Intel’s formal venture into the crypto world presents a win-win situation for both – gaming and cryptocurrencies.
Intel, the world’s largest chip manufacturer by revenue, officially announced its foray into the world of cryptocurrencies with the launch of a powerful new mining chip. The company intends to cash in on the boom of crypto and non-fungible token (NFT) mining operations with its latest chipset, which it claims functions 1,000 times faster than most conventional Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).
Intel firmly believes its chip is an energy-efficient “accelerator” that can make blockchain tasks significantly faster and more environmentally friendly. If this is true, it could improve efficiency and reduce the otherwise sizeable carbon footprint of blockchain mining activities.
“We expect that our circuit innovations will deliver a blockchain accelerator that has over 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs,” said Raja M Koduri, Senior VP and General Manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group at Intel Corporation, in a blog post. “You will be able to learn more about our circuit innovations at the International Solid-State Circuit Conference (ISSCC) this month,” he added.
The move comes as no surprise, given the immense potential in the blockchain and NFT industry. Not to mention, Intel competitor NVIDIA Corp., whose chips are widely used for mining activities, already has a dedicated chip to support Ethereum-based mining.
Shipping of the chips will commence later in 2022, and its first customers include GRIID Infrastructure and Block Inc, which was previously Square Inc. With Jack Dorsey at the reins, the Square Inc. renamed itself to Block Inc. to emphasize its focus on blockchain technologies.
Intel also announced the acquisition of Israeli firm Tower Semiconductor in a $5.4 billion deal. The deal will give the US chipmaker an edge over others in satisfying the global semiconductor shortage and put it at the forefront of making custom-designed chips.
Intel’s formal venture into the crypto world presents a win-win situation for both – gaming and cryptocurrencies. Intel’s roadmap incorporates scalability whilst deploying sustainable solutions with massive processing power.
“Amazing things happen when a lot of computing power is available to a lot of people without much friction. We are looking forward to the next set of amazing things!” Raja M Kudori said.
Intel Labs have constantly been trying to create breakthroughs and crack bottlenecks associated with integrated circuitry, cryptography, and GPUs. In its most recent blog post, the company wrote that there is immense potential in the arenas of blockchain technology, Metaverse, and Web 3.0. To materialize its vision and tap this potential, Intel has also assembled a new Custom Compute Group within Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit.
There have been rising concerns around the energy consumption associated with blockchain mining operations, thus creating the need for energy-efficient solutions. Koduri’s blog post read that the chipmaker will “engage and promote an open and secure blockchain ecosystem and will help advance this technology in a responsible and sustainable way.”
“We are mindful that some blockchains require an enormous amount of computing power, which unfortunately translates to an immense amount of energy. Our customers are asking for scalable and sustainable solutions, which is why we are focusing our efforts on realizing the full potential of blockchain by developing the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale,” the blog post stated.
First Published: IST