One of the largest chip-making firms Intel Corp on 11 February 2022 unveiled a new chip for blockchain applications as part of its plan to harness the fiercely competitive mining industry.
The chip is scheduled to be shipped later this year and the first customers include Block Inc, the Jack Dorsey-led firm that recently changed its name from Square Inc, and Argo Blockchain [ARGO].
In accordance with the blog post, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group Raja M. Koduri said Intel will contribute to blockchain technology with a “roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators.”
According to the firm, its chip is an energy-efficient “accelerator” designed to speed up tasks in blockchain that require huge amounts of computing power and in turn consume a lot of energy. One of the chip designers is Nvidia Corp, whose graphics cards are being used widely for mining activities, also has a separate chip meant for Ethereum mining.
The latest initiative is to further Intel’s plan to expand its footprint in the space, it has also formed a new segment called Custom Compute Group within its Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit.
The news follows after the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing firm has outlined its ambition to create a specialized crypto-mining chip at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in February, according to the conference’s agenda.
Intel reveals plans to create energy-efficient ASIC
Two weeks ago, the chip-making giant announced building an “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient” chip at an upcoming ISSCC conference slated to be held on February 23, 2022. The move signaled Intel’s entry into the bitcoin mining chip-making industry.
Not only that, but this also brings the company into direct competition with the giants like Bitmain and MicroBT in the market for bitcoin mining ASICs, or application-specific integrated circuits, for the first time.
That being said, Crypto mining has in the past has caused demand and prices to shoot up for graphics processing units, including Intel’s, causing resentment among the gamer community. Unlike its competitor Nvidia, Intel has said it doesn’t plan to add ether mining limits on its graphics cards.