While cryptocurrencies have their own benefits and drawbacks, one major drawback is that crypto miners tend to scalp up GPUs, CPUs and other parts, thus causing a scarcity in the market. Intel could be looking to solve a part of this problem, by developing special chips for cryptocurrency miners. Also Read - Intel introduces Alder Lake-HX Series processors: All you need to know
While Intel has not revealed any details, Tom’s Hardware has spotted that Intel is set to give a presentation at the 2022 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) about a new “Bonanza Mine” processor. The chip is being described as an “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient bitcoin-mining application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).” Also Read - Asus BR1100 series laptops launched in India at Rs 24,999: Check specs, other details
To recall, Intel GPU chief Raja Koduri during a livestream held last year stated that the company has been working on developing specialised crypto-mining hardware. According to Tom’s Hardware, Intel had previously filed a patent for a processing system, which used the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function, which is also used by several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, for verifying transactions. Also Read - These tech CEOs earned massive bonuses during the pandemic
Note, Intel does not have had to develop the chip from scratch, considering that its SHA-256 Extensions are supported on Ice Lake processors and later. Also, it can optimise older generation chips to function as a top-end crypto mining chip.
We recommend that you take this news with a pinch of salt, considering that Intel has not revealed any details about the so called crypto mining chipset. However, if the report is true, and the company is going to launch a crypto mining chip, then it will go into direct competition with Bitmain, a Chinese company that specializes in making ASICs for mining bitcoin.
Apart from this, Intel has already stated that it will proactively discourage people from using its upcoming Arc Alchemist GPU for mining. While there is still some time before we get to see Arc GPUs, it will be interesting to see if the company ends up using a hash rate limiter or not.