40 Old Samsung Galaxy S5s Turned into Bitcoin Mining Rig
Ron Perillo / 9 months ago
The words “bitcoin mining” and “good for the environment” don’t exactly belong in the same sentence. However, Samsung unveiled an impressive demonstration of what an upcycling initiative can do using old Galaxy S5 phones. With 40 old Galaxy S5 arranged in a tower, Samsung demonstrates the usefulness of old devices that would otherwise just be in storage.
Although the raw hash rate of the phone is significantly less than an Intel i7-2600 desktop PC (20,000 Mhash/sec vs 2600), it is significantly better when factoring in power efficiency. More than three times as much with 211 Khash/Watt vs 650 with the Galaxy S5. The impressive part is that those numbers are from eight Galaxy S5 phones versus one i7-2600 desktop. Samsung did not reveal directly how good at mining the 40-phone setup is, but users can extrapolate from the eight phones on the chart.
Obviously, it requires some engineering to pull this off. Users cannot just start building their own mining rig out of old phones since it requires a special operating system to use properly. This one is running with an OS specifically developed by Samsung for this demo.
More Samsung Upcycling Demonstrations
However, it is an interesting proof of concept among several that Samsung showed off at a recent developer’s conference in San Francisco. Among other projects at the event shows a Galaxy Tablet converted into a Laptop running Ubuntu. Another one shows an old Samsung smartphone monitoring a fish tank.
Like with the mining rig, these setups require an entirely new layer to interface with the hardware. This would not be possible without Samsung’s help. Which is why they have a GitHub for the upcycling project. Users will be able to download software which lets users introduce various homebrew software. According to iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens (who took the photos above), it is “a step lower than jailbreaking”. It removes the entire Android OS entirely. The Galaxy Upcycling GitHub page will also let users upload their own projects once it goes live.