On Monday, semiconductor manufacturing titan Intel unveiled its new Bitcoin (BTC) mining chip, Blockscale. The application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC, hardware is designed to operate on proof-of-work blockchains using SHA-256 encryption.
As told by Intel, Blockscale will have a hash rate of up to 580 gigahash per second (or 0.58 terahash per second, TH/s), consuming between 4.8 to 22.7 watts of power, and having an energy efficiency of up to 26 joules per terahash (J/TH). Each chip can be combined and merged into a single mining unit, increasing its output with a maximum of 256 integrated circuits per chain.
Blockscale concept art | Source: Intel
In comparison, Bitmain's Antminer S19 Pro, one of the leading Bitcoin mining machines on the market, has a hash rate of 110 TH/s, consumes 3,250 watts of power, and possesses an energy efficiency of 30 J/TH. Theoretically, a mining unit composed of 256 Blockscale chips would have a total hash rate of 148.5 TH/s and consume between 1,228 to 5,811 watts of power at around the same energy efficiency.
Intel says it will start shipping Blockscale during the third quarter of 2022. Argo Blockchain, Block, Hive Blockchain Technologies and GRIID Infrastructure will be among the first companies to develop new systems based on the firm's ASIC. Regarding the development, Jose Rios, general manager of blockchain and business solutions in the accelerated computing systems and graphics group at Intel, commented:
"We are proud to collaborate with and provide solutions to companies that are creating a more sustainable cryptocurrency ecosystem globally. The Intel Blockscale ASIC will play a major role in helping Bitcoin mining companies achieve both sustainability and hash rate scaling objectives in the years ahead."