Intel offered to take a closer look at its new range of specialized bitcoin processors for mining.
First opened Earlier this month, the first-generation Intel Bonanza Mine (BM) chip, BMZ1, was the subject of a detailed presentation at the ISSCC 2022 semiconductor conference.
At the exhibition, Intel showed that each BMZ1 die has dimensions of 4.14 x 3.42 mm and contains 258 mining motors operating at “ultra-low” voltage of 355 mV. Each of these small chips is said to consume 7.5 watts of power and reach speeds of up to 137 hash / s.
The firm says it can pack 300 BMZ1 chips into a 3600-watt ASIC miner capable of achieving a respectable performance of approximately 40 THash / sec. The system can also be configured to work with different performance profiles that provide different levels of energy efficiency.
Intel is entering the Bitcoin game
Although initially the creator of bitcoin believed that mining would occur as standard desktop processors, it quickly became clear that there are more efficient and effective ways to extract. Today, all professional mining operations rely on ASIC devices that run on chips created specifically to calculate the SHA-256 hashing algorithm on which Bitcoin is based.
Currently, the market for ASIC machines is dominated by players such as Bitmain and MicroBT, but the advent of specialized silicon Intel could throw a cat among the pigeons.
Although Intel focused exclusively on BMZ1 during the ISSCC presentation, the company previously revealed that second-generation BMZ2 chips are already available to individual customers, including BLOCK (in Square’s virginity) and Argo Blockchain.
Thus, although Intel’s 3600-watt ASIC miner is not available for the performance of the best hardware with Bitmain (whose most productive miner reaches 140 THash / s at 3010 watts), it is possible that the mysterious BMZ2 will be much more competitive.
Little is known about the company’s alleged approach to BM, but Intel is expected to sell chips to third parties developing their own mining systems. It is also possible that Intel will decide to market its own BM-based mining systems as stand-alone products.
While the company’s mining chips remain shrouded in secrecy, the initial promise demonstrated by its first-generation ASIC, and the formation of a dedicated internal team to support the effort, suggests that Intel still has a long way to go.
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