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Intel blasts Bitcoin mining, unveils own mining hardware • The Register

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger just a few days ago raged against Bitcoin, calling it a “climate crisis.”

“A single ledger entry in Bitcoin consumes enough energy to power your house for almost a day. That’s a climate crisis. That’s not okay,” he told Bloomberg in an interview last week.

He was clearly hitting out at power-guzzling GPUs and similar chips necessary for Bitcoin mining, which require country-size amounts of electricity as the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce heard last month.

But in under a minute in that same interview, Gelsinger – who is trying to foster an all-American farm boy at heart reputation, building in the “Silicon Heartland” in Ohio – abruptly changed his world-savior tone.

“Intel’s bringing forward a blockchain chip that’s dramatically better,” he said.

That chip, dubbed Bonanza Mine, was detailed this month at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference. This 7nm-node ASIC tries its best to minimize power consumption without cutting back on processing oomph in order to provide some degree of profitability for miners.

Bitcoin uses a blockchain to enable peer-to-peer transactions without the need of a central clearing house. Instead, the transactions are verified by validators, who are rewarded for solving complex computational problems known as proof of work that’s part of this verification process, said Vikram Suresh, a research scientist at Intel, in an online presentation. A transaction is added to Bitcoin’s distributed ledger once it has been validated. Validators are known as miners.

The proof-of-work element involves the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function, and all validators need to run this algorithm – and they need to run it fast, and a lot, to be effective miners.

Better by design?

Bonanza Mine, previewed earlier this month, includes optimizations at various levels to improve energy efficiency of hash computations.

“This includes micro architecture optimizations, optimizations in the data path arithmetic circuits, and normal latch-based clocking scheme,” Suresh said, adding “at the board level, we have die-voltage stacking. Each of these techniques offer improvement in ASIC performance, area and energy efficiency.”

Intel has not only come up with this accelerator chip, but also created a Bitcoin mining system consisting of four circuit boards, each with 75 Bonanza Mine ASICs, adding up to a total of 300 ASICs in the system. It also has a programmable power supply, an Intel FPGA-based system controller, and four fans to cool the system.

The machine achieves a hash rate of about 40 terahashes per second while consuming 3.6kW. The system controller uses an Intel FPGA with a mining daemon running on a hard Arm Cortex core. The system uses UART serial and I2C to orchestrate the hardware.

The Bitcoin network is currently running at 188.29 exahashes per second. A high-end Antminer S19 Pro claims 110 terahashes per second with 3.25kW. An AvalonMiner A1166 Pro claims 81 TH/s in 3.4kW. You can compare Intel’s specs to the rest of the market here. Intel said its mining machine compares favorably to the Bitfury Clarke and Canaan Avalon A9.

We’ll leave it to you to decide how much or how little Intel’s chip contributes to Gelsinger’s climate crisis.


Overview of the Bonanza Mine system … Source: Intel

Each Bonanza Mine ASIC consists of 258 SHA-256 double-hash mining engines, which occupies 95 per cent of the die area. The ASIC also includes a controller core, sensors, and GPIO. Communication to ASICs is handled using daisy chained UART links. Bonanza Mine has a varying voltage and frequency system to balance performance and power consumption.

“Variable operating mode provides the opportunity for a miner to trade off hash rate and energy efficiency to optimize for mining profit,” Suresh said.

It has the power

One slide showed throughput and energy efficiency measurements at 75 degrees Celsius at a per-chip operating voltage of 355mV. Each ASIC can achieve a throughput of 137 gigahashes per second, requiring 55 Joules per terahash.

“The Bonanza mine system software identifies outlier engines in each ASIC and deactivates them. This helps to run the remaining engines at the highest possible frequency to optimize the overall hash rate,” Suresh said.

The mining system can be configured in three operating modes: high performance mode, a balanced mode, and a power saving mode. Depending on the mode of operation, the measured throughput ranges from 34.5 to 47.7 terahashes per second, with mining efficiency varying between 54 to 60 joules per terahash.

Suresh also talked about a three-phase latch based clocking technique that resulted in 50 per cent lower clock power.

Intel will ship the accelerator hardware direct to large cryptocurrency miners; Argo Blockchain, BLOCK (formerly known as Square), and GRIID Infrastructure. But with the wonders of capitalism, it wouldn’t be surprising if scalpers out of luck with GPUs go looking for these ASICs, which won’t be available on the open market.

Intel’s experimental chip may be an early unit to supply an emerging market focused on decentralized computing, also called Web 3.0. We imagine this will involve the exchange of cryptocurrency and digital assets in a parallel virtual universe also known as the metaverse.

Hardware and chip companies are still trying to figure out the underlying hardware that will provide this graphics-driven universe, which will need massive amounts of computing power and energy. Facebook has bet its future on the scheme, however, and Microsoft is factoring the metaverse into its future by buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7bn.

Gelsinger has promised a “Groveian” and laser-focused return of Intel to its engineering roots, while avoiding distractions on low-hanging fruit, like a past disaster called smartphones. Bitcoin is a hot market, and Intel is dabbling with it on a limited basis, though whether miners will like the new kit remains to be seen. ®

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Global Affairs

Open Source Software (OSS) Supply Chain, Security Risks And Countermeasures

OSS Security Risks And Countermeasures

The software development landscape increasingly hinges on open source components, significantly aiding continuous integration, DevOps practices, and daily updates. Last year, Synopsys discovered that 97% of codebases in 2022 incorporated open source, with specific sectors like computer hardware, cybersecurity, energy, and the Internet of Things (IoT) reaching 100% OSS integration.

