New details regarding the specialized chips for cryptocurrency mining manufactured by Intel. It has just been announced that the new Intel Blockscale Asic technology for the highly energy-efficient mining process already has customers. Argo Blockchain, Block Inc, Hive Blockchain Technologies, and GRIID Infrastructure will be the first customers for Intel Blockscale ASICs.
Very recently Intel officially announced its ASIC chips for the process of bitcoin mining. These ASICs have been specially developed for the SHA-256 hashes (used in Bitcoin). They are characterized by offering great performance and high energy efficiency. Note that these chips have nothing to do with the processors currently marketed by the company
Intel ASIC for Bitcoin mining
The chips developed by Intel are characterized by offering a performance/consumption ratio much higher than those of the competition. Increasing performance while reducing consumption means a huge increase in energy efficiency.
Proof-of-work consensus requires transaction validator systems and block generators. This assumes that more computing power is needed to be able to generate the blocks and get the rewards. All this without sacrificing the decentralization of these networks.
The problem is that the greater the power of the network, the greater its energy consumption. Still, being efficient is a prerequisite for maximizing profits. This energy requirement is due to the proof of work consensus that gives Bitcoin high security
Intel, in addition to offering more efficient ASICs for Bitcoin mining, indicates that they have greater durability. This makes these systems more cost effective and reduces the amount of electronic waste.
According to Intel, the characteristics of Blockscale ASICs are:
- Processor specially designed for the SHA-256 algorithmused in the Bitcoin proof-of-work consensus
- hashrate of up to 580GH/s and an energy efficiency of 26J/TH
- Chip voltage and temperature sensing capability
- Support for up to 256 ICs per system
- Reference design and software stack to drive customer systems development
When will these systems be available?
According to Intel, the Blockscale ASICs will begin to be distributed during the third quarter of 2022. Argo Blockchain, Block Inc., Hive Blockchain Technologies and GRIID Infrastructure will be the first to receive these systems.
Intel highlights that from 2023 it will start working with potential new customers. The company does not want to sell these ASICs out of hand for Bitcoin mining, certain requirements are required. They specify that a study of the sustainability of the companies’ sustainability will be carried out, being necessary to comply with Intel’s requirements.
It seems quite difficult for these ASICs to be sold commercially, since it seems that Intel wants to keep a tight control. The positive is that we will see the Bitcoin hashrate increase by the end of 2022 and the efficiency of this network improve.
It should be noted that these ASICs only serve Bitcoin and forks of it such as Bitcoin Cash. Since the chips are designed for SHA-256, it makes them incompatible with litecoin (uses Scrypt, which is friendly to specific ASICs, for this algorithm) or ethereum (uses Ethash, which is graphics card friendly)