Intel will unveil Bonanza Mine, an ASIC specifically designed for Bitcoin mining at the upcoming chip conference. This revelation could both unclog the machine for the enterprise, miners and the gaming world.
Intel on a mission of seduction
As a newcomer to the dedicated graphics card market, Intel doesn’t want to incur the wrath of gamers. As a result, the leading microprocessor company has cleverly deployed the Bonanza ASIC.
Unlike a complex general-purpose processor (CPU) or graphics processor (GPU), an ASIC – application-specific integrated circuit – is a type of chip designed for a specific task. In this case, for bitcoin mining. These chips only do one job, but they do it very well.
Bonanza will enable low-power mining. Competing with companies like NVIDIA and AMD or startups like Cerebras Systems, this launch could be the boost Intel needs to get the ball rolling again.
“We’re thinking about blockchain. I think it’s a transaction process that could work much more efficiently. We’re brushing up on it, and it’s not a GPU-truc. It is possible to validate efficiently on the blockchain at low cost with very low power. It’s a solvable problem and we’re working towards it.”Raja Koduri to DrLupo in an exclusive interview on the Intel Gaming YouTube channel two weeks ago
Intel’s architect aims for x1000
Raja Koduri is the chief architect and senior vice president of Intel’s Architecture, Graphics and Software Division (IAGS) and this is not his first teaser statement.
Last December, he gave an interview to Quartz where we discovered his optimistic vision of the metaverse.
“Algorithms will have to play a big role in getting the 1000 times. We can brute-force it. We can put more computation into it, like these Bitcoin mining farms. They throw a ton of computing power at it but it’s not energy efficient. So we need to find a balance between energy-efficient computation and hardware. We need better algorithms, better architectures. That’s the path to 1000 leverage.”Raja Koduri answering the question, “How to build the metaverse in an environmentally friendly way.”
Problem solved? Not quite. In the past, we have seen a price spike around GPUs. The development of an “energy-efficient” ASIC tends to mark the completion of Bitcoin’s difficulty cycle where those with the latest hardware simply mine… more Bitcoins.
The saturation of the ASIC market could lead to an increase in difficulty. A new cycle of GPU vendors introducing new architectures to achieve a significant increase in performance per watt spent would follow.
Aware of the shortage of chips and the technological challenges to be solved, Intel’s Architect seems ready to sail his ship to the winds. We’ll have to wait until February 23 for more details on Bonanza Mine.