Intel is dedicated to becoming a key player in the blockchain space. The multinational semiconductor manufacturer has unveiled its second-generation chip for proof-of-work crypto mining.
Intel launches Blockscale Technology that will enable energy-efficient Bitcoin mining
In a press release today, Intel revealed details of its new application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), named Intel Blockscale ASIC. The chip is billed to be revolutionary in providing an energy-efficient solution to blockchain hashing.
The specifications of the second-generation mining chip include a dedicated secure hash algorithm-256 (SHA-256) ASIC processor that will reach up to 580 GH/s hash rate operating and up to 26 J/TH power efficiency. This would make it more energy-efficient than Bitmain’s Antminer S19J which has an energy efficiency of 34.5 joules per terahash.
Similarly, the ASIC will also feature on-chip temperature-and-voltage-sensing capabilities, and will support up to 256 integrated circuits per chain. It will also ship with reference hardware design and software stack to help point users in the right direction.
Jose Rios, general manager of Blockchain and Business Solutions in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group at Intel, stated that the ASIC would be a game-changer for POW blockchains and especially Bitcoin. He said:
The Intel Blockscale ASIC is going to play a major role in helping bitcoin mining companies achieve both sustainability and hash rate scaling objectives in the years ahead.
Argo Blockchain, Block Inc., Hive Blockchain Technologies, and GRIID Infrastructure will be among the first customers to lay hands on the chip when it starts to ship in Q3 of this year.
Meanwhile, this is the second ASIC Intel has released this year that will be dedicated to energy-efficient crypto mining. Back in February, the California-based company released Bonanza Mine (BZM), a first-generation ASIC.
Intel’s vice president and general manager of Custom Compute in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, Balaji Kanigicherla, disclosed that the company is bringing its years of R&D in cryptography, hashing techniques, and ultra-low voltage circuits to bear on the blockchain industry.
Ultimately, the company sees miners moving away from using energy-consuming GPUs, while also scaling their operations without higher energy consumption.
Other energy efficiency Bitcoin mining solutions are being considered
Asides from Intel’s approach, other solutions to the high energy consumption of the Bitcoin and crypto mining industry as well as its use of fossil fuels are also being seriously considered. According to a report by the Australian, Bengal Energy, a Canadian oil and gas miner, is set to begin its trial project of accessing formerly “stranded” gas wells with portable Bitcoin mining rigs.
Meanwhile, on the flip side, Greenpeace has started a campaign supported by Chris Larsen, the founder of Ripple, to change Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.