Intel Launches a New Crypto Chip that is energy-efficient

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Intel on Friday made an announcement that it’s investing in blockchain technology a new crypto chip designed to mine cryptocurrency.

Intel’s first crypto-focused chip known as “energy-efficient blockchain accelerator” and is set to ship later this year. Two companies have already preordered the technology, including Bitcoin mining company GRIID Infrastructures and Block, the Jack Dorsey-owned fintech company formerly known as Square.

GM of Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, and Raja M. Koduri, SVP wrote in a blog post, “Intel will engage and promote an open and secure blockchain ecosystem and will help advance this technology in a responsible and sustainable way.”

He further wrote, Customers are looking for scalable, sustainable systems, encouraging Intel to focus on “realizing the full potential of blockchain by developing the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale.”

He said, Intel’s blockchain accelerator will deliver over 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining.

Koduri said, the new chips should have a minimal impact on Intel’s current product supply, Koduri said, since the architecture is implemented on a tiny piece of silicon.

To support emerging technologies like the new blockchain accelerator, Intel also announced the formation of a new Custom Compute Group within Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit. The team will focus on building custom silicon platforms optimized for customers’ workloads, including blockchain and other accelerated supercomputing opportunities at the edge.

Intel says more information about the chip will be revealed at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which commences on February 20th. PCMag reveals that the company is scheduled to make a presentation (PDF) at the ISCC on February 23rd, titled “Bonanza Mine: An Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC.” ASIC, or application-specific integrated circuits, is a chip designed for one specific task, such as cryptocurrency mining.

More and more tech companies are getting involved in crypto mining and digital currencies as the market grows and becomes more popular. Experts predict that 90% of the global population will adopt cryptocurrencies in the next decade. In just the past few years alone, the cryptocurrency market has grown from $1.44 billion in 2020 to $1.63 billion in 2021.

Intel’s new chip may be an attempt to address the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining which has become a huge concern to the world at large.