In a nutshell: Intel’s Accelerated Computing Group has begun shipping its second generation Blockscale ASICs for SHA-256 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The launch is months ahead of schedule, but it’s still too late to capitalize on the latest cryptocurrency craze.

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Intel announced that she was developing ASIC Blockscale in January, when bitcoin was worth twice as much as now, and the equipment was desperately needed. Its second generation comes after the market has satisfied its needs, which usually happens when Intel starts shipping its hardware (I’m looking at you Arc GPUs).

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Despite this, the block ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is great chip. It measures 7mm by 7.5mm and consumes only 4.8-22.7W, but processes bitcoin at up to 580 GH/s (gigahash per second). However, it is only capable of SHA-256 validation calculations.

Raja Koduri, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Accelerated Computing and Graphics Group (AXG), tweeted the news late last week…

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Koduri seems to have forgotten about first generation block ASIC it was announced in February. At the time, Intel said that a second generation model was in development, and then announced it’s only two months later, so maybe the first version can’t be considered a full 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 used 90 J/TH. It is also more competitive with other companies’ offerings. An Intel system with 256 ASICs can hash at 148 TH/s at 3850W, which is roughly the same as a Bitmain S19 Pro with 110 TH/s and 3250W. Both systems cost between $5,000 and $6,000.

Koduri noted in his tweet GRIID Infrastructure, Hive Blockchain Technologies and Argo Blockchain, three companies that mine cryptocurrencies using renewable energy sources. Intel positions Blockscale’s ASIC as a green product, and it’s great to see the company uphold these principles by partnering with like-minded companies.