Intel has announced its intention to invest in the growth of blockchain tech by developing an energy-efficient processor especially designed to mine cryptocurrency. The company already has buyers lining up for this ‘crypto chip’, with Jack Dorsey’s Block (previously known as Square) and GRIID Infrastructures being the first of the lot.
While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity as digital assets worth investing in, the debate around how much power it takes to mine them is getting louder than ever. For every report claiming “Bitcoin consumes more power than *insert country that fits the bill* uses in *insert time period*” there’s a dissenter pointing out that the traditional banking system is much more ravenous for energy.
Intel says that the industry is in need of scalable and sustainable solutions to help unlock the full potential of blockchain. The company believes its experience in cryptography, hashing techniques and ultra-low voltage circuits will allow it to deliver such a product. It is aiming to design a blockchain accelerator offering 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining.
The SHA-256 algorithm is essential for generating several cryptocurrencies. The details are rather thin on the ground at the moment. But Raja M. Koduri, Senior VP
and General Manager of Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, promises that we’ll hear more on this subject at the International Solid State Circuit Conference which kicks off on 20 February, 2022.
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A brand new Custom Compute Group has been created within Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business arm in order to focus on this emerging tech. Apart from working on customized silicon solutions for clients invested in blockchain, it will look towards expanding into the supercomputing sector.