Intel files patent for Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator

Tech giant Intel is seeking to patent a hardware “accelerator” for Bitcoin mining chips, a newly published filing reveals.

The application for a “Bitcoin Mining Hardware Accelerator” was published on Thursday, though it was originally submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in September 2016. In the filing, Intel outlines a method by which it could augment the existing Bitcoin mining process, consuming less electricity – thereby spending less money – in the process.

As Intel writes in the filing:

“Because the software and hardware utilized in Bitcoin mining uses brute force to repeatedly and endlessly perform SHA-256 functions, the process of Bitcoin mining can be very power-intensive and utilize large amounts of hardware space. The embodiments described herein optimize Bitcoin mining operations by reducing the space utilized and power consumed by Bitcoin mining hardware.”

Intel’s application goes on to note that its “accelerator” approach could reduce power use by as much as 35 percent, compared to general-purpose processors.

Write: Richard Abermann


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