Reports show that Intel is investing in blockchain technology by developing a new processor for bitcoin mining. The firm is committed to sustainability and is working on “scaled-up development of the most energy-efficient computer technology.”
Later this year, Intel is scheduled to release its first crypto-focused processor, dubbed a “blockchain accelerator,” later in the year. Two firms have already preordered the technology: GRIID Infrastructures, a Bitcoin mining startup, and Block, the Jack Dorsey-backed fintech company formerly known as Square.
“We anticipate that our circuit innovations will result in a blockchain accelerator that outperforms mainstream GPUs in terms of performance per watt for SHA-256-based mining,” referring to the SHA-256 hashing algorithm used to generate Bitcoin and a variety of other cryptocurrencies.
Further details on the chip will be revealed during the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which begins on February 20th. Meanwhile, PCMag also noted that the company is slated to present “Bonanza Mine: An Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC” at the ISCC on February 23rd. An ASIC, or application-specific integrated circuit, is a type of chip that is purpose-built for a single activity, such as bitcoin mining.
The environmental effect of bitcoin mining has become a major worry, and Intel’s latest processor may solve this. Mining rigs that consume a lot of energy are frequently powered by coal and natural gas facilities, which may hurt the environment and contribute to high electricity rates and outages. US legislators have even raised the matter in Congress, arguing how to address the increased energy usage linked with cryptocurrency mining and even requesting that Bitcoin firms publish their energy use.