Intel unveils 3,600-watt ASIC Bitcoin mining rig

nanoguy

Posts: 1,216   +21
Staff member
In brief: Intel's first ASIC mining solution isn't quite as powerful or as efficient as existing offerings from companies like Bitmain, MicroBT, and Canaan. However, the company seems determined to develop increasingly energy-efficient solutions that it believes would help reduce the environmental impact of mining Bitcoin and other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this month, Intel revealed it had been investing in blockchain technology as part of its renewed strategy to develop “the most energy-efficient computing technologies at scale.” These investments have mostly gone into developing specialized chips for hashing cryptocurrency transactions, also known as mining ASICs.

During this year’s IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), Intel revealed more details about its first-generation “Bonanza Mine” (BMZ1) blockchain acceleration solution. The company has already started taking orders, and among its first clients are Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly known as Square) and Bitcoin mining company GRIID.

The silicon giant also unveiled a 3,600-watt mining rig based on no less than 300 BMZ1 chips with a total system hash rate of 40 terahashes per second. For reference, Bitmain’s Antminer S19j can deliver up to 90 terahashes per second using around 3,100 watts. The latter company even claims its upcoming liquid-cooled miner will deliver up to 198 terahashes per second with a power consumption of 5,445 watts.

On the one hand, the current Bonanza Mine system doesn’t compare too favorably with existing solutions from competitors, at least in terms of mining efficiency. On the other hand, the small die size of the BMZ1 chip (7 by 7.5mm) allows for a density of up to 4,000 per wafer, possibly making this a more cost-effective alternative. Intel is also working on a second-generation blockchain accelerator chip, offering better performance-per-watt.

Cryptocurrency mining energy consumption has been a hot topic for a while now, and leading Bitcoin mining outfits have been trying to reduce the stigma around it. It's not yet clear how Intel's mining rig can help that cause, but perhaps time will tell.

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brucek

Posts: 1,128   +1,671
To really help with that, just stop, cease and desist on all the crypto tech.
I agree, but I'm worried it seems to be going the other way. Recently I got offers from two old school financial companies, one a credit card issuer and the other an index fund provider. Both were building crypto into their products - the credit card company would issue its rewards in the form of crypto, and the index fund would now allocate a percentage to this "new asset class." What this means is that we're building a towards system where ordinary people are creating perpetual demand for new crypto purchases, often invisibly to them, as scheduled background jobs running on perpetual repeat.

Of course none of this has anything to do with fundamental value and the second it falls out of fashion or is outlawed via legislation it'll all go poof.
 

letsgoiowa

Posts: 68   +127
This is why I don't like Bitcoin's SHA-256 nonsense. It's only feasible for ASICs like these.
If you absolutely positively need to go proof of work, then use RandomX that is CPU only, so everyone can contribute instead of just those who can make ASICs and buy them.
Bitcoin maxis seem to forget that was the original intention specifically outlined in the whitepaper: 1 CPU = 1 vote.
Monero is what Bitcoin wants to be.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,265   +1,771
This is why I don't like Bitcoin's SHA-256 nonsense. It's only feasible for ASICs like these.
If you absolutely positively need to go proof of work, then use RandomX that is CPU only, so everyone can contribute instead of just those who can make ASICs and buy them.
Bitcoin maxis seem to forget that was the original intention specifically outlined in the whitepaper: 1 CPU = 1 vote.
Monero is what Bitcoin wants to be.
Just last week the MineXMR pool hit 52% of the network's hash - not good for decentralization. CPU mining may make it more accessible but I'm not sure it makes it more efficient. Ultimately everything has advantages and limitations and crypto has enough enemies (look around this comment section) that we should avoid eating each other.

I'd personally like an even lower-power ASIC that could be plugged into a standard 120v outlet, that could be easily moved. I could use it in the office as supplemental heat in the winter and move it into the basement during the summer. As more manufacturers move into the space I expect we'll start seeing more miners in a wider range of prices.
 

Vanderlinde

Posts: 141   +101
What an incredible waste of 3600 Watts.

Yep. Thats running a airconditioning plus inductionplate pretty much at the same time, for solving something really not urgent or meaninfull at all other then the greedy pockets of sustaining such a energy consuming network.

The more btc's are mined the more difficult it will become so. So lets say your 10x 90 ths now would be OK in a half year perhaps it would be halved. There is no real use case after BTC if you ask me so it's another e-waste.

 

RedGuard

Posts: 121   +99
I don't get it, 40 TH/s for 3600 watts at $0.25 per KW equates to a loss of $15 daily. Who's going to buy such a device?
 

brucek

Posts: 1,128   +1,671
I don't get it, 40 TH/s for 3600 watts at $0.25 per KW equates to a loss of $15 daily. Who's going to buy such a device?
Someone who pays less than that (US average is $.1042 per KW), or maybe even zero (stealing power not unheard of for some of these operators); and/or someone who believes crypto prices are rising.
 

letsgoiowa

Posts: 68   +127
Just last week the MineXMR pool hit 52% of the network's hash - not good for decentralization. CPU mining may make it more accessible but I'm not sure it makes it more efficient. Ultimately everything has advantages and limitations and crypto has enough enemies (look around this comment section) that we should avoid eating each other.

I'd personally like an even lower-power ASIC that could be plugged into a standard 120v outlet, that could be easily moved. I could use it in the office as supplemental heat in the winter and move it into the basement during the summer. As more manufacturers move into the space I expect we'll start seeing more miners in a wider range of prices.
I'm also worried about the pool problem, but a solution has been developed: P2Pool. Bitcoin also has a similar pool problem where pool collusion could easily cause double spends.
The solution p2pool has is genius and should honestly be the only option allowed.
 

cuerdc

Posts: 266   +91
There should be simply a power limit of a single phase supply per household/company even though one miner at 3000w+ seems excessive never mind a warehouse full.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,039   +726
Cryptocurrency mining energy consumption has been a hot topic for a while now, and leading Bitcoin mining outfits have been trying to reduce the stigma around it. It's not yet clear how Intel's mining rig can help that cause, but perhaps time will tell.
Given that GPU mining would use nearly 35 times that much power to do the same work, this is an improvement all around and as those ASICs reach market saturation, used GPUs will hit the market and prices will come back down to sensible levels. New GPUs will follow suit and the world can return to some degree of normalcy.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 2,074   +1,654
To really help with that, just stop, cease and desist on all the crypto tech.
Why would you want that? Decentralised currency is one of the best things to happen for the average human being on this planet. Look at the trucker convoy in Canada, the government seized the funds donated to them from gofundme, if they had transferred cryptocurrency the canadian government would not have been able to do this. And whilst you may or may not agree with the cause of the canadian truckers you surely dont want governments to just be able to arbitrarily seize money at their whim. You also cant just print more money with crypto, if we used cryptos instead of regular centralised currencies governments wouldnt be able to just print money (quantitative easing) which increases inflation and reduces the value of the cash you hold. Look at Venezuela where their inflation is at 2700%. Any Venezuelans that had life savings before have nothing now all because the government out there decided to start printing the currency to pay for their election promises, which is no different to simply taking the money out of your bank account at the end of the day.

Many countries are planning to replace our current banking systems with a state controlled digital currency. When this happens we will wish we had decentralised crypto even more;

https://www.theguardian.com/busines...bank-of-england-digital-currency-uk-brexit-eu