Intel Ditches Blocksale ASIC Chips

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  • Intel has revealed that it is no longer developing its Blocksale Bitcoin Mining chips
  • The company launched the ASIC chip, then called Bonanza Mine, last year
  • Claims that it was “1,000x better” were undermined at the time of launch

Intel has scrapped its ASIC chip line, Blockscale, only one year after it was launched. The mining chip, which proved to be less revolutionary than it had claimed, will no longer be on sale past October this year, and probably marks the end for the computing giant’s venture into the Bitcoin mining world. Intel will continue to “continue to monitor market opportunities”, but it is instead focusing its efforts on integrated device manufacturing.

Seven-years in Development

Intel’s ambitions in the Bitcoin mining space date back to 2016 when it filed for a patent for high-performance crypto mining hardware, which was granted in 2018. Turning this into a finished product clearly took a long time, with the first Blocksale ASIC mining chip, then called Bonanza Mine, released last February.

The new “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC” was lauded as a revolution in the mining space, but the truth was slightly underwhelming; the “1,000x better performance” lauded by Intel was compared to GPU performance, not other ASICS, which was irrelevant given that GPUs aren’t used to mine Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Mining Leaves Intel Cold

The chip was launched in February last year, with Block and Argo Blockchain among its first customers, but clearly the company feels that Bitcoin mining is not the way forward. Intel revealed to Tom’s Hardware that it has “end-of-lifed the Intel Blockscale 1000 Series ASIC”, with sales ceasing on October 20.

Intel explained that its decision to discontinue Blockscale ASICs was driven by its increased emphasis on IDM 2.0 operations, a recurring theme in its recent public statements. The company added that it is “continuously assessing market prospects”, but it seems that its seven-year stay in the Bitcoin mining space is probably over.