While leveraging open source enhances efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and developer productivity, it inadvertently paves a path for threat actors seeking to exploit the software supply chain. Enterprises often lack visibility into their software contents due to complex involvement from multiple sources, raising concerns highlighted in VMware’s report last year. Issues include reliance on communities to patch vulnerabilities and associated security risks.

Raza Qadri, founder of Vibertron Technologies, emphasizes OSS’s pivotal role in critical infrastructure but underscores the shock experienced by developers and executives regarding their applications’ OSS contribution. Notably, Qadri cites that 95% of vulnerabilities surface in “transitive main dependencies,” indirectly added open source packages.

Qadri also acknowledges developers’ long-standing use of open source. However, recent years have witnessed heightened awareness, not just among developers but also among attackers. Malware attacks targeting the software supply chain have surged, as demonstrated in significant breaches like SolarWinds, Kaseya, and the Log4j exploit.

Log4j’s widespread use exemplifies the consolidation of risk linked to extensively employed components. This popular Java-based logging tool’s vulnerabilities showcase the systemic dependency on widely used software components, posing significant threats if exploited by attackers.

Moreover, injection of malware into repositories like GitHub, PyPI, and NPM has emerged as a growing threat. Cybercriminals generate malicious versions of popular code to deceive developers, exploiting vulnerabilities when components are downloaded, often without the developers’ knowledge.

Despite OSS’s security risks, its transparency and visibility compared to commercial software offer certain advantages. Qadri points out the swift response to Log4j vulnerabilities as an example, highlighting OSS’s collaborative nature.

Efforts to fortify software supply chain security are underway, buoyed by multi-vendor frameworks, vulnerability tracking tools, and cybersecurity products. However, additional steps, such as enforcing recalls for defective OSS components and implementing component-level firewalls akin to packet-level firewalls, are necessary to fortify defenses and mitigate malicious attacks.

Qadri underscores the need for a holistic approach involving software bills of materials (SBOMs) coupled with firewall-like capabilities to ensure a comprehensive understanding of software contents and preemptive measures against malicious threats.

As the software supply chain faces ongoing vulnerabilities and attacks, concerted efforts are imperative to bolster security measures, safeguard against threats, and fortify the foundational aspects of open source components.

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By John Elf | Science, Technology & Business contributor Digital

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Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
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Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

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Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

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— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
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The Implications Of Controlling High-Level Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

By Clint Bailey | ‘Voice of EU’

The notion of artificial intelligence surpassing humanity has long been a topic of discussion, and recent advancements in programs have reignited concerns. But can we truly control super-intelligence? A closer examination by scientists reveals that the answer is highly unlikely.

Unraveling The Challenge:

Controlling a super-intelligence that surpasses human comprehension necessitates the ability to simulate and analyze its behavior. However, if we are unable to comprehend it, creating such a simulation becomes an impossible task. This lack of understanding hinders our ability to establish rules, such as “cause no harm to humans,” as we cannot anticipate the scenarios that an AI might generate.

The Complexity Of Super-Intelligence:

Super-intelligence presents a distinct challenge compared to conventional robot ethics. Its multifaceted nature allows it to mobilize diverse resources, potentially pursuing objectives that are incomprehensible and uncontrollable to humans. This fundamental disparity further complicates the task of governing and setting limits on super-intelligent systems.

Drawing Insights From The Halting Problem:

Alan Turing’s halting problem, introduced in 1936, provides insights into the limitations of predicting program outcomes. While we can determine halting behavior for specific programs, there is no universal method capable of evaluating every potential program ever written. In the realm of artificial super-intelligence, which could theoretically store all possible computer programs in its memory simultaneously, the challenge of containment intensifies.

The Uncontainable Dilemma:

When attempting to prevent super-intelligence from causing harm, the unpredictability of outcomes poses a significant challenge. Determining whether a program will reach a conclusion or continue indefinitely becomes mathematically impossible for all scenarios. This renders traditional containment algorithms unusable and raises concerns about the reliability of teaching AI ethics to prevent catastrophic consequences.

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The Limitation Conundrum:

An alternative approach suggested by some is to limit the capabilities of super-intelligence, such as restricting its access to certain parts of the internet or networks. However, this raises questions about the purpose of creating super-intelligence if its potential is artificially curtailed. The argument arises: if we do not intend to use it to tackle challenges beyond human capabilities, why create it in the first place?


Urgent Reflection – The Direction Of Artificial Intelligence:

As we push forward with artificial intelligence, we must confront the possibility of a super-intelligence beyond our control. Its incomprehensibility makes it difficult to discern its arrival, emphasizing the need for critical introspection regarding the path we are treading. Prominent figures in the tech industry, such as Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, have even called for a pause in AI experiments to evaluate safety and potential risks to society.

The potential consequences of controlling high-level artificial super-intelligence are far-reaching and demand meticulous consideration. As we strive for progress, we must strike a balance between pushing the boundaries of technology and ensuring responsible development. Only through thorough exploration and understanding can we ensure that AI systems benefit humanity while effectively managing their risks.

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By Clint Bailey, Team ‘THE VOICE OF EU

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