The Blockchain domain is becoming diverse with each passing day. Therefore, a number of tech and finance companies or organizations are venturing out into the domain. A few months ago, on April 4, 2022, the popular computing tech company, Intel Corp. (NYSE: INTC), announced the launch of “Intel Blockscale ASIC” which aims to revolutionize the way the blockchain domain works.
The American tech company mentioned that building such a technology took years of research and development to ensure optimum results. Intel also mentioned in the announcement that this application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is developed to enable customers to access a hashing program that is energy-efficient and will aid in proof-of-work consensus operations. In the future, one can expect Blockscale ASIC to secure itself in the popular blockchain domain names.
Why Is This Development Important?
Today, the demand for computing services in order to carry out proof-of-work consensus network operations is rapidly increasing. This is because of their potency and the capability to scale operations without having to withhold decentralization. Due to the increasing demand and the subsequent development of computing systems, a lot of pressure has been exhibited on energy resources. This is why Intel thought that such an innovation or development was necessary. Blockscale ASIC is one such technology that can ensure the provision of the required amount of work in limited resources, thus, being “energy-efficient”. Moreover, it is resilient and capable of controlling e-waste issues in the long term.
The Intel Blockscale ASIC will deliver energy efficiency along with computing solutions for better scalability and achieving sustainability. For this purpose, the proof-of-work algorithms should be compatible with ASIC-operated software and systems, and the SHA-256 hashing function. The nature of the silicon used for building the Blockscale will ensure that all the aforementioned services are offered without pressurizing.
Jose Rios, general manager of Blockchain and Business Solutions in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group at Intel, educated customers further about the product. He mentioned that Intel has been committed to developing blockchain technology in a dutiful fashion. Moreover, he informed that they have been partnering with various companies and organizations in the global market, which develop different crypto or digital assets. Mr. Rios also brought light to the fact that Blockscale will play a significant role in Bitcoin Mining activities in the future. Further, it is expected to aid companies associated with Bitcoin Mining to scale up their hash-rate operations.
Balaji Kanigicherla, Intel vice president and general manager of Custom Compute in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group said,
“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. Intel’s decades of R&D in cryptography, hashing techniques, and ultra-low voltage circuits make it possible for blockchain applications to scale their computing power without compromising on sustainability.”
The above-mentioned quote directly comes from a prominent personality of Intel. Therefore, it surely helps in better understanding of the matter. It also provides an insight into how the process of Blockscale development was initiated and how far it was taken.
The primary or key features that the Intel Blockscale provides include the following:
- Dedicated Secure Hash Algorithm-256 (SHA-256) ASIC processor.
- Support for up to 256 integrated circuits per chain.
- Up to 580 GH/s hash rate operating and up to 26 J/TH power efficiency.
- Reference hardware design and software stack to jump-start customers’ system development.
- On-chip temperature- and voltage-sensing capabilities.
The hash algorithm it supports (SHA-256) is that of Bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency, this rightly indicates that the Blockscale technology has been developed considering Bitcoin as the basis for research. However, several other digital currencies have emerged in the past years that follow the same hashing function. Therefore, Blockscale will also aid in scaling up their hash rate operations.
Intel Blockscale: When Is It Reaching Us?
Whenever a product is launched people start questioning its availability. Therefore, Intel’s loyal followers have started asking about the availability of Intel Blockscale ASIC for sale. To answer this, a reference from the official press release for the product’s launch mentions that Intel promised to start shipment of the product in the third quarter of FY22 (October-December) to its customers which include some known companies operating in the crypto domain. The initial customers who would utilize Blockscale ASIC for the formulation of other systems are:
- Hive Blockchain Technologies (CVE: HVE)
- Argo Blockchain (LON: ARB)
- Block Inc. (formerly known as Square) (NYSE: SQ)
- GRIID Infrastructure (NYSE: GRDI)
Intel is planning to work with several other companies in 2023 and even beyond that. The tech company will deliver its ASIC product to prospective customers including companies who will share their scalability plans.
Intel Blockscale ASIC: Where To Buy?
The company has yet not provided an easy-to-access or convenient mode of ordering the product. Further, the Intel Blockscale ASIC cost is also a mystery till now. The company might disclose the pricing and cost information once the shipment date inches closer. Currently, one can inquire or most probably place pre-orders for the product at the website division specifically allotted to the product.
Merits of Intel Blockscale ASIC
The website which was designed for the Blockscale ASIC mentions the following benefits it provides its customer:
- Design Flexibility: The Intel Blockscale ASIC is developed with a system-level design that can act as a reference or point from which the customers can start developing systems or solutions to meet their specific needs. The product is flexible enough so that it can aid a pool of customers and doesn’t pose a limitation.
- Performance and Efficiency: As earlier mentioned, the product will provide the best possible performance without putting pressure on energy resources. Being “energy-efficient” is the Blockscale ASIC’s strength and this is the reason why it is different from a lot of solutions available in the blockchain domain. This feature will ensure efficiency in the hashing operations required.
- Total Cost of Ownership: For the purpose of reducing lifetime operating costs, the product provides a variety of operating frequencies that deliver elasticity between the hash function throughput and energy efficiency. The aforementioned feature functions as per the customer deployment choices.
Let’s Sum It Up
Intel Blockscale ASIC is a fairly new entrant in the blockchain domain and therefore has garnered a lot of attention recently. The technology seems promising due to the benefits it provides and the unique features it possesses. It is launched aiming at revolutionizing the entire blockchain domain’s functioning. Moreover, its “performance and energy efficiency” feature lends it an edge over other competitive systems. However, Blockscale customers and Intel’s loyal followers have to wait till the product’s shipment is officially initiated.
Currently, four known companies from the crypto space, including Block Inc., have been revealed to be its initial customers. Other information such as pricing, installation requirements, and the steps to place an order haven’t been shared. However, customers can still inquire about the Blockscale ASIC from the official webpage of INtel by surfing the division made for this product.