The explosion in both cryptocurrency value and the demand for gaming PCs has caused huge issues. The shortage of memory modules and semiconductors has caused major problems for production beyond gaming as well. AMD and Nvidia both have tried to boost production, but their efforts have been pretty moot, as most people have to battle bots and scalpers for inventory.
The company made $5 billion in revenue over the last year, likely thanks to the massive explosion in Ehterium and other cryptocurrency prices. That has also contributed massively to the ongoing GPU availability problems. And even though Nvidia no doubt enjoys being flush with cash, they are definitely feeling the pressure from angry PC gamers.
In a recent earnings call (via Seeking Alpha) Colette Kress, the company’s CFO, highlighted just how much money Nvidia is making from the problem. They estimate that the company making somewhere around $100 million to $300 million from mining cards and hardware. And there’s a fair few gamers who feel cheated by the whole thing.
The complete lack of GPUs, without paying exorbitant prices, has been grating for millions. The shortage doesn’t look to be abating either. In response, the manufacturer has announced the new Nvidia CMP. This innovation is aimed at engineering gaming GPUs so that they don’t work as well for cryptocurrency mining. The reduced has rate will then free up that inventory for the gaming market. And it seems like the gaming company can bring the idea to more GPUs beyond the first 3060 run.
The announcement was met with suspicion from some users, who were skeptical of the idea. And with the upcoming launch of the RTX 3060, the company has clarified its plans. Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang noted “I think proof of work is going to be around for a bit. We developed CMP for this very reason.”
Going further, Kress also reiterated the same point. The company apparently plans to produce and sell 15 million worth of CMP GPUs to free up the stress on gaming customers. The plan should also give them more info about how much mining demand is really out there. The company can then use that to plan future CMP production.
“Last week we announced a new line of NVIDIA CMPs or cryptomining processors. Shipments will start in March. CMPs lack display outputs and have other optimizations that improve crypto mining power efficiency.” She continues, “for Q1, we estimate that CMP will contribute approximately 15 million. We plan to sell these products to industrial miners. We will quantify their contribution each quarter for transparency.”
So in short, the problem will still be pretty bad. If you’re planning to build a PC in 2021, you’re probably still going to have to fight bots and scalpers. As AMD and Nvidia try to engineer their way around the problem, PC gamers can still expect heightened prices. The expiration of anti-China tariff exceptions has also caused spikes in MSRP