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Nano Bitcoin Mining Chip by Jack Dorsey Takes the Industry by Storm

Block's purchase of many ASIC chips from Intel will allow the company to speed up the development of its 3nm chip

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: May 3, 2023 01:00:01 PM IST
Updated: May 3, 2023 02:15:19 PM IST

Nano Bitcoin Mining Chip by Jack Dorsey Takes the Industry by StormImage: Shutterstock

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's financial services and technology firm, Block, has announced that the prototype design of their new five-nanometer (5nm) Bitcoin (BTC) mining chip is complete. Block claims that this chip is necessary for decentralizing the supply of Bitcoin mining rigs. In a blog post dated April 28th, Block outlined the technical and financial difficulties of creating Bitcoin mining ASIC machines. This has led to what has been called "the excessive concentration of specialized Bitcoin mining silicon" within a small number of firms. Block claims that the resulting centralization is detrimental to Bitcoin's decentralized nature.

To "optimize innovation and enhance the scale of the Bitcoin mining ecosystem," the San Francisco-based startup wants to make Bitcoin mining technology "open source" wherever possible by selling standalone ASICs and other hardware components. The post claims that the steps taken over the past few months will allow the company to experiment with new designs and aid in delivering more efficient and inexpensive Bitcoin mining chips to the market.

In order to expedite this development drive, Block has acquired a large quantity of ASIC processors from Intel. Intel announced on April 18 that, as part of cost-cutting measures, the company would no longer ship or accept orders for Blockscale 1000 Series ASICs beyond April 2024. According to Block, this enormous influx of ASICs from Intel will expedite the creation of its 3nm processor, which will be the most advanced semiconductor to date upon release.

The width of two silicon atoms is approximately similar to one nanometer (1nm). As chip components shrink, it becomes possible to fit more transistors onto a silicon die of the same size. By lowering the overall size, the electric current in the circuit must travel a shorter distance to make a calculation, resulting in an increase in overall efficiency and a decrease in the quantity of heat generated.

Notably, 5 nanometer ASIC chips have existed for quite a while now, with the earliest known 5nm ASIC released in 2021 by the Chinese mining company Canaan. Currently, most Bitcoin mining ASICs utilize 5nm circuits, although no company has released the source code for their ASIC chip designs.

Shashank is the founder of yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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