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Intel to unveil its new “Bonanza Mine” chip for bitcoin crypto mining at ISSCC

Intel has created a new mining chip named “Bonanza Mine” to enter the digital cryptocurrency hardware industry. The new CPU is expected to be unveiled during the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, according to rumors (ISSCC 2022). From February 20th through February 24th, the ISSCC will be held online.

Last year’s conference took on a hybrid structure, with some companies opting for in-person presentations and others opting for internet presentations. Despite this, the committee has opted to go digital this year to coincide with the global growth of Omnicron and government travel bans in numerous regions.

The ISSCC conference promotes itself as “the foremost global forum for [the] presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip. The conference offers a unique opportunity for engineers working at the cutting edge of IC design and application to maintain technical currency and to network with leading experts.”

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Intel will hold a live presentation on the “Bonanza Mine: An Ultra-Low-Voltage Energy-Efficient Bitcoin Mining ASIC” on February 23, 2022, at 7 a.m. PST. An ASIC, or Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, is a chip intended for a specific task, in this case, mining the digital currency Bitcoin. While assisting with Bitcoin mining, Intel’s new processor will allow for low power consumption and remain highly efficient. Intel is expected to compete directly with Bitmain in the specialist ASICs Bitcoin mining sector.

During a live video on Dr. Lupo’s YouTube channel late last December, Raja Koduri, Intel’s Systems and Graphics Architect, Senior Vice President, and General Manager, discussed the company’s ambitions to study and manufacture specialized hardware for crypto mining. The debate arose during Koduri’s promotion of the company’s upcoming Arc Alchemist series, which will be released in the following months.

Bitmain charges a premium for specialized silicon hardware used by digital currency miners. With Intel working on ASIC Bitcoin mining ideas, Bitmain will have to come up with something unique that Intel won’t be able to give for digital currency mining.

Intel first indicated an interest in crypto mining hardware in 2018 when it filed a patent for a specialized processing system that used a specially designed cryptographic algorithm known as SHA-256. We are now approaching information regarding the newest CPU because patents take several years to come to completion.

Because the company is recognized for implementing SHA-256 algorithms in its processors, using the algorithm and silicon production processes for crypto mining is a significant step forward for the Bitcoin mining market.

During Dr. Lupo’s interview with Koduri, the Senior VP and GM mentioned the company’s view on blockchain and hardware usage.

The other part of the answer is that we do think that this whole blockchain, as you call it, […], I think blockchain is a transaction thing that is run much more efficiently than the burning of hardware cycles, is something we are working on. And that’s not a GPU thing, so don’t try to confuse that as a GPU thing. GPUs will do graphics, gaming, and all those wonderful things. But being able to do much more efficient blockchain validation at a much lower cost, much lower power, is a pretty solvable problem. And you know, we are working on that, and at some point in time, hopefully not too far into the future, we will kinda share some interesting hardware for that.

Intel is attempting to persuade users of graphics cards, particularly future ARC Alchemist buyers, not to use their newest GPUs for mining. The business saw that a crypto mining option from Intel would be required in the future to compete with other significant manufacturers like AMD and NVIDIA. Bitcoin cannot use graphics cards for mining, which is why Intel’s move is so significant. Their graphics cards are presently used to mine cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and others.

Intel has not released any information before their presentation this following Sunday, such as whether “Bonanza Mine” is considered a research project by the company or whether it will be available for consumer use in the future. It is under low speculation that it will be a planned release in the future, being that the presentation is classifying itself under “Highlighted Chip Releases: Digital/ML.”

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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