Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) on Thursday announced it will launch a new series of semiconductors for mining ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The brand-new chip type is called CMP, or Cryptocurrency Mining Processor. The very first round of cards will be available starting in March, an Nvidia spokesperson said.
Ether mining is a process in which computer systems solve complicated mathematic programs to help the Ethereum cryptocurrency network run. In exchange, miners obtain ether, the cryptocurrency coin that works on the Ethereum network. Ether hit a new all-time high on Thursday, up more than 160% year-to-date to over $1,914.
Ether’s mining algorithms run best on graphics cards, which is the sort of chip that Nvidia is widely-known for as a leader in the industry. Miners usually get several graphics cards and also put them in a solitary machine to optimize their return.
Last fall, Nvidia released a new series of graphics cards marketed at PC players that have actually been constantly sold out. In fact, the demand was so intense that some of the lucky few that were able to obtain the sold-out Nvidia chips were selling them at notable premiums online. The semiconductor market continues to face scarcity across the board.
Thursday’s statement highlights a growing understanding that strong demand for Nvidia’s chips comes from cryptocurrency miners, not just gamers.
“CMP items– which don’t do graphics– are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the very best mining performance and efficiency,” Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at Nvidia noted in a blog post.
Nvidia claimed that the latest chip in its gaming graphics cards collection, the RTX 3060, would certainly be changed when it’s launched later on this year. This will ensure that RTX 3060s can not extract ether effectively. Other cards, like the RTX 3070 or RTX 3080, do not have the same restrictions, the Nvidia agent stated.
“RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent,” Nvidia’s blog post stated.
Graphics cards were first established to allow high-def video gaming. However they’re significantly crucial for brand-new modern technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and more. Their efficiency in mining ether isn’t brand-new, either– in 2017, Nvidia claimed it made hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter marketing chips to cryptocurrency miners.
PC gaming is additionally growing fast. Consumer investing on computer gaming equipment was up 62% in 2020, according to an NPD Group report. A graphics card is often one of the most pricey part of a gaming computer. The growing pool of cryptocurrency miners are beginning to be a more sustainable cash flow generator for Nvidia.