Bitcoin mining may be becoming more efficient. Intel Corp. (INTC) has submitted a patent for a system-on-a-chip (SOC) that contains circuitry to expedite bitcoin mining while using less power. The hardware has been improved to save space and energy throughout the process.
Bitcoin’s energy use was originally brought to light by news stories late last year, when the cryptocurrency’s price started to rise. The cryptocurrency’s proof of work (PoW) consensus method requires huge power in the form of energy consumption by bitcoin network nodes. Their energy usage is mostly employed to solve hard mathematical calculations necessary for currency generation. This was not an issue when there were less bitcoin and less price inflation in the cryptocurrency. The quantity of energy needed by bitcoin’s systems in its network has grown as its supply schedule has ramped up in recent years. According to some estimations, if bitcoin mining were a nation, it would rank 42 in terms of energy usage. (Also see: What Is Bitcoin Mining?)
Intel’s suggested system is made up of many components, including a processor farm, a logic device, and an integrated circuit. It works by lowering the amount of time needed to find the next nonce (or hash header) needed to solve the issue. If the answer is not discovered, Intel’s processor alters the Merkle tree or order of unprocessed transactions and begins a new nonce search. To solve a problem, most modern systems use brute force.
An Energy Consumption Problem
Intel has joined a wave of other technology firms in producing bitcoin mining chips. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (SSNLF) is also producing bitcoin mining chips and has formed an alliance with a Chinese distributor. Analysts had already upped their price forecasts for NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), producers of graphic processing units (GPU) used in bitcoin mining, expecting more sales to bitcoin mining businesses as bitcoin prices rose. (See also: NVIDIA Takes the Lead on CryptocurrencyWave.)
They reduced those expectations last month after learning that Bitmain, the world’s largest bitcoin miner, had collaborated with a Chinese business to build a new application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a processor with greater performance than GPUs. The Intel SOC may operate on a variety of processors, including ASICs and GPUs.
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