To cash in on the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, Intel Corp announced a new processor for blockchain applications such as Bitcoin mining and minting NFTs on Friday.
The chip will be available later this year, with Block Inc, the Jack Dorsey-led company that just changed its name from Square Inc to emphasise its expanding focus on blockchain, among the first customers.
Blockchains, which are distributed ledgers that keep track of transactions on a network of computers, have gained popularity in recent years. Their development has also sparked interest in terms like “Web.3” and “NFTs,” which promote technology decentralisation.
Intel’s device is an energy-efficient “accelerator” meant to speed up blockchain processes that require a lot of computer power and so burn a lot of energy, according to the company.
Nvidia Corp, a chip vendor whose graphics cards are extensively used for mining, also offers a specialised chip for Ethereum mining. Intel has created a new section dubbed Custom Compute Group within its Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business unit to expand its footprint in the field.