Technology NVIDIA’s chip shortage is pitting bitcoin miners against gamers
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In the niche world of customers for high-end semiconductors, a bitter feud is pitting bitcoin miners against hardcore gamers. At issue is the latest line of NVIDIA graphics cards—powerful, cutting-edge chips with the computational might to display the most advanced video game graphics on the market.
Gamers want the chips so they can experiencein their favorite games. But they can’t get their hands on NVIDIA cards, because and adapting them to crunch cryptographic codes and harvest digital currency. The fierce competition to buy chips—combined with —has , and led to sign up for daily raffles for the right to buy chips at a significant mark-up.
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Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital Holdings held a call Sunday with Elon Musk about the potential to make mining greener. © Provided by CNN Musk's announcement about the call -- on Twitter, of course -- sent bitcoin surging earlier this week. Prior to the call, Tesla reversed its position on bitcoin, saying it would no longer accept crypto for car payments because of its climate impact. First Move's Julia Chatterley spoke to Fred Thiel, CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings, Wednesday, where he spoke about the call, mining and climate and where bitcoin prices might go.
To broker a peace between its warring customers, NVIDIA is, essentially,: GeForce for gamers and the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) for miners. GeForce is the latest NVIDIA graphics card—except key parts of it have been . CMP is based on of NVIDIA’s graphics card which has been , so gamers can’t use it to render graphics.
Splitting the chip market in two
NVIDIA’s goal in splitting its product offerings is to incentivize miners to only buy CMP chips, and leave the GeForce chips for the gamers. “What we hope is that the CMPs will satisfy the miners…[and] steer our GeForce supply to gamers,” said CEO Jansen Huang on. “Hopefully, in the combination of those two, we’ll see strong growth in our core gaming business through the year.”
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Ultimately, NVIDIA’s priority is to keep its loyal gaming customers happy, according to Bank of America analyst Vivek Arya. Miners are flooding into the market for graphics cards because—but , and the miners’ demand for chips could dry up with the next crypto crash. Gamers, on the other hand, will always want the latest graphics processors. “Part of it is maintaining that trust with the [gaming] customers they know will be around long after mining goes away,” Arya said.
It won’t be easy to keep the miners at bay, however. NVIDIA tried releasing slowed-down graphics chips in February in an effort to deter miners from buying them, but it didn’t work. The miners. NVIDIA announced May 18 it would release that should be utterly useless to miners—and hopefully give gamers a chance to buy them.
There’s an opening for ARM in servers right now .
Although Nvidia might appear indifferent to the fate of its competitors, it does have their interests at heart on several fronts.Now, however, shifts in markets, technologies and business alliances are changing the equation. The market shift is primarily about who does the buying. In the past, big server installations were predominantly located in large enterprises, companies with lots of employees, businesses and data.