Intel files patent for hardware deemed to make crypto mining less power-intensive
According to a US Patent and Trademark Office patent request issued on March 29, US tech company Intel has filed a patent for a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator that would reduce the quantity of electricity consumed during crypto mining by “reducing the space used and power utilized by Bitcoin mining hardware.”
The patent which was initially filed on September 23 last year, is designed to solve the “difficulty for miners” of “searching through the whole nonce space in a brute force fashion while reducing power consumption per hash and increasing performance per watt.”
According to Intel, this can be achieved by “optimizing the significant paths in the computation-intensive message digest and scheduler datapaths,” leading to “extra time” that can “lessen switching capacitance or balance the supply voltage” to produce a “35% combinational power development in the message digest logic.”
Bitcoin mining, which Intel called the “most popular unit of cryptocurrency used in the cryptocurrency eco-system,” requires large amounts of electrical energy to solve algorithms to mine the coin. Bitcoin mining energy has been tagged by some as an “environmental disaster,” while some maintain that the possibility of using leftover electrical and renewable energy means the mining is a “non-issue” for the environment.
The patent appeal writes that “because of the huge amount of power consumed, and the high cost of that power, mining Bitcoins can be very costly. In some conditions, the cost to mine one Bitcoin may surpass the value of the one unit of cryptocurrency mined.”
In a report earlier this month, Tom Lee of Fundstrat pointed out this negative mining cost ratio, which occurs temporarily during market dips.
Intel’s patent application notes that for “convenience,” it refers to ASIC implementations, although their system could apply to “any other logic device […] including, but not limited to Processors, SoCs, and FPGA platforms.”