Intel Unveils New Bitcoin Mining Chip


Key Takeaways

  • Intel has announced a series of Bitcoin mining chips called “Blockscale,” which it will begin to ship later this year.
  • Various mining firms have ordered the chip, including Argo, Hive, GRIID, and Block Inc. (formerly Square).
  • While Bitmain dominates mining chip manufacturing, Intel and other mainstream firms are now getting involved.

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Semiconductor giant Intel has announced a new cryptocurrency mining chip, according to a press release published Apr. 4.

Intel Introduces Blockscale ASICs

Intel will roll out its line of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), branded “Blockscale,” over the course of this year.

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The line of chips is designed to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 algorithm.

The product will be shipped to blockchain mining firms including Argo, Hive, and GRIID beginning in Q3 2022. Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc. (formerly Square) is also listed as a recipient.

Intel representative Balaji Kanigicherla suggested that mining is a growing industry, noting that “momentum around blockchain continues to build.” Indeed, Bitcoin’s mining hash rate hit an all-time high of 248 million terahashes per second (TH/s) this February.

Kanigicherla added that Intel’s chips aim to offer an “optimal balance” between high hash rate and efficient energy consumption. The devices will achieve hashrates as high as 580 gigahashes per second and use as little power as 26 joules per terahash.

Intel has been working on ASICs for some time. The company first filed patents related to the technology in 2018. It also discussed a line of chips called “Bonanza Mine” during a conference this year.

More Firms Are Involved In Mining

Bitmain, a China-based company active since 2013, has historically dominated the mining chip industry. Estimates from 2018 suggest the firm is responsible for 75% of all mining equipment.

Other companies like Canaan Creative and Bitfury also gained prominence in the mining chip industry early in its existence.

However, mainstream companies are now quickly moving into mining chip manufacturing. Intel competitor Nvidia divided its product lines into gaming GPUs and crypto mining chips in early 2021. Intel responded to that move late last year by stating that it would not limit the hash rate of its GPUs, unlike Nvidia.

Additionally, Samsung acknowledged that it manufactures ASICs for private customers in 2018 but provided few details.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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