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Intel files patent for a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator

Intel Corporation has filed a new patent depicting a system-on-chip hardware accelerator that might reduce the amount of electricity required to mine Bitcoin.

While the likes of Samsung, AMD, and Nvidia are prepared to throw down their chips in the cryptocurrency mining arena, multinational technology giant Intel has now fired back with a surprising idea of its own.

According to a new filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, Intel Corporation is now seeking to obtain patents for a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator that could effectively reduce electricity consumption when mining Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

As described in the patent, Intel has outlined a “System on Chip (SoC) implementing a Bitcoin mining hardware accelerator (which) may include a processor core and a hardware accelerator coupled to the processor core.”

Intel has specifically emphasized that the unit would be designed with the intent of mining Bitcoin, and as such “may include a first computational block, including a message digest datapath,” and “a second computational block.”

Further, Intel’s application elaborates that the system could effectively reduce electricity consumption through “optimizing the critical paths in the computation-intensive message digest and scheduler data paths,” granting “extra time that can be used to reduce switching capacitance or scale the supply voltage.”

Accordingly, Intel has opined that the system would offer a 35% combinational power improvement in message digest logic.

In a statement to CRN, Intel partner and Velocity Micro President Randy Copeland expressed his optimism, saying that “Once this new Intel technology comes to market, more people will mine again because it’s profitable again, driving down the market value of the coins and finding a new market balance that will again put locations with lower electricity costs back at the advantage.”

The emergence of the filing comes shortly after unconfirmed rumors in January this year indicated that Intel might elect to release a proprietary cryptocurrency mining rig at some point during the remainder of the year. Should the company do so, it would step up to compete with both Nvidia and Samsung, which have both readied plays into the market.