Question Intel to launch Bitcoin mining ASIC

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Fascinating. Wonder if they're gonna use it along with Loihi 2 as a pipecleaner for Intel 4?

edit: oh, and Bonanza? Yeehaw! Raja is perfect for a Western.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Weird. I was going to joke that that huge Intel facility that they're building in OH, was gonna be a mining farm. Maybe I'm not actually so wrong? OYE!
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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Bitcoin mining? Now ?
Yes.

Apparently I posted it in the wrong place, as I also have the same thread about Bonanza Mine.

Bitcoin mining is an arms race where the miners get the fastest and most efficient hardware as quickly as possible, get return on investment, before more people jump in, increasing the difficulty and rendering the said hardware a brick pretty much.

Then the next generation comes out and the cycle repeats.

Similar argument can be made about computers in general but Bitcoin ASICs are literally that.

One Bitmain hardware for example uses 189 3x4mm(12mm2) 16nm processing dies. That's 2000mm2 worth of die in a single product. Sure the volume is not that high but it's a high amount of very high yield silicon.

It's a multi billion dollar market. Bitmain themselves had $2.5 billion revenue in 2017, up from $250 million or something few years ago. Who knows their revenue now?

I don't know if this is Raja's work. Intel's first mention of a Bitcoin ASIC goes all the way back to 2016.
 
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gorobei

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2007
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with china making all mining and associated business/hardware/accessories illegal, where else are the top 3 asic miner manufacturers (all chinese) going to go to fab their products? do any of the taiwan fabs have the extra capacity?

intel must seem like a safe port in a storm, probably plenty of capacity on older nodes and even newer nodes are an option if only to use as a pipecleaner. the real question is how soon they could possibly get new silicon out, though with the china shutdown it isnt like some new startup will suddenly swoop in to beat the old names to market with a next gen asic miner.

sidenote: one of the larger chinese mining farms moved to texas for the cheap wind power, gov abbot wants to make texas the "crypto leader".
other farms went to the pacific northwest for the cheap hydro power.

the eth move to pos will be very entertaining to watch this summer. i wonder what innosilicon will do with their eth miner line.
 

MrTeal

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
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with china making all mining and associated business/hardware/accessories illegal, where else are the top 3 asic miner manufacturers (all chinese) going to go to fab their products? do any of the taiwan fabs have the extra capacity?

intel must seem like a safe port in a storm, probably plenty of capacity on older nodes and even newer nodes are an option if only to use as a pipecleaner. the real question is how soon they could possibly get new silicon out, though with the china shutdown it isnt like some new startup will suddenly swoop in to beat the old names to market with a next gen asic miner.

sidenote: one of the larger chinese mining farms moved to texas for the cheap wind power, gov abbot wants to make texas the "crypto leader".
other farms went to the pacific northwest for the cheap hydro power.

the eth move to pos will be very entertaining to watch this summer. i wonder what innosilicon will do with their eth miner line.
I don't claim to be an expert by any stretch, but several reports from first hand would-be competitors seem to say that Bitmain is brutal in stomping out potential competition. Intel is obviously a different league than other small Chinese startups, but even without the shutdown I'd imagine it would be hard for anyone other than a huge company with existing fab contracts to break Bitmain's stranglehold on the market.

I'm not sure Intel will be able to push Bitmain out with old fab space though. There's a lot of speculation that the S19 uses the 5nm node, and I doubt that Intel engineers are so much better at designing bitcoin mining ASICs that they could easily outperform Bitmain without also using a cutting edge node.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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I'm not sure Intel will be able to push Bitmain out with old fab space though. There's a lot of speculation that the S19 uses the 5nm node, and I doubt that Intel engineers are so much better at designing bitcoin mining ASICs that they could easily outperform Bitmain without also using a cutting edge node.
Even if the performance is somewhat less, what Intel is good at is mass production, so rather than being unable for most people to buy, the supply might be far better.

The competitiveness in this market depends on execution. If it's not delayed then it might be.

