Semiconductor manufacturer Intel will unveil an energy-efficient Bitcoin ASIC called “Bonanza Mine” at the International Solid-State Circuits (ISSC) conference.
Details about the $223 billion company’s upcoming foray into bitcoin mining are sparse. It’s not clear if Intel will present a viable product or just showcase a prototype chip.
The ASIC presentation will take place on February 23.
Intel has been working on its entry into the Bitcoin market for quite some time. In 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the chip giant a patent for the efficient mining of cryptocurrencies using the SHA-256 algorithm.
In October, the company confirmed that it would not weaken Arc Alchemist GPUs to scare away cryptocurrency miners and refused to follow Nvidia’s lead.
Intel’s graphics chief Raja Koduri said in a December interview that GPUs should be used for gaming, not mining. He also appears to have touted the company’s new mining product:
But being able to do much more efficient blockchain validation at a much lower cost, much lower power, is a pretty solvable problem. And you know, we are working on that, and at some point in time, hopefully not too far into the future, we will kinda share some interesting hardware for that.
Intel faces stiff competition from Bitmain and MicroBT, the world’s largest manufacturers of Bitcoin mining hardware. The Bitcoin hashrate, the total computing power of the network, recently reached a new all-time high of 216 EH/s, according to data from Blockchain.com.
The introduction of an energy-efficient ASIC could be a game-changer for the industry, given growing concerns about Bitcoin’s excessive power consumption and its impact on the environment.