Semiconductor giant Intel (INTC) officially announced its crypto mining initiative on Friday, revealing that Argo Blockchain (ARGO) and Jack Dorsey-led Block (SQ) will receive the chipmaker's first mining chips later this year.
- In a Friday blog post, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group Raja M. Koduri said Intel said will contribute to blockchain technology with a "roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators." Koduri said that the company is "mindful" that blockchains consume a lot of energy, which is why they are focusing on "energy-efficient computing technologies at scale."
- Intel first revealed that it was working on a mining application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) dubbed "Bonanza Mine" in January, when a product release was included in the agenda for an upcoming semiconductor conference.
- An Argo spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk that it had signed an agreement to buy Intel’s mining ASICs.
- The mining ASICs will offer "1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining," Koduri wrote. Large professional miners mostly use ASICs for bitcoin mining, however, so the graphics processing unit (GPU) comparison may not be as meaningful for them.
- The chips are built on a "tiny piece of silicon" so that it won't impact Intel's supply of current products, Koduri noted.
- Intel also announced a Custom Compute Group within its Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics unit, which will build custom silicon platforms for blockchain and other types of computing.
- Block, led by Twitter's founder, is building an open-source bitcoin mining system, aiming to make the network more decentralized.
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