Intel announces new crypto mining FPGA chip

What

Intel have announced a new FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) chip that can be used for cryptocurrency mining

Why

Demand for high-spec processing chips has risen sharply in recent years, leading to a worldwide shortage in various sectors, such as gaming. Combined with supply chain shortages onset by covid lockdowns, Intel’s new chip is an attempt to meet the rising demand

What next

Intel’s new chip reflects the growing use and importance of computer processing power for data-centric companies. Targeted markets for the Agilex M-Series includes data centres — such as cryptocurrency mining companies, 5G/6G network testing, wired and wireless transmission of data, and for aerospace and defence purposes

The story

Intel has promised the new chip will offer the best performance on the market with “The industry’s highest memory bandwidth for an FPGA.” as well as high-end specs for DSP density and higher performance per watt.

Intel appears to be using the crypto mining market as part of its comeback strategy, with the company stating in a press release that “We at Intel are declaring our intent to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies, with a roadmap of energy-efficient accelerators. Intel will engage and promote an open and secure blockchain ecosystem and will help advance this technology in a responsible and sustainable way.”

A recent report by a consortium of mining companies shows the sector is projected to continue growing over the 2020s, which may explain Intel’s sudden interest, especially given comments made by CEO, Patrick P. Gelsinger, in 2019 when he called Bitcoin “badly designed, extreme, and climate intolerant.” 

Gelsinger spoke recently to Bloomberg about frustrations surrounding his turnaround plan, with crypto mining seemingly making up part of the CEO’s strategy to turn around the company’s fortunes. Share prices have seen continual decline following recent earnings reports and the company has embarked on aggressive expansion into producing chips for new purposes.

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