Semiconductor heavyweight Intel says it will debut a new crypto mining chip that will perform much better than its rivals.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) recently announced that it is launching a new crypto mining chip billed to be “1000x” faster than its closest rivals. Dubbed “blockchain accelerator”, the new chip will ship later in the year, and will be energy-efficient and ultra-fast, according to Intel. According to an official statement published in the Intel Newsroom, “this architecture is implemented on a tiny piece of silicon so that it has minimal impact to the supply of current products.”
The blockchain accelerator will process blockchain applications, which includes the mining of Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital currencies.
Raja M. Koduri, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Accelerated Computing System, and Graphics Group at Intel, weighed in on the development. Koduri released an official statement that provided more insight into the new Intel blockchain chip initiative. It read in part:
“Today, we at Intel are declaring our intent 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 will help advance this technology in a responsible and sustainable way.”
So far, according to Koduri, two companies have already indicated an interest in Intel’s blockchain accelerator via preorders. They include BTC mining company GRID infrastructures, and the Jack Dorsey fintech platform formerly known as Square, now controversially called Block.
Intel stated that it would provide further information about its new crypto mining chip at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference. The event starts on February 20th, and will most noticeably feature a “Highlighted Chip Releases” segment. Furthermore, Intel had billed to showcase the aforementioned chip technology as a “Bonanza Mine” processor under this segment.
Intel Crypto Mining Chip Could Further Enhance an Environmentally-Degrading Crypto Mining Industry
Intel’s new offering is its first crypto-focused chip. The chip giant’s foray into the blockchain industry could spark similar ventures into the digital currency mining field. In addition, it could also induce increased attention among participants, stakeholders, and beneficiaries in the still-growing crypto mining space. For instance, Dorsey’s Block company stated that it is working on launching a new Bitcoin mining system usable at home.
One of the most telling concerns surrounding the crypto mining industry is its environmental impact. Mining rigs that require a lot of power to operate often derive their energy from coal and natural gas plants. The effect from this puts the environment in harm’s way, and also contributes to surging electricity costs and blackouts. It’s these unsavory issues and their spillover effects that the new Intel chip looks to address.
However bright the optics may seem, Intel will most likely face stiff competition from competitors. As the semiconductor household name looks to establish itself as a crypto-centric speed and scalability solution provider, it will have to jostle with MicroBT and Bitmain. For instance, MicroBT is an already established player in ASIC miner manufacturing and blockchain and artificial intelligence. Also, Bitmain, headquartered in Beijing, is a recognizable BTC mining hardware products provider.