Intel Corp announced Friday the launch of a super-fast, energy-efficient processor chip that will be used for blockchain applications. Intel's "blockchain accelerator", which is expected to run 1000x faster than the closest competitors, will be available for customers in the second half of 2018.
Intel's first foray into the blockchain processing chip
The official release is by Raja M. Koduri (Senior Vice President, General Manager Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group), which explains the launch of the Intel bitcoin accelerator.
"Today, Intel has declared its intention to support the development of blockchain technology with a roadmap that includes energy-efficient accelerators. In his piece, Raja stated that Intel will promote an open and secure ecosystem for blockchain technology and will work to make this technology more sustainable.
Intel, the second-largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips in the world, had a presentation scheduled under "Highlighted Chip Releases", at the ISSCC conference last month.
It presented its chip for the blockchain industry, a "Bonanza Mine", processor, and described it as an "ultra-low voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC."
Jack Dorsey's Block Among First Clients
The Jack Dorsey-led Block Inc, formerly Square, is one of the main clients to have expressed interest in the new processor chip.
"Argo Blockchain (previously known as Square) and BLOCK (previously known as Square) are some of our first customers for the upcoming product. Raja explained that this architecture is implemented on a small piece of silicon to minimize impact on the supply of existing products.
Bitcoin Decentralization Increased?
The new Intel chip is expected to be shipping in 2021. It promises to make Bitcoin mining faster and more efficient.
Raja stated that "we expect that our circuit innovations for blockchain accelerators will deliver over 1000x higher performance per watt than the mainstream GPUs used in SHA-256-based mining."
Intel's entry into the blockchain industry could bring more players to the field of mining with its provision of fast processing capacity.
Jack Dorsey's Block confirmed that it is currently working to bring online a new Bitcoin mining system for at-home use.
However, Intel's entry in the blockchain industry will be challenged by MicroBT, a well-known supplier of Bitcoin mining hardware products and Bitmain.