Published in Graphics

AMD shares surge on back of cryptocurrency

by on07 June 2017

Motherboard makers offer support

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices surged nearly nine percent, boosted by strong demand for its chips from cryptocurrency miners.

A rally in cryptocurrency Ethereum has boosted demand for graphics chips used by people to "mine" it and other digital currencies, with some of AMD's processors sold out on and other retail websites.

Mining for cryptocurrency involves using networks of computers to validate transactions and prevent counterfeiting by solving complex mathematical problems. New currency is generated as a reward to the computer operators.

Ethereum miners spending as little as $2,000 to build mining computers using graphics processing units, or GPUs, from AMD or its rival Nvidia could break even within three or four months. According to RBC analyst, Mitch Steves, economics suggests that GPUs will continue to be sold out and GPU demand will remain robust as long as the return is under (about) a year.

AMD spokesman Drew Prairie acknowledged that interest from cryptocurrency miners was contributing to demand for the company's chips, but he stressed that game enthusiasts are the core market.

Apparently the run is on AMD Polaris-based graphics cards like the Radeon RX 580, and some mid-range NVIDIA GPUs as well, which is driving up their value.

DigiTimes said that AMD and NVIDIA are both readying stripped-down graphics cards, specifically targeting cryptocurrency miners.

The cards will lack any display outputs and potentially have lower-clocks as well. And because most miners punish their GPUs with heavy 24/7 workloads, that could shorten the lifespan of the cards, their warranties will be reduced to 90 days.

Computex saw ASRock also announced a new motherboard targeted at Cryptocurrency miners -- the ASRock H110 Pro BTC+. The ASRock H110 Pro BTC+ is packing 13 PCI Express slots – twelve x1 slots and one x16 slot -- and Intel’s H110 chipset. Because CPU resources are less important in a GPU-mining rig, an affordable, mainstream chipset paired to a low-cost CPU is suitable.  And because GPU mining doesn’t require massive amounts of data to be shuffled across the PCI Express interface, x1 slots are also fine.

ASRock didn’t specify pricing or when the H110 Pro BTC+ will be available. It's reported that the AMD and NVIDIA graphics card for mining will be made available at the end of  June.

Last modified on 07 June 2017
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