The GPU shortage has hit all enthusiasts hard, but hope may come from the new ASIC chips. This Bitmain Antminer E9 has performance equivalent to 32 NVIDIA RTX 3080, but consumes a third
This is an unhappy time for all gaming and hardware enthusiasts. The GPU shortage has caused prices to skyrocket of this fundamental component. In part these problems are due to the production of the silicon foundry which fails to meet demand, but on the other hand, the increasingly growing phenomenon of cryptocurrency mining has helped to bring thousands and thousands of pieces out of the consumer market. NVIDIA has tried – for now in vain of limit the hash rate of its GPUs in order to make them unappetizing. But hope will perhaps come from the ASIC chips. The one made by Bitmain for example is extremely powerful and efficient.
Bitmain Antminer E9: an ASIC chip against GPU shortage
I chip ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) sono chip elettronici highly specialized designed to solve a specific problem. In fact they are the opposite of a CPU (and also of a GPU) which is instead designed to solve any computational problem. There is an important trade-off between generalization and performance: the more problems the system can solve, the lower its performance will be. In practice it is like “spreading” the computation power on many different areas. An ASIC chip on the other hand is capable of run a specific algorithm with very high performance and high efficiency. In the world of cryptocurrencies they have become quite famous thanks to their performance and represent one of the few hopes to make up for the GPU shortage due to mining.
A single chip that goes like 32 NVIDIA RTX 3080
The Antminer E9 is an ASIC that delivers fino a 3 Gigahash / s, in practice it is equivalent to 32 NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics cards running concurrently. Chinese manufacturer Bimain has announced that the Antminer E9 will be launched soon, but there is still no official date for our salvation. We don’t know the official price yet, but it could be around $ 15,000. A lot of money, but still a lot less than what it would cost to buy 32 NVIDIA RTX 3080s today.
The Videocardz site offers us some comparisons. An ASIC machine called Linzhi Phoenix Miner offers 2.6 Gh / s costs about 13.ooo dollars, which means that the Antminer E9 may have a similar or slightly superior piece. The ASIC S9 in fact is much more efficient from an energy point of view compared to any other existing solution. Compared to the 32 NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics cards, which would consume around 10,000W at their full potential, this ASIC chip it only requires 2,556 W. The energy efficiency stands at 0.85 J / M. In addition to the savings in the initial investment, there would also be savings in terms of energy consumption, which is very popular with miners.
But why if these ASIC chips are so affordable we have all these GPU shortage problems? The problem is very complex. First we said that an ASIC chip is a very specialized chip, this means that a system like Bitmain Antminer E9 it can only be used to mine Ethererum. So, in the event that the value of the cryptocurrency were to go against significant declines, you would only end up with a very expensive ornament. A GPU, on the other hand, is much more flexible, it can be resold or used for other purposes. Furthermore, designing and manufacturing these chips in volumes is not easy at all. Bitmain certainly doesn’t have the bargaining strength to produce millions of pieces like NVIDIA or AMD. This is why, especially when a new cryptocurrency begins to be appreciated in the markets, shortage problems arise as miners buy available solutions in bulk with minimal risk.
So certainly this Bitmain Antminer E9 it will not solve all problems, the situation is really dire. The value of cryptocurrencies is so high that some miners have bought gaming laptops in bulk in order to take advantage of their discrete GPUs also based on the new Ampere architecture. The hope is that now that Ethereum has consolidated many ASIC chip makers are starting to bring new solutions to the market and that miners will buy them while leaving the poor GPUs alone. That’s all from the hardware section, keep following us!