Intel officially enters the cryptomining business with new Bonanza chips which supposedly deliver 1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs
The persistent boom revolving around digital currencies like Bitcoin is an annoyance for a large number of gamers, most of which probably still struggle with getting their hands on a well-performing GPU at a fair and reasonable price. However, even CPU heavyweight Intel is now officially joining the cryptomining party and has revealed ambitious plans for its blockchain-focused accelerators.
In a new press release written by Senior Vice President Raja M. Koduri, the San Francisco-based chipmaker has officially announced the formation of a new custom compute group, which will "contribute to the development of blockchain technologies with a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators". Intel further admits that cryptomining and blockchains in general "require an enormous amount of computing power, which unfortunately translates to an immense amount of energy". It therefore aims to produce very efficient chips to tackle this issue.
These new ASICs have already been leaked under the "Bonanza" codename, and Intel has now confirmed that these so-called blockchain accelerators will indeed be released later this year. Thanks to decades worth of research on cryptography and hashing techniques, Intel appears to be confident that these new ultra-low voltage cryptomining ASICs will be able to provide "1000x better performance per watt than mainstream GPUs for SHA-256 based mining".
The company plans to provide more details on its cryptomining and blockchain efforts at the upcoming International Solid State Circuit Conference, which takes place in San Francisco in a couple of weeks. It remains to be seen if Intel can truly deliver on all these promises, and if its new cryptomining chipsets could possibly ease the GPU shortage that gamers are still suffering under, even though graphics cards are not commonly used for the advertised SHA-256 Bitcoin mining.