With a new chip intended to mine cryptocurrencies, Intel is investing in blockchain technology (via Reuters). The business intends to “create the most energy-efficient computer systems at scale,” with an emphasis on sustainability.
Intel will release its first crypto-focused processor, dubbed a “blockchain accelerator,” later this year. GRIID Infrastructures, a Bitcoin mining startup, and Block, the Jack Dorsey-owned fintech company formerly known as Square, are two companies that have already preordered the technology.
THE IMPACT OF CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING ON THE ENVIRONMENT HAS BECOME A MAJOR ISSUE.
“We expect our circuit advancements to produce a blockchain accelerator with over 1000x greater performance per watt than conventional GPUs for SHA-256 based mining,” Raja Koduri, Intel’s senior vice president, says in the release.
The International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which begins on February 20th, will provide further details about the technology, according to Intel. According to PCMag, the business will give a presentation (PDF) on February 23rd at the ISCC titled “Bonanza Mine: An Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC.” Application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs, are chips that are built to do a single activity, such as bitcoin mining.
The impact of cryptocurrency mining on the environment has become a major worry, and Intel’s new processor might be an attempt to remedy this. Mining rigs that require a lot of power are frequently powered by coal and natural gas facilities, which are bad for the environment and lead to high electricity rates and outages. US senators have even raised the matter in Congress, arguing how to deal with the increased energy usage linked with cryptocurrency mining and even requesting that Bitcoin firms reveal how much energy they use.
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