Intel and circuit board design shown on smartphone screen

Intel to stop making BTC mining chips

U.S. tech giant Intel will discontinue its chip-making business for block reward miners later this year.

In April 2022, Intel ventured into the mining industry when it unveiled its Blocksale mining chip. The ASIC was built to churn out 580 gigahash per second and consume up to 22.7 watts of power. The Blocksale chips could be merged into a single unit, with a maximum of 256 integrated circuits per chain.

Some of the earliest clients include HIVE (TSXV:HIVE |OTCQX: HVBTF | FSE: HBF) and Argo Blockchain (NASDAQ: ARBK).

A year later, the California-based company is leaving the block reward mining industry. As reported by Reuters, Intel will cease taking new orders for Blocksale on October 20 and end all support for the chip by April 2024.

“As we prioritize our investments in IDM 2.0, we have end-of-lifed the Intel Blockscale 1000 Series ASIC while we continue to support our Blockscale customers,” a spokesperson for the company said.

IDM 2.0 is Intel’s strategy focusing on the production of smaller chips while outsourcing other services.

Since Intel ventured into ASIC chip-making, BTC mining has taken a massive hit. Last year’s ‘crypto contagion,’ which started in May with the collapse of the Terra ecosystem, dealt a big blow to digital asset prices. Mining profitability also took a hit, and by last November, it was the lowest it had been since October 2020.

Several mining companies have filed for bankruptcy, shut down, or slashed their workforce. This includes Core Scientific, which filed for bankruptcy last December. At its peak, the miner operated over 143,000 rigs and hosted 100,000 more, making it North America’s largest miner.

While the appeal of BTC mining chips has dipped, demand for AI chips is at an all-time high. Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) has dominated the market but has been unable to meet the demand, with some like Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and now Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) turning to in-house chip development.

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