Official: Intel to enter Bitcoin mining business with new custom chips

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When we think of Intel, we usually think of CPU—desktops, mobile, and the ones that power data centers. However, the company has been now officially joined the Bitcoin harvesting market with the new chips that will be available later this year. Keep reading to learn more about the Bitcoin mining “Bonanza” chip from Intel.

Intel Bonanza Mine Procesor Overvew:

Official confirmation

Raja M. Koduri, the Senior Vice President at Intel, recently shared a press release confirming that Team Blue is working on a bitcoin mining chip. He states, “We at Intel are declaring our intent to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies, with a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators”.

As crypto mining and blockchain demand a massive amount of computing power, Intel is aiming to build the most energy-efficient computing technologies to tackle this issue.

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For this, Team Blue has formed a new Custom Compute Group within Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit. This unit will work on building custom silicon for crypto-mining and other custom accelerated supercomputing tasks.

Intel Bonanza Chips

These new chips have already surfaced online with the codename “Bonanza”. While the moniker is not yet confirmed, Team Blue has stated that it will share details about the chip at the upcoming International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC).

As per reports, the new chip is an ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC. In case you are not aware, unlike Ethereum, miners don’t use GPUs for Bitcoin mining. It requires specialized chips, usually referred to as ASIC, which stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circut. These chips are exclusively designed for a single task and are not as useful outside of their main domain.

As a result, if you want to mine Bitcoins, you will need an ASIC designed to carry out the SHA-256 algorithm in a fast and efficient manner. As per Intel, the new silicon “has over 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining”. Currently, Bitmain provides Bitcoin-specific ASIC for miners.

Intel and Bitcoin

For many, the news of Intel Bonanza Mine chips can come out as a surprise. However, the signs have been there all along. Intel first introduced SHA extensions for hardware-accelerated hashing operations in 2013. It has been part of Ice Lake and newer processors.

Back in December, Raja Koduri, the Senior Vice President, and GM of Intel AXG hinted at an upcoming efficient low-cost blockchain validation device in an exclusive interview with the popular streamer DrLupo. He was referring to Intel Bonanza Mine chips then. He further clarified that Intel won’t implement any hash rate limiters in its discrete GPUs.

Intel Bonanza Mine Chip Availability

While we are still waiting for further information on the new Bitcoin-specific ASIC chip, Intel has stated that these accelerators will be available later this year. Argo Blockchain, BLOCK (previously Square), and GRIID Infrastructure are among the first clients for this new offering.

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