Post: Intel Blockscale ASIC, New Bitcoin Mining Chip Available Q3 2022

The newly-named Blockscale ASIC has been one of the year’s top bitcoin stories. A juggernaut like Intel entering the bitcoin mining space is huge, and the company’s low-energy PR strategy has worked. The headline of today’s story is that the first batch arrives in Q3 of this year to the already announced clients. 

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There’s a new detail, though. The Blockscale ASIC is a chip and not a mining machine as everyone expected. Each company will use it to develop its own miners. Intel will focus on being the chipmaker. The press release explains it better: 

“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.”

The company summarizes its promise as, “energy-efficient hashing for proof-of-work consensus networks.” The fact that these ASICs are greener and more sustainable is a big part of the project. In February, Senior Vice President Raja M. Koduri stated the way Intel intends to conduct business in the blockchain space:

“Today, we at Intel are declaring our intent to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies, with a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators. Intel will engage and promote an open and secure blockchain ecosystem and will help advance this technology in a responsible and sustainable way.”  

The Blockscale ASIC And Sustainability

In Intel’s press release about the Blockscale ASIC chip, the company quotes Balaji Kanigicherla, Intel vice president and general manager of Custom Compute in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group. Unsurprisingly, he keeps pushing the sustainable messaging:

“Momentum around blockchain continues to build. 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.”

So does the other quotee; 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.”

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About The Silicon’s Scarcity 

The Intel team doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers. They make sure to clarify that the Blockscale ASIC chips’ fabrication will not further affect the global chip shortage: 

“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.”

A giant company like Intel has to manage its communications very well. The ESG FUD directed toward bitcoin affected it in the eyes of the general public. For Intel to involve itself in the profitable but controversial world of bitcoin mining, it had to be solving the perceived energy problem. And their PR campaign has been masterful so far.

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First, through an obscure conference, Intel announced it was entering the bitcoin mining space. Then, the company revealed its first clients, BLOCK, Argo Blockchain, and GRIID. Then, Intel announced the price and the technical specifications of their new mining chip. Finally, the company got yet another client, green mining enthusiasts HIVE Blockchain. So far, every move has been perfectly executed.

And now, the chips have a name: Blockscale ASICs. Available to selected clients from Q3 2022.

Featured Image: Intel chip taken from the press release| Charts by TradingView

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