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Intel says its new crypto chip is designed to be energy-efficient

Intel says its new crypto chip is designed to be energy-efficient

Intel is investing in blockchain technology and with a new chip designed for cryptocurrencies (via Reuters) making plans.

Intel's first crypto-focused chip, which it calls a "blockchain accelerator," is set to ship later this year. Two companies have already pre-ordered the technology, including bitcoin mining company GRIID Infrastructure and Block, the Jack Dorsey-owned fintech company formerly known as Square.

Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President, SHA-256 Hashing, Intel, said in the announcement, “We expect our circuit innovations to provide a blockchain accelerator with up to 1000 times better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining. performance." The algorithm used to generate bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies.

Intel says more information about the chip will be available at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference starting February 20th. As PCMag points out, the company is due to give a presentation (PDF) titled "Bonanza Mine: An Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC" at ISCC on February 23rd. An ASIC, or Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, is a chip designed for a specific task, such as cryptocurrency mining.

The environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining has become a major concern, and Intel's new chip could be an attempt to address it. Power-hungry mining rigs often get their energy from coal and natural gas plants which can harm the environment, and also contribute to high electricity costs and blackouts. US lawmakers have also raised the issue in Congress, debating how to deal with the increasing energy consumption associated with mining crypto, and even asking bitcoin companies to specify that they How much can you use? consume energy.

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