Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, has announced that it is abandoning its blockchain chip production. The company had previously announced its plan to create “energy-efficient accelerators,” or ASIC technology, to contribute to the development of blockchain technologies. In February 2022, the company unveiled the Bonanza Mine BMZ1, followed by the development of a second iteration of the Bonanza Mine ASIC, known as the BMZ2. Additionally, in March 2022, it was reported that mining firms such as Hive, Argo, Block, and Grrid were buying bitcoin mining chips from Intel. However, on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the chip manufacturer explained that Intel has “end-of-lifed the Intel Blockscale 1000 Series ASIC.”
As per a report by Tom’s Hardware, Intel is discontinuing its bitcoin accelerator production, also known as “Blockscale chips,” and “no future generations have been announced.” An Intel spokesperson stated that the company is prioritizing its investments in IDM 2.0 and will continue to support its Blockscale customers. The report further notes that “Blockscale ASIC landing pages are now all inactive,” and product pages have been “scrubbed.” Customers have until October 2023 to order chips, but “shipments will end in April 2024.”
The dominant force in the ASIC manufacturing industry has been Bitmain, with few competitors. Aside from Bitmain, firms such as Microbt, Canaan, and Innosilicon also operate in this space. According to reports, Bitmain uses 5nm TSMC-made chips, while Microbt utilizes Samsung’s 5nm ASIC technology. Additionally, Samsung is reportedly in the process of creating 3nm ASIC chips.
This move by Intel raises questions about the future of ASIC manufacturing and the emergence of new competitors in the industry. While Bitmain currently dominates the market, the development of new technologies by other firms, such as Samsung’s 3nm ASIC chips, may disrupt the industry’s current landscape. It remains to be seen how this will affect the mining industry and the development of blockchain technologies.
In conclusion, Intel’s decision to abandon its blockchain chip production is significant news for the industry. The company’s move may lead to the emergence of new competitors in the ASIC manufacturing industry, which could disrupt the current market landscape. The development of new technologies by other firms, such as Samsung’s 3nm ASIC chips, may also contribute to this disruption. It will be interesting to see how this news affects the mining industry and the development of blockchain technologies in the coming months and years.