Intel has officially announced a chip dedicated to Bitcoin (BTC) mining. Guaranteed to be energy efficient, this solution aims to reduce the environmental footprint of the proof-of-work (PoW) process. Firms like Jack Dorsey’s startup Block will be using this technology as part of their mining farms in the near future.
Intel ensures that the chip dedicated to Bitcoin (BTC) mining is power-efficient
Intel, the world’s second largest semiconductor manufacturer, is developing a dedicated Bitcoin (BTC) mining chip. In a press release published on February 11, 2022, the American company briefly mentioned the advantages of its technology. Intel refers to the chip as a “blockchain gas pedal”.
“We declare our intention to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies, with a roadmap of energy-efficient gas pedals.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.
According to the software engineer, 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 an “ultra-low voltage circuit.” If Intel’s claims hold true, the chip could help contain the power consumption of proof-of-work, the Bitcoin blockchain’s block validation system.
Intel has pledged to disclose more information about its technology as early as late February. At the International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), the U.S. giant will give a longer presentation of the benefits and technical features of its solution. Dedicated to industry news, the online event will begin on February 20 and end on February 24, 2022. Intel’s conference is scheduled for February 23, as shown in the schedule on the ISSCC website.
Jack Dorsey’s Block firm has already pre-ordered Intel’s mining chip
According to Intel, three well-known companies have already pre-ordered its chip dedicated to Bitcoin mining: Argo Blockchain, a British mining firm, Bitcoin GRIID Infrastructures, a mining company with three farms in the United States, and Block. Formerly called Square, the latter entered the cryptocurrency mining business shortly after its name change in early January. In the announcement, former Twitter CEO and founder Jack Dorsey’s startup 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 with a focus 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 has committed to offering Arc graphics processors for miners. This initiative aims to curb 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.
Finally, we note that Intel mentions the advent of the metaverse in its statement. The company says that “we are ushering in the era of the metaverse and Web 3.0”. In the past, Intel has been more skeptical about the rise of virtual worlds.
In a December blog post, Raja M. Koduri suggested that the metaverse as described by groups like Meta was still closer to theory than to practice. According to him, it would be necessary to multiply by 1000 the computing and processing power of current computers to guarantee the functioning of the metaverse.