Intel is officially in the bitcoin mining business now

Intel Blockchain Accelerator
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel has announced its plans to fully embrace blockchain technology and finally enter the bitcoin mining space with brand new chips that will be available later this year.

In a new blog post, the chip giant explained that it has developed a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators that will ship in 2022.

Intel is also conscious of the fact that “some blockchains require an enormous amount of computing power” which is why the company is focusing its efforts on developing the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale.

So far, Argo Blockchain, BLOCK (formerly Square) and GRID infrastructure are among its first customers for this new product. As the company's new architecture is implemented on a tiny piece of silicon, it will have a minimal impact to the supply of other Intel processors.

Intel Bonazna Mine chips

In order to design and build its new blockchain hardware, Intel has created a new Custom Compute Group that will operate under Raja Koduri's Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) Business Unit.

According to a report from Tom's Hardware, quite a bit is already known about the chip giant's new Bitcoin-mining hardware as the news outlet discovered a reference to its Bonanza Mine chips in a listing for a presentation at this year's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). However, Intel has already moved on to its second generation Bonanza Mine chip which is known as BMZ2.

This new chip features a specialized architecture that was specifically designed to accelerate SHA-256 processing for Bitcoin mining at ultra-low voltage. In fact, Intel claims that these energy-efficient chips will over “over 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256-based mining”.

It's worth noting though that GPUs are rarely used for SHA-256 mining and Bitcoin is typically mined on specialized processors called ASICs that are designed to execute one type of workload. Still though, ASIC devices like the Antminer E9 from Bitmain are often quite expensive and hard to come by.

We'll likely hear more about Intel's entrance to the bitcoin-mining business once its new chips begin shipping out to customers later this year.

Via Tom's Hardware

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.