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Intel claims its crypto mining chip is 1000 times faster than other GPUs

Cryptocurrency mining is a process to introduce a new block in a blockchain, by running a series of complex algorithms that require high power consumption devices such as GPUs.

By: Tech Desk | Pune |
Updated: February 15, 2022 4:14:38 pm
Intel will launch a new chip for blockchain applications such as Bitcoin mining. (Image: Intel)

Intel is officially entering into the cryptocurrency mining business, with its new chip designed specifically for blockchain applications such as Bitcoin mining and minting Non-fungible-tokens(NFTs). The company claims that its crypto mining chips will be 1000 times faster than mainstream chips available in the market.

“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.  You will be able to learn more about our circuit innovations at the International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC) this month,” wrote Raja M. Koduri, senior vice president and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group at Intel Corporation in a blog post.

For the uninitiated, cryptocurrency mining is a process to introduce a new block in a blockchain, by running a series of complex algorithms that require high power consumption devices such as GPUs. Mining cryptocurrency requires a lot of computing power and hence, a lot of electricity. That kind of energy consumption on the global scale is considered by many to be doing more harm than good. (To know more crypto mining and its ups & downs, check our coloumn and circle back.)

According to Intel, the new chip’s architecture is implemented “on a tiny piece of silicon.” This is meant to have a minimal impact to the supply of current products, as the world continues to face shortage of chipsets.

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Intel says that its new chip will also address the rising concerns around the huge energy required for cryptocurrency mining processes. “We are mindful that some blockchains require an enormous amount of computing power, which unfortunately translates to an immense amount of energy. Our customers are asking for scalable and sustainable solutions, which is why we are focusing our efforts on realizing the full potential of blockchain by developing the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale,” Koduri said in a blog post.

He noted that the chip will use something called as a”blockchain accelerator” that has been engineered to speed up mining process in a manner that requires much less energy than the prevalent technologies. Argo Blockchain, Jack Dorsey owned Block (formerly known as Square) and GRIID Infrastructure are among Intel’s first customers for this upcoming product.

Meanwhile, chip designer Nvidia Corp, whose graphics cards are used widely for mining activities, also has a separate chip meant for Ethereum mining. As a part of furthering its footprint in the space, Intel has also formed a new segment called Custom Compute Group within its Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit.

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