In short words: Intel’s accelerated processing group has begun shipping its second-generation Blockscale ASIC for SHA-256 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The launch is months ahead of schedule, but it’s still too late to take advantage of the latest cryptocurrency craze.
Intel announced it was developing Blockscale ASICs in January, when Bitcoin was worth twice as much as it is now and hardware was desperately in demand. Its second generation is coming after the market has met its needs, which is usually when Intel starts shipping its hardware (I’m looking at you, Arc GPU).
Despite this, the Blockscale ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is a great chip. It measures 7mm by 7.5mm and consumes only 4.8-22.7W but hashes Bitcoin at up to 580 GH / s (gigahash per second). However, it can only perform SHA-256 proof-of-work calculations.
Raja Koduri, executive vice president and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) Group for Intel, tweeted the news late last week …
The Intel AXG Custom Compute team is now rolling out the Blockscale ASIC! The first product will always be unforgettable, congratulations to the team ‘
Excited to see how @ArgoBlockchain @griid And @HiveBlockchain improvise around Blockscale and our open design. pic.twitter.com/0rxtNTLMfw
– Raja Koduri (Bali Makaradhwaja) (@RajaXg) June 29, 2022
Koduri seems to have forgotten about the first-generation Blockscale ASIC announced in February. Intel said at the time that a second-generation model was in development and then announced it just two months later, so perhaps the first version doesn’t qualify as a full-fledged product in Koduri’s eyes.
In any case, the second generation model is much better than the first. It consumes only 26 J / TH (Jules per terahash) while its predecessor consumed 90 J / TH. It is also more competitive with offers from other companies. Intel’s system with 256 ASICs can hash at a speed of 148 TH / s with a power consumption of 3,850 W, about on par with Bitmain’s S19 Pro at 110 TH / s and 3,250 W. Both systems cost between $ 5,000 and $ 6,000.
Koduri tagged GRIID Infrastructure, Hive Blockchain Technologies, and Argo Blockchain in his tweet, three companies that mine cryptocurrencies using renewable energy sources. Intel markets the Blockscale ASIC as an eco-friendly product and it is good to see that it respects these principles by partnering with like-minded companies.