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Intel says its new crypto chip is designed to be power efficient


Intel is investing in blockchain technology with a new chip designed to mine cryptocurrency (via Reuters). The company is focused on sustainability and plans to “scale up the most energy-efficient computing technologies”.

Intel’s first crypto-focused chip, which it calls a “blockchain accelerator,” is expected to ship later this year. Two companies have already pre-ordered the technology, including Bitcoin mining firm GRIID Infrastructures and Block, the Jack Dorsey-owned fintech company formerly known as Square.

“We expect our circuit innovations to deliver a blockchain accelerator that delivers more than 1000 times the performance per watt of traditional GPUs for SHA-256-based mining,” says Raja Koduri, Vice-Principal. senior president of Intel in the announcement, referring to the SHA-256 hash. algorithm used to generate Bitcoin and a number of other cryptocurrencies.

Intel says more information about the chip will be available at the International Semiconductor Circuits Conference, which begins Feb. 20. Like PCMag points out, the company is to make a presentation (PDF) at ISCC on February 23, titled “Bonanza Mine: An Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC.” ASIC, or Application Specific Integrated Circuits, is a chip designed for a specific task, such as cryptocurrency mining.

The environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining has become a huge concern, and Intel’s new chip could be an attempt to address it. Energy-intensive mining rigs often get their power from coal and natural gas-fired power plants which can harm the environment and can also contribute to high electricity costs and blackouts. U.S. lawmakers have even raised the issue in Congress, debating how to combat the increased energy consumption associated with crypto mining, and even asking Bitcoin companies to disclose how much energy they use. they consume.


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