According to a report from Tom's, technology giant Intel is planning to enter the Bitcoin mining market, unveiling a new Bitcoin mining "Bonanza Mine" chip at this year's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISCC) in February Hardware.
Intel is said to have prepared a presentation for the conference that would detail the new Bonanza Mine chip, which is touted as an "ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC."
Though it is unclear whether Intel will introduce the new processor to the general public or remain under a research project for the time being.
"I think blockchain is a transaction thing that is run much more efficiently than the burning of hardware cycles," adding that this was "something we are working on," said GM Raja Koduri last December, when discussing the company's gaming GPUs.
According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin mining consumes around 137 terawatt-hours of energy per year, equivalent to over 9 million houses' typical annual electricity consumption, implying that Bitcoin consumes more power than most countries.
The impact of Intel's new "Bonanza Mine" on Bitcoin's energy consumption is still unknown. According to an Intel spokesperson, the business will "provide additional details in the future."
This isn't the first time Intel has dabbled in the area of crypto.Intel revealed in October that its forthcoming graphics cards would not have cryptocurrency mining restrictions in response to rival NVIDIA's plans to make its own devices "less appealing" for Ethereum miners. Intel also reported in an SEC filing last summer that it owned roughly $800,000 in Coinbase stock.
On the other hand, this move marks a substantial shift for the tech giant into the Bitcoin mining market.