Intel Launches Second Generation of its Bitcoin Mining Hardware – CoinCheckup Blog

Key takeaways:

  • Intel has updated its Bitcoin mining chip product line with power-efficient dedicated hardware
  • Intel’s second-gen mining equipment, called “Intel Blockscale ASIC”, features on-chip temperature and voltage sensors for improved efficiency
  • The new chips are slated to ship in the third quarter of this year

The new chip brings energy efficiency improvements and user-specific builds

Integrated circuit manufacturing giant Intel has launched the next generation of its mining chip, called the “Intel Blockscale ASIC”. The second generation of Intel’s mining hardware comes just a month after the California-based tech giant unveiled its first generation of Bitcoin mining equipment at this year’s International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC).

According to Intel, the new chip features notable improvements in the energy consumption department thanks to on-chip temperature and voltage sensors. The system is designed to reach up to 580 GH/s (gigahash per second) while drawing up to 22.7 watts of electricity, for maximum power efficiency of 26 J/TH (joules per terahash).

For context, both Bitmain’s Antminer S19 Pro+ Hyd. (27.5 J/TH) and MicroBT’s Whatsminer M30S++ 112T (31 J/TH) feature lower power efficiency. However, the flagship offerings of currently leading Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturers boast a higher hashrate.

While Ethereum and the majority of other digital currencies can be profitably mined with consumer-grade desktop GPUs and CPUs, Bitcoin mining demands far more computing power and specialized ASICs (Application-specific integrated circuits) to meet the requirements of the power-hungry Proof-of-Work (PoW) network. According to Intel, the new chips feature a dedicated SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm-256) ASIC processor and support for up to 256 integrated circuits per chain.

With the latest generation of its PoW miners, Intel is focused on giving end-users a larger degree of freedom when designing their mining machines. Intel wrote in a statement: 

“Optimized for energy efficient hashing, the accelerator enables customized cryptocurrency mining, thereby lowering the total cost of ownership by allowing system designs to be tailored to end user requirements.”

It seems that the strategy of allowing users to build machines based on their particular set of needs is already paying off. Last month, Bitcoin mining firm HIVE Blockchain announced it will acquire Intel’s next-generation mining hardware and expand its operation in the US with a 100-megawatt facility in Texas. Once fully integrated later this year, Intel’s specialized chips will increase HIVE’s aggregate mining hashrate by up to 95%.

According to a report from CoinDesk, Intel’s new mining chips will start shipping in the third quarter of 2022. Intel hasn’t disclosed the pricing and availability of its crypto-centric hardware as of yet.

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