The big guy from Silicon Valley wants a bite of the crypto pie and has decided that filing a new patent for a Bitcoin mining chip “accelerator” would be the best way to go about it.
How the crypto community reacts to it remains to be seen, but from the outset, it looks as though the chip giant wants to gain their trust by promising more energy-efficient mining.
However, you would be wrong if you thought Intel was working on its own Bitcoin miner or a new ASIC. Instead, the company seems keen on rolling out an add-on to existing mining devices. You could say that chipzilla doesn’t want to be limited to ASICs alone, but plans on extending support to SoCs (system on chip), and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) platforms.
As you can see in the application here, Intel wants to patent a “Bitcoin Mining Hardware Accelerator With Optimized Message Digest and Message Scheduler Datapath.” Note that chipzilla filed the application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) way back in September 2016. So this is not a “breaking news” per se, except for that it appeared on the USPTO website on March 29, 2018.
In the filing, the Santa Clara, California-based company outlines a method for augmenting the Bitcoin mining process. According to Intel, said method results in a greater energy efficiency, thereby increasing profitability for miners.
The application reads:
“Because the software and hardware utilized in Bitcoin mining uses brute force to repeatedly and endlessly perform SHA-256 functions, the process of Bitcoin mining can be very power-intensive and utilize large amounts of hardware space. The embodiments described herein optimize Bitcoin mining operations by reducing the space utilized and power consumed by Bitcoin mining hardware”
Later in the application, Intel notes that compared to general-purpose processors, the “accelerator” approach is likely to lead to a 35 percent drop in power consumption by Bitcoin mining rigs.
As stated earlier, Intel has made it abundantly clear in the application that the concept it outlined is not confined to application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) alone, but it will also cover the likes of SoCs and FPGAs. In other words, the new technology it is referring to will come with the ability to serve a range of different mining set-ups.
It is worth mentioning here that this is not the first time Intel is drawing an association with the rapidly expanding crypto mining industry. In 2015, the company designed chips for Silicon Valley-based 21 Inc. mining center that later founded the Earn.com platform.
But all things considered, it looks like Intel is in no mood to focus explicitly on the cryptocurrency industry. Rather, the company seems to be working on a roadmap to develop technologies that could improve the mining process.