Intel’s Bitcoin-Mining ‘Bonanza Mine’ Chip Bags First Big Customer (Updated)

    Update: Intel provided further comments, which we’ve added in the article below.

    Tom’s Hardware broke the news yesterday that Intel would present a new “Bonanza Mine” ASIC chip designed for ultra-low-voltage and energy-efficient Bitcoin mining at the upcoming ISSCC conference, but Intel would neither confirm nor deny if it would make the chip available to customers. Today, Fox Business reports that crypto-mining startup GRIID, which is set to go public for an estimated $3.3 billion on the NYSE in the coming days, has signed a long-term contract with Intel for its “BMZ2” mining ASICs. This means Intel will in fact compete with its own specialized ASICs for Bitcoin mining, opening up a new market that the company hasn’t addressed directly in the past.

    GRIID divulged the news via its S-4 filing, which covers its plans to operate three industrial-scale facilities totaling a massive 48 megawatts of power. The company’s filing says that it has contracted with both Bitmain and MicroBT for mining ASICs, but has also “[…] entered into a definitive supply contract with Intel to provide ASICs that we expect to fuel our growth. The initial order will supply units to be delivered in 2022 and GRIID will have access to a significant share of Intel’s future production volumes.”

    Bitcoin is typically mined on ASICs, which are specialized processors specifically designed to execute one type of workload. ASICs afford efficiency and performance advantages over more complex types of chips, like CPUs and GPUs, that can perform the same task. As a result, the overwhelming majority of Bitcoin mining occurs on ASICs, with companies like Bitmain providing the specialized silicon to miners at hefty premiums.

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