot Miners from our existing manufacturers, and new manufacturers entering the market. In addition, CalChip offers the first Helium compatible 5G products and are excited about expanding the capability of the Helium network.

Are you taking pre-orders?

There is no reason to wait for a "Light Miner", instead buy an existing in-stock full miner. It will receive a software upgrade to become a "Light Miner" as soon as it's approved by Helium. 

Who's manufacturing these?