Intel Details New Blockscale ASIC for Energy-Efficient Blockchain Hashing

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Intel has officially launched its new Blockscale ASIC, an initial step toward the company’s commitment in developing new accelerators that require less energy. The Blockscale ASIC features a 26 J/TH power efficiency, according to an early list of specifications shared by Intel, which can also reveal that the unit features up to a 580 GH/s hash rate and dedicated SHA-256 processor. The hardware also touts temperature- and voltage-sensing capabilities, as well as support for up to 256 integrated circuits per chain. Intel’s Blockscale ASIC will begin shipping in Q3 this year to its first customers, which include Block Inc. and Argo Blockchain.

“Momentum around blockchain continues to build,” said Balaji Kanigicherla, Intel vice president and general manager of Custom Compute in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, in a statement. “It is the enabler of decentralized and distributed computing, making way for innovative business models.”

“To power this new era of computing, Intel is delivering solutions that can offer an optimal balance of hashing throughput and energy efficiency regardless of a customer’s operating environment. Intel’s decades of R&D in cryptography, hashing techniques and ultra-low voltage circuits make it possible for blockchain applications to scale their computing power without compromising on sustainability.”

“Intel is committed to advancing blockchain technology in a responsible way, and we’re proud to collaborate with and provide solutions to companies that are creating a more sustainable cryptocurrency ecosystem globally,” said Jose Rios, general manager of Blockchain and Business Solutions in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group at Intel. “The Intel Blockscale ASIC is going to play a major role in helping bitcoin mining companies achieve both sustainability and hash rate scaling objectives in the years ahead.”

Intel Launches New Intel Blockscale Technology for Energy-Efficient Blockchain Hashing (Intel Newsroom)

What’s New: Intel today announced details for its new Intel Blockscale ASIC. Building on years of Intel research and development (R&D), this application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) will provide customers with energy-efficient hashing for proof-of-work consensus networks.

Why It Matters: Compute requirement for blockchains utilizing proof-of-work consensus mechanisms is growing at a rapid rate due to their resiliency and ability to scale without sacrificing decentralization. This growing pool of computing power requires an enormous amount of energy, necessitating new computing technologies that can provide the requisite power in a more energy-efficient manner while also being durable enough to mitigate long-term e-waste concerns.

For proof-of-work algorithms that are compatible with ASIC-based systems and SHA-256 hashing, the Intel Blockscale ASIC will provide the energy efficiency and computing power needed to achieve scalability and sustainability. And given the nature of the silicon powering this technology, Intel will be able to supply it in volume without compromising the supply of new CPUs or GPUs.

What Intel Blockscale ASIC Includes: Key features for the Intel Blockscale ASIC include:

Dedicated Secure Hash Algorithm-256 (SHA-256) ASIC processor.
Up to 580 GH/s hash rate operating and up to 26 J/TH power efficiency.
On-chip temperature- and voltage-sensing capabilities.
Support for up to 256 integrated circuits per chain.
Reference hardware design and software stack to jump-start customers system development.

When It’s Available: Shipments of Intel Blockscale ASIC to customers will begin in the third quarter of 2022. Argo Blockchain, Block Inc., Hive Blockchain Technologies and GRIID Infrastructure will be among the first companies to develop new systems based on Intel’s ASIC.

In 2023 and beyond, Intel will be working with and supplying prospective customers who share the company’s sustainability goals.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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