Intel’s ASIC Bitcoin Miner Costs Half, Is 15% More Effective Than Most S19s

Will the Intel ASIC disrupt the Bitcoin mining game? if Tom’s Hardware Numbers are correct, the answer is unequivocally yes. “The company’s mining hardware could have the best price-performance ratio on the market,” Tom says. However, there is no guarantee that the prices Intel gave mining company GRIID will be the same as those for a general consumer.

There’s no guarantee that GRIID is even talking about the Intel Bonanza Mine in the SEC documents that this report follows. “A recent SEC filing by one of Intel’s key partners has revealed both the pricing and performance of Intel’s second-generation Bonanza Mine (BMZ2) Bitcoin miners.” A few weeks ago, Coin-Crypto reported on Intel’s first batch of customers

“We can’t prove it, but all these companies probably knew about Intel’s plans to release a bitcoin mining chip years ago. Again, Raja Koduri:

“Our blockchain accelerator will ship later this year. We are directly involved with customers who share our sustainability goals. Argo Blockchain, BLOCK (formerly known as Square) and GRIID Infrastructure are among our first customers for this upcoming product.”

And in the SEC filing, GRIID speaks of a “distinctive supply agreement with leading US-based chip designer.” Who else could they be talking about since both Bitmain and MicroBT are based in China? It must be Intel, right?

What Does SEC Filling Reveal About Intel Bonanza Mine?

When the world first heard about Intel’s ASIC ambitions, the company smartly described the machines as “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient.” How efficient will they actually be? Tom’s Hardware Answers:

“According to the list, the performance of the BMZ2 weighs in at 135 TH/s with an efficiency of 26 J/TH. In addition, the miner costs about half the cost of a competing Bitmain S19 Pro, while being 15% more efficient, rivaling the best hardware on the market from competing companies.

That puts it at the top of the food chain in terms of power; “second only to Bitmain’s S19j XP system”, and that is “by a small margin”. However, Intel’s ASIC is also 15% more efficient. “Peak performance for the BMZ2 system weighs in at a competitive 135 TH/s. A little basic math shows that the system runs at about 3510W.”

BTC Price Chart for 01/03/2022 on BinanceUS | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

Perfect, but how expensive will it be?

When it comes to pricing, Intel’s new machines shine. Since they will presumably be manufactured in the US, Intel won’t have to deal with “the 25% tariffs on products originating in China and exposed to the volatility associated with a longer supply chain.” So the company is positioned in the west to win.

Ok, but how much will the ASICs actually cost? Tom’s Hardware again:

“GRIID says Intel’s new mining systems cost $5,625 per miner. Since GRIID has guaranteed access to 25% of Intel’s manufacturing capacity, we expect the company to benefit from volume pricing. In either case, that’s about half the price of the $10,455 Bitmain S19j Pro, but it’s worth noting that prices for the S19j Pro can fluctuate wildly.”

Will the general consumer get the same price as GRIID? Probably not. But the number looks promising. And their customers don’t have to wait for their ASICs to arrive from China.

Conclusions and questions

Last week, Coin-Crypto quoted Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger trying to promote the company’s new product:

“Intel is about to bring forward a blockchain chip that is dramatically better. That’s an order of magnitude better in terms of power performance. In this way we help to solve the climate problem.”

Are these specifications enough to solve climate change? Will an efficiency of 15% stop global warming? Probably not. It’s a huge improvement, but maybe Gelsinger shouldn’t have made such a big promise.

In the cited SEC filing, GRIID lists the company’s competitive advantages. One is: “Chip supply agreement with US Fortune 50 company provides unparalleled access to mining hardware.” Chances are, the deal GRIID struck with Intel will grow in importance over time. If the machines are as good as the specs suggest, that is.

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