Intel Exits Bitcoin Mining Market, but Keeps Eye on Opportunities
Intel, a US-based tech giant, has announced that it will discontinue its Blockscale 1000 chip series, designed for Bitcoin mining.
The company had previously announced that the Blockscale ASIC would be more energy-efficient and powerful than the top-of-the-line ASICs in the market. However, Intel has now prioritized its investments in IDM 2.0, a strategy that uses third-party foundries to manufacture graphics and chipsets.
According to Intel, the decision to end production of the Blockscale ASIC was due to its focus on IDM 2.0. The company plans to tighten resources or pull out of businesses per its strategy.
Tom’s Hardware was the first to report on Intel’s decision to discontinue its mining chips. The company originally planned to ship the Blockscale ASIC in Q3 of 2022, with Argo Blockchain, Block (formerly Square), GRIID Infrastructure, and Hive Blockchain named its first customers.
Hive Blockchain had touted Intel’s chips as playing a crucial role in improving the efficiency of its ASIC fleet. However, due to the fall in bitcoin prices and the crypto winter, Intel now anticipates stopping orders for Blockscale in five months and discontinuing the chip by April 20 next year.
Intel’s former graphics chief, Raja Koduri, announced the company’s energy-efficient computing technology in February 2022. He had said that a custom compute group would be created within the company’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit.
Thank you @RajaXg for your many contributions to Intel tech & architecture-especially w/high-performance graphics that helped bring 3 new product lines to market in ‘22. Wishing you success as you create a new software co. around generative AI for gaming, media & entertainment.
— Pat Gelsinger (@PGelsinger) March 21, 2023
However, Intel split the unit in December to focus on “critical growth engines,” and Koduri returned to his previous position as Intel’s chief architect. Not long after, Koduri left Intel to create an AI-focused software company, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.
Although Intel is discontinuing its Blockscale ASIC, the company has indicated that it will continue to monitor market opportunities in the Bitcoin market.