12 mins ago |
By Lubomir Tassev – |
GPU Producers Fear Drop in Demand from Crypto Miners
Reports concerning major manufacturers of graphics processing hardware have indicated expectations of decreasing demand in the cryptocurrency mining sector. Nvidia is unlikely to unveil new video cards in the coming months, while AMD has shared concerns of dropping GPU sales in 2018, blaming the crypto market and regulatory risks.
New GPU Launch Pushed Back
Several tech publications have suggested a launch of new product lines by Nvidia. The expectations were focused on the upcoming Game Developers Conference and GPU Technology Conference in March. The latest information, however, indicates the company may have changed its plans. New GPU announcements are now expected in July at the earliest.
Previously, it has been rumored that Nvidia may reveal a new card for crypto mining applications. The dedicated unit was reportedly codenamed “Turing” after the British computer scientist and cryptanalyst Alan Turing. Now, it turns out that Turing could be just another gaming video card, much like the other new line called Ampere.
The Turing graphics processing units (GPUs) were supposed to be designed specifically for calculating cryptocurrency transactions. GPUs are mainly utilized in rigs mining altcoins, like ethereum and monero. The Ampere processors should be integrated in the next-gen Geforce cards to replace the current Pascal lineup. Nvidia was expected to separate the GPU market in two segments – for miners and gamers, respectively.
Trends in Demand from Miners Change Plans
High demand for video cards used in mining applications last year has forced Nvidia to take measures to ensure gamers get hold of its GPUs. In January the company asked retailers to limit the number of cards purchased at a time. Miners usually buy the latest GPUs in bulk, and that has created shortages on many markets. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has stated that the company is working to resolve supply issues.
Nvidia partners have been expecting to receive the Turing specifications but they are not likely to get them until May, Tom’s Hardware Guide reports, quoting “multiple independent sources”. Mass production has been scheduled to begin in mid-June. The new cards may be announced in July, or even August. According to the online edition, Nvidia has no impetus to launch new products now, when AMD is not putting enough pressure and demand from miners may drop. On top of that, the current “Pascal” generation is selling well. The launch of the next-gen Ampere architecture may also be postponed in the consumer segment, where the professional Volta can be used instead.
AMD, Nvidia’s main competitor, has admitted that decreasing demand from miners can affect its business this year. Last month Advanced Micro Devices announced plans to increase production of graphics cards in response to strong market demand. This week, however, the company said that several factors, like increasing crypto market and regulatory risks, may change the GPU market by decreasing demand from cryptocurrency miners.
Gauging the crypto-related market and predicting its developments has proved difficult for major video card manufacturers. Nevertheless, newly released data suggests that sales in the mining segment have been profitable for both companies. More than 3 million graphics cards have been sold to cryptocurrency miners in 2017, according to a recent report.