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Thread: Didn't see that coming - AMD rallies on cryptocurrency mining demand

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    Blogger Bernard Murphy's Avatar
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    Didn't see that coming - AMD rallies on cryptocurrency mining demand

    (Reuters)
    Shares of Advanced Micro Devices surged nearly 9 percent on Tuesday boosted by strong demand for its chips from cryptocurrency miners, leaving short sellers at a loss for the year. 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 Amazon.com and other retail websites.

    AMD rallies as cryptocurrency miners snap up graphics chips
    | Reuters

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    Unfortunately, they don't benefit from this unless they pump up production to meet demand.

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    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    Here is the latest from the AMD CTO and SVP of Engineering:
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Now available in print or Kindle: "Mobile Unleashed: The Origin and Evolution of ARM Processors In Our Devices"

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    I think that it was also because of Apple (announcing massive use of AMD Radeon GPUs in the coming products)...

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    Blogger Bernard Murphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nenni View Post
    Here is the latest from the AMD CTO and SVP of Engineering:
    Interesting review, didn't see any mention of cryptocurrency/blockchain/bitcoin. Did see a note at the end of aspirations to play in Ai in autonomous driving. Not sure why they would have an advantage there.

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    The Ethereum mining situation is very interesting from the view point
    of computer architecture. The idea of bitcoin variants mining is to
    encourage people to provide computing power to keep the public ledger
    honest by preventing people from erasing transactions and spending coins
    more than one time. It is a solution to the multi-party secret sharing
    problem with the amazing observation that fairness can be provided
    by making sure the majority of computing power is honest. Before
    Bitcoin, the idea was to make sure the majority of parties involved in
    the multi-party sharing were honest.

    It turns out that bitcoins are am improved way to stop cheaters
    (code breakers) but is not fool proof either. Here is the
    original design document by the originator of the Ethereum coin with
    a discussion of preventing ASIC use and fixing problems with Bitcoin.

    On Mining - Ethereum Blog

    The problem with bitcoin mining is that it is too easy to design
    an ASIC that can perform the SHA256 hashes. Mining works by hashing
    and then collecting a coin if the hash is small enough. Currently
    less than 2*191 (75 leading 0 bits). There is no better algorithm.
    The way Ethereum eliminated the advantage of cheap ASICs (the Vitalik
    Buterin article above has interesting pictures of the 2014 Bitcoin
    ASIC factory in China) is to require the entire Ethereum coin ledger
    be stored (gigabytes of data) and making the mining operation more like
    a normal computer program that requires a real computer.

    Here is an article from 2013 describing why the AMD graphics
    processors architecture made it more economical (faster gpus for
    this application) to use AMD GPUs in graphics cards than Nvidia.

    AMD destroys Nvidia at Bitcoin mining, can the gap ever be bridged? - ExtremeTech

    Basically, the AMD cards were much closer to normal computers while
    the Nvidia cards were more highly optimized for graphics display.
    One main advantage of the AMD card was that it contained a rotate instruction
    that took 3 instructions on the Nvidia card of the time. It turned out
    that back then too, AMD graphics cards sold out, but it was bad business
    for AMD because when they ramped up production, the Bitcoin mining
    algorithms had moved on. I think AMD and NVDA will run into the same
    problem this time, i.e. bad business as technology moves on.

    Here is a recent article explaining why AMD cards are faster (more
    cost effective) because their architecture is more like that of a
    normal CPU.

    Ethereum Mining GPU Hashrate Performance Roundup

    I do not understand the attraction of Bitcoin type public ledgers because
    they can be beaten with various attacks and when such a hack happens,
    there will be no legal system to turn to (attacks are discussed in
    Buterin's blog post above).

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    Most interesting is that Ethereum is even working on removing the need for heavy computation to secure their blockchain by switching to a prove-of-stake system from the prove-of-work system they are currently using. So the use of GPUs for ethereum mining will only be temporarily.

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    Trust me ...
    I know what I am doing.

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    Blogger Bernard Murphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smeyer0028 View Post
    The Ethereum mining situation is very interesting from the view point
    of computer architecture. The idea of bitcoin variants mining is to
    encourage people to provide computing power to keep the public ledger
    honest by preventing people from erasing transactions and spending coins
    more than one time. It is a solution to the multi-party secret sharing
    problem with the amazing observation that fairness can be provided
    by making sure the majority of computing power is honest. Before
    Bitcoin, the idea was to make sure the majority of parties involved in
    the multi-party sharing were honest.
    ....
    Excellent post - lots of info!

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  9. #9
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    I took a quick look at proof of stake. It looks to me like it
    takes a step backward to multi-party secret sharing that
    has the problem that a group can collude at any time
    (say Christmas Eve) to change or erase transactions. The idea
    of hash code mining is that it is much harder for cheaters to
    aggregate huge computing power. Mining computing power is a
    large user of energy though.

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  10. #10
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