Software company Nvidia is releasing a new type of product specifically for the purpose of mining Ethereum. The company’s new semiconductor, known as a Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP), is designed to get graphics cards back in the hands of gamers.
Originally, graphics cards were developed for the purposes of displaying high-definition computer game graphics. However, as technology has evolved, graphics cards have also proven useful for things like artificial intelligence and of course crypto mining.
The popularity of crypto mining over the last few years had led to a shortage of gaming graphics cards, with miners even buying up gaming laptops in some cases. According to one report on CNBC, Nvidia last year released a new series of graphics cards for PC gamers which have been consistently sold out due to demand from crypto miners.
The benefits of the CMP for crypto mining
The new CMPs don’t have gaming graphics capabilities and are specifically optimised for mining. They lack display outputs which helps improve airflow when they are running. The lack of display outputs also means they can be packed in closer together, which is commonly done when mining cryptocurrencies. The CMPs are more efficient at mining due to their lower peak core voltage and frequency.
Nvidia said the next release of standard gaming graphics cards will also be modified to be less effective at mining cryptocurrencies. This is aimed at alleviating supply issues by deterring miners from purchasing these types of cards.
“CMP products—which don’t do graphics—are sold through authorised partners and optimised for the best mining performance and efficiency. They don’t meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don’t impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers,” according to a company blog article.
The increased popularity of crypto mining
As cryptocurrencies increase in value and popularity, mining is becoming increasingly lucrative. We’ve even seen the rise of ‘mining farms’. Nvidia’s move to create specific crypto mining graphics cards couldn’t have come at a better time for crypto miners—and gamers!