This ASIC seems like a good candidate for early Intel 4 mass production though. Then it should be competitive as well.
 

gorobei

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2007
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I don't claim to be an expert by any stretch, but several reports from first hand would-be competitors seem to say that Bitmain is brutal in stomping out potential competition. Intel is obviously a different league than other small Chinese startups, but even without the shutdown I'd imagine it would be hard for anyone other than a huge company with existing fab contracts to break Bitmain's stranglehold on the market.

I'm not sure Intel will be able to push Bitmain out with old fab space though. There's a lot of speculation that the S19 uses the 5nm node, and I doubt that Intel engineers are so much better at designing bitcoin mining ASICs that they could easily outperform Bitmain without also using a cutting edge node.
i haven't followed the asic miners since the first few startups transitioned over from fpga to asic. the delays in production and rumors of them using the miners for themselves before shipping it to the customers despite having already taken their money really soured me on that end of the business.

the thing is that the small number of companies making mining asics led to all sorts of questionable behavior, but miners had no choice but to live with it since they couldn't buy anything else. those runs of wafers on older nodes were niche and tiny volume. part of the expense was offset by the manufacturer mining on them before shipping to the customer.

intel is unlikely to want to get into running a mining farm long term as part of some "extended QC" (wink wink) on any product, as a publicly traded/owned company they could open themselves up to all sorts of legal issues. so they will be selling whatever they make asap, so miners wont have to know a guy in china in order to get their rigs in a reasonable amount of time.
even if intel's node isn't cutting edge, 20k of 10nm wafers will dwarf any double digit number of 5nm wafers. if miners have a choice between buying 50 top performing 5nm asic rigs 18 months after release date vs 10000 10esf rigs on release day, the big farms will take what they can buy now. if small scale farms get that much more hash rate given the zero sum nature of the block reward, that changes how the pie is divided and weakens the big farms keeping the 51% issue at bay.
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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GRIID, based in Ohio, is slated to go public on the New York Stock Exchange via a SPAC merger in the coming weeks, with a valuation of $3.3 billion. The symbol for the stock will be “GRDI.”
has struck a long-term contract with Intel for its “BMZ2” mining ASICs, according to Fox Business.
GRIID will have access to a major portion of Intel’s future production volumes as part of the initial order, which will be delivered in 2022.”
In addition, subject to certain conditions, GRIID will be entitled to purchase from Intel at least 25% of all qualified Intel-designed ASICs through approximately May 2025.”
They already buy chips from Bitmain and MicroBT, but based on the scale of what GRIID is planning, it's going to be a big chunk even for Intel.

I see this as a very good pipe cleaner and filler for pushing their own process. I hope they go down that road. Unlike Loihi which is nonexistent in terms of volume, Bonanza Mine product will probably reach $1 billion revenue in the first couple of years.

Since Bitcoin mining is such an arms race, it's kinda amusing to think what seems like a side project will beat the bigger ARC graphics product in terms of revenue at least initially.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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I see this as a very good pipe cleaner and filler for pushing their own process. I hope they go down that road. Unlike Loihi which is nonexistent in terms of volume, Bonanza Mine product will probably reach $1 billion revenue in the first couple of years.
Wait. Have we confirmed that Bonanza Mine will be on Intel 4? Also I guess this answers my question: Intel won't be mining early with their own product, but GRIID will.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
19,135
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AT claims that it is on Intel 7
Not . . . exactly? From the article:

Intel is building the chip on a 7nm process. Exactly which isn’t stated – the documents we have state ‘7nm’, but the same document also refers to Intel 4 as ‘4nm’. In all likelihood, this means that BZM2 is being built at Intel, and this could be one of the first IDM 2.0 customers for Intel utilizing Intel’s in-house custom design team – the SEC filing is co-signed by Intel’s GM of Custom Accelerators, for context.
It's unclear whether they mean Intel 7 or Intel 4. It seems like Intel 7 but it's nebulous.
 

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