For now it appears its efforts are focused on improving GPUs for crypto mining.
On Friday, Raja M. Koduri, senior VP of accelerated computing systems and graphics group at Intel, declared their intent to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies. This begins with introducing energy-efficient crypto mining accelerators to be released this year. Previously, Intel had announced it would unveil the next generation of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit mining machines at the next International Solid-State Circuits Conference later this month.
The company would also form a new International Solid-State Circuits Conference within Koduri’s division. It would be responsible for building custom silicon platforms for optimizing blockchain mining performance and for the design of supercomputers alike.
In addition, the firm believes that its circuit innovations will deliver a blockchain accelerator that has over 1000 times better performance per watt, or energy used per units time, than mainstream GPUs used to mine blockchain networks utilizing SHA-256 encryption. Regarding the development, Intel said:
“Argo Blockchain, BLOCK (formerly known as Square), and GRIID Infrastructure are among our first customers for this upcoming product. This architecture is implemented on a tiny piece of silicon to have minimal impact on the supply of current products.”
Intel has had an odd, low profile relationship with the crypto currency space over the years. Though traditionally, the Bitcoin network’s mining difficulty has increased to the point that ASICs are required over GPUs for a chance to profitability. As for Ethereum mining, NVIDIA and AMD currently dominate the sphere with their GPUs sold en mass to local miners. Prior to unveiling its Bitcoin mining hardware, Intel has not seen much action in the crypto space, aside from taking a small stake in Coinbase stock last year.