Bitmain’s new Ether ASIC mining rig may not fix GPU shortage after all

Cryptocurrency mining rig producer Bitmain announced the pending launch of a new Ether (ETH) miner on Friday. The Antminer E9 mannequin is an application-specific built-in circuit chip that can run on the Ethereum blockchain’s Ethash algorithm.

No official launch date has been introduced for the E9 but, nevertheless, the machine’s arrival may not be as impactful as first suspected. The rig faces competitors within the type of Nvidia’s CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) vary of GPUs designed particularly for crypto mining. Meanwhile, Ethereum’s scheduled move away from proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism might imply the E9’s utility can be short-lived.

Nvidia lately introduced that its CMP vary was anticipated to rake in $150 million in income within the first quarter of the yr — three times more than the agency had initially anticipated.

Despite the obvious booming reputation of its crypto-specific graphics playing cards, Nvidia chief monetary officer Colette Kress stated on an traders name this week that the corporate anticipated its GPU shortage to proceed for the remainder of the yr regardless of growing provide.

“We anticipate demand to proceed to exceed provide for a lot of this yr […] We will see provide proceed to extend all through this quarter in addition to all year long,” Kress stated, as reported by The Verge.

Nvidia has struggled to fulfill the demand for GPUs from its core gaming buyer base for a while, as would-be miners gobbled up cards to mine Ether and different cryptocurrencies. The phenomenon of Nvidia’s provide shortage first emerged in late 2017 because the bull run of that yr attracted extra individuals to crypto mining. After cooling off considerably within the following years, the GPU shortage emerged as soon as once more in 2020 and has proven no indicators of abating.

Nvidia additionally introduced on Thursday the launch of a new anti-crypto mining model of the RTX 3060. Earlier this yr, the agency launched the RTX 3060 graphics card with a built-in limiter, which made it lower than half as efficient when mining cryptocurrency, as a part of its efforts to separate gaming and mining demand.

Within days, hackers had been rumored to have bypassed the mining limiter, and only a few days later nonetheless, Nvidia shot itself in the foot by releasing an official driver replace that unintentionally eliminated the limiter by itself.

The new model of the RTX 3060 will reportedly retain the identical title and branding however will see the defective driver changed fully, reports TechRadar.

While Bitmain’s launch of the E9 may appear a bit late, given Ethereum’s eventual transfer to proof-of-stake within the subsequent yr or so, the restricted time left to mine ETH might additionally end in a pointy demand spike as miners search to build up as a lot ETH as potential earlier than the changeover.

We requested Nvidia if it anticipated the discharge of the E9 to assist ease its GPU shortage by diverting demand, or, whether or not the corporate seen the rig as competitors for its CMP vary. This article can be up to date ought to Nvidia reply.