In light of the Thanksgiving holiday being observed in the US this week, we would like to take some time to thank the Helium ecosystem and all our customers for the wonderful opportunity to be part of a project that is changing the way the world communicates. This entire network is fundamentally about changing the way we do things and therefore change will always be at the core of everything that will need to happen to keep this moving forward.
Bobcat Miners at a Glance
Through 28 batches, Bobcat has shipped a total of 172,858 hotspots. From these, 113,633 units (65.7%) have 2GB RAM and 59,225 units (34.3%) have 1GB RAM.
2GB Miners Already Being Shipped
We began transitioning into 2GB miners in August. This transition was gradual and randomized, so several batches had 1GB and 2GB miners shipping at the same time. No customers were aware of this transition, so no preference was given to anyone. The reason for this transition was preemptive, as we were closely monitoring the accelerated rate at which we were contributing to the network.
Even with 1GB miners, our rate of production was already straining what the supply chain had to offer from a component standpoint, so integrating 2GB hardware (the more difficult of the two to secure) had to be done carefully and steadily.
For the last 4 months, we have been prioritizing the production of miners with 2GB RAM and we will continue to integrate this component for as long as the supply chain can support our rate of production. Given the rapid growth of the entire ecosystem, as well as the challenges it’s presenting to Helium and all manufacturers, production with 2GB RAM will continue and the cost for this upgraded hardware will be absorbed by Bobcat so as to not burden our customers.
1GB RAM Hotspots
While 1GB miners only account for 34.3% of the miners we’ve shipped, this still amounts to 17% of the overall network. This percentage does not include other 1GB miners on the network, such as Helium OG, RAK v1, Nebra, etc. Given these numbers, we’re incredibly grateful for Helium’s commitment to support all currently approved hotspots with core blockchain and miner updates. These updates will continue until the Light Hotspot software upgrades become available for manufacturers to implement and migrate to their fleets. Bobcat would not have been able to hold the position it does on the Network without the relentless efforts from Helium developers to constantly maintain and upgrade an infrastructure that is growing at an unprecedented rate.
Comparison of 1GB and 2GB Miners
1GB RAM Model
2GB RAM Model
What Does This Mean?
In a nutshell, 1GB miners are perfectly adequate to handle the everyday operation of the hotspot. Keep in mind that once all hotspots are changed to light gateways, RAM usage will likely decrease from 400mb to about 100mb. Currently, larger RAM usage is only occurring when loading a snapshot. The snapshot is a large file and therefore is loaded gradually, so as to not cause the hotspot to run out of memory. Having larger RAM will allow the snapshot to load faster, but given that snapshots are not loaded everyday, it is unlikely that slower loading will have a significant impact on mining activities.
1. Are there certifications for both the 1GB and the 2GB miner?
2. Is there a datasheet for the 2GB miner?
The 2GB miner datasheet can be found here.
3. How can I know if I have a 1GB or 2GB miner?
This was a random distribution and customers should not attempt to examine the hardware as this could void the warranty.
4. Can I pay an additional fee to guarantee delivery of a 2GB miner?
There is no additional charge, as we are currently only shipping 2GB miners. Barring issues with the supply chain, we will continue to ship 2GB until miners are changed to light hotspots.
5. Can I exchange a 1GB miner for a 2GB Miner?
Both 1GB and 2GB miners are Helium/dewi spec compliant. Our analysis provided above, combined with Helium’s commitment to continue to support all approved hotspots means they are adequate for the network.
6. When will light hotspots be released?
The target date for the introduction of light hotspots is Q1 of 2022.