On Nov. 27, the world’s second-largest semiconductor chip maker, Intel, was granted a patent for a processing system that mines Bitcoin but utilizes more “energy-efficient hardware accelerators.” According to the patent called the “Optimized SHA256 Datapath,” the newly invented “high-performance” Bitcoin mining process could reduce overall power consumption by 15 percent.
Intel Awarded a Patent for a New Bitcoin Mining Process
The Intel corporation, headquartered in Santa Clara, California is well known for being a competitive chipset manufacturer. Last Tuesday the company was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which describes a specialized processing system for mining the SHA256 algorithm. The patent was filed on June 29, 2016, and the concept was invented by three individuals from Hillsboro, Oregon.
The invention claims to be a more efficient mining processor with hardware accelerators that can narrow overall power consumption compared to today’s application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) machines. The patent’s description is 29 pages long and contains figures which illustrate the processing system. The invention could comprise of various things like a “chipset, or a portion of a chipset.”
“Embodiments of the present disclosure include energy-efficient ASIC-based SHA engines that consume less power for Bitcoin mining operations,” explains the patent.
The Intel patent explains that Bitcoin’s technology “resolves the ‘double spending’ problem,” but further emphasizes that processors today that are mining cryptocurrencies consume enormous amounts of power. Intel says some “clusters of SHA engines” consume more than 200 watts. The invention claims it will take advantage of a myriad of SHA-256 stages and methods of processing hash by utilizing optimized data paths.
Intel’s Competition is Samsung
Intel stepping into the Bitcoin mining arena is interesting but it’s not the corporation’s first taste of cryptocurrency solutions. At the Money 20/20 event in 2016, Bitpay announced that Copay wallet users would get “hardware-level security” with Intel’s Software Guard Extension (SGX). A year later the digital currency hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger revealed it had partnered with the multinational technology firm. Ledger explained at the time that the organization’s operating system BOLOS would be tied to SGX.
The company’s latest patent, however, seems to focus more on what Intel is best at, which is creating high-performance semiconductor chips. At the moment, Intel is the second highest valued semiconductor manufacturer in the world with Samsung sitting on the throne. Samsung has already started producing commercial grade ASIC chips for certain Bitcoin-based mining businesses and has a lead on Intel so far. The Bitcoin mining process developed by Intel shows the corporation definitely wants in on this innovative and growing industry of “SHA engines.”
What do you think about Intel’s Bitcoin mining patent? Do you think Intel plans on being more involved within the cryptocurrency industry? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Images via Shutterstock, USPTO, Pixabay, Intel, and Samsung logos.
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