Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has been granted patent by the United States patent and Trademark Office for its energy-saving PoW bitcoin mining chips. The patent which was awarded on November 27 was applied for in the summer of 2016.
In the patent application, Intel argues that the next-generation chips can save up to 15% of the total energy consumed during bitcoin mining by existing mining hardware. The chips are arguably energy efficient and perform even better than what is currently being used.
What Intel did with the new chips was getting around the power intensive mechanism in the current SHA-256 algorithm used in mining whereby, they remove repetitive computations during mining that would consume more power in normal circumstances.
According to the patent, the current system consumes way over 200W of electricity while the new chips ?eliminate the need for recursive rounds of computations of these parameters and reduce the overall circuit area and power consumption by about 15%.”
Intel further, hint on much more efficient chips in future with revised means in which the final hash and nonce required for algorithms computations are compared before they are approved.
Unfortunately for Intel, the patent was granted at a period where bitcoin mining activities have declined drastically. Following the recent cryptocurrency price crash, miners have kept off the pools obviously because with the current trends mining won?t pay off. The mining process is a costly affair and with Bitcoin prices falling 80% off its all time peak, it is clearly insane to remain enthusiastic about mining.
Nations like Brazil have already suspended Bitcoin mining investments for fear that investors will lose their investments in the mining pools, especially with the plummeting trends of crypto prices.
Mining power concerns
Nonetheless, Intel?s invention is viable considering that cryptocurrencies mining operations have received backlashes from authorities and environmental lobby groups for being extraordinarily power intensive and posing environmental concerns. Some jurisdictions have even proposed a different price structure for miners while others banning mining operations altogether.