Mining a block is difficult. The SHA-256 hash of the block header must be less than/equal to the target for the block to be accepted. The inherent probability of performing the tasks that yield the correct hash is very low. Research led by Dr. Rakesh Kumar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign addresses how approximate hardware might be used to reduce the difficulty and improve results of bitcoin mining. CCN spoke to Dr. Kumar to learn more about this ground-breaking research.
In mathematics and the sciences, approximation means that something is similar but not precisely equal or identical to something else. The concept of approximation is frequently used to simplify process when a fault-free model is challenging to use. Although approximate hardware design isn’t a new concept, its application to bitcoin mining