Intel, the world’s second-largest semiconductor manufacturer, is developing a chip dedicated to Bitcoin (BTC) mining. In a press release published on 11 February 2022, the American company briefly described the advantages of its technology. Intel refers to the chip as a ‘blockchain accelerator’.
“We declare our intention to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies, with a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators. Intel will engage and promote an open and secure blockchain ecosystem and help advance this technology responsibly and sustainably,” announced Raja M. Koduri, senior vice president of Intel’s architecture, graphics and software division.
Intel’s mining solution will deliver “1,000 times better performance per watt than consumer GPUs for mining based on SHA-256”, the Bitcoin blockchain’s encryption algorithm.
Tailored to mine Bitcoin without consuming too much power, the chip is described as a “very low voltage circuit”. If Intel’s claims are true, the chip could help contain the power consumption of proof-of-work, the block validation system of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Intel has pledged to release more information about its technology at the end of February. At the International Solid-State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), the US giant will give a longer presentation of the benefits and technical features of its solution. The online event, dedicated to industry news, will start on 20 February and end on 24 February 2022. Intel’s conference is scheduled for 23 February, as shown in the program on the ISSCC website.
Le Block de Jack Dorsey a déjà précommandé la puce minière d’Intel
According to Intel, three well-known companies have already pre-ordered its Bitcoin mining chip: Argo Blockchain, a UK mining firm, Bitcoin GRIID Infrastructures, a mining company with three farms in the US, and Block. Formerly called Square, the latter entered the cryptocurrency mining business shortly after its name change in early January. In the announcement, the start-up from Jack Dorsey, former CEO and founder of Twitter, pledged to reduce the energy footprint of Bitcoin mining.
The semiconductor producer has no shortage of ambitions in the cryptocurrency sector. According to Intel’s chief architect, the firm plans to produce its chips on a large scale, focusing on “realizing the full potential of blockchain by developing the most energy-efficient computing technologies”. The first version of the mining chip will be released by the end of the year.
In parallel, Intel is also developing graphics cards exclusively for cryptocurrency mining. At the end of 2021, the American giant committed to offering Arc graphics processors for miners. This initiative is aimed at curbing the shortage of graphics cards that penalizes video game enthusiasts. Based on the Alchemist architecture, these processors will be launched in the first quarter of 2022.