Intel Wins Patent For Energy-Efficient Crypto Mining
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent to tech giant and microprocessor producer Intel for a processor that can conduct “energy-efficient high performance bitcoin mining.”
Since SHA-256 algorithm used in bitcoin mining, the patent proclaims that the proposed high performace processor will solve the energy consumption problem presented by current mining machines due to their reliance on hardware accelerators like the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The ASICs process hash operations in redundant multiple stages such as the production and manipulation of nonces.
The patent claims that this redundancy could be curtailed through proper chip design. It explains:
“Dedicated Bitcoin mining ASICs are used to implement multiple SHA-256 engines that may deliver a performance of thousands of hashes per second while consuming power of greater than 200 W. Embodiments of the present disclosure employ micro-architectural optimizations including selective hardwiring certain parameters in Bitcoin mining computation. The hardwiring of these parameters eliminates the need for recursive rounds of computations of these parameters and reduce the overall circuit area and power consumption by about 15%.”
The nonce is a random number which is used only once and it is a key component of cryptography. As it is mandatory for successful hashes to meet certain requirements to be approved, and also as the data to be encrypted cannot change, a new nonce must be produced per each attempt thereby causing the repetition and the power drain.
The patent further suggests that power consumption can be further lowered by changing how the nonce and the final hash are compared for validity.