Intel has announced that it is developing its first ever blockchain-based chip for cryptocurrency mining. The product, which the tech giant refers to as a “blockchain accelerator”, is designed with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind.
“Intel Labs has dedicated decades of research into reliable cryptography, hashing techniques and ultra-low voltage circuits,” wrote Intel senior vice president Raja Koduri in the announcement. “We expect that our circuit innovations will deliver a blockchain accelerator that has over 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining.”
For the uninitiated, SHA-256 is a hashing algorithm that is used to generate Bitcoin and other specific cryptocurrencies. As most of us are aware by now, GPU-based mining leaves a significant impact on the environment on a global scale due to high energy consumption, which has led to high electricity costs and even power shortages.
As mentioned earlier, Intel’s upcoming crypto-dedicated chip aims to hopefully remedy this issue. For now, not much is known about the technology, but the company promises to reveal more information on its so-called blockchain accelerator during the International Solid-State Circuits Conference on 20 February 2022.
While it isn’t available just yet, Koduri revealed that Bitcoin mining company GRIID and Jack Dorsey-owned fintech company Block (formerly known as Square) have already pre-ordered the hardware. On that note, he added that the blockchain-based chip is slated to ship out later this year.
(Source: Intel [Official website])