Categories: News

AMD Reportedly Working on Cryptocurrency Specific GPU

We are, quite fortunately, mostly out of the cryptocurrency boom seen in 2017 that led to even moderately benign graphics cards selling for ludicrously high prices. Just to put this into context, an AMD Radeon RX 480 I purchased for £180 was, within literally months, being sold 2nd-hand for close to £300. The demand, even for such a relatively average mid-tier GPU (at the time), was insane!

If you were hoping, however, that this trend had (or was) dying out, I’m afraid things are not looking too promising. With a lot of the various ‘coins’ seeing a solid resurgence in their value over 2020, we may be on the verge of entering a new and huge mining craze. Something that could, like before, see graphics card prices rise as demand (particularly from industrial level mining organizations) hits new peaks. In order to attempt to provide a solid solution for this potential spike, however, a report via TechPowerUp is suggesting that AMD may be working, very specifically, on a cryptocurrency graphics card.

AMD ‘Big Navi’ Cryptocurrency GPU

Following the release of the latest update to the Linux operating system, users have noted various references to a yet undisclosed AMD graphics card. Only known (yet) as the ‘0x731E’, what makes this particularly interesting is that this graphics card does not appear to have Display Core Next (DCN) or Video Core Next (VCN) engines. A factor that strongly indicates that this graphics card is being very specifically designed to not include any display functionality.

In other words, this may well represent a graphics card designed entirely and solely for the purpose of number crunching which is the key component in cryptocurrency mining.

What Do We Think?

To date, while there are many graphics cards that certainly offer a lot of potential in terms of cryptocurrency mining (that even sees AMD’s increasingly aging Polaris based GPUs still selling in impressive quantities). There isn’t a model, yet, however, that specifically caters directly and entirely towards the cryptocurrency market. As such, if AMD can produce a model, particularly on a relatively benign budget, they could not only be onto a huge winner here with the more industrial scale of mining but if there is a second spike in GPU demand, driven purely by cryptocurrency, it could help alleviate supply issues for more gaming-focused graphics cards. That is, at least, the hope.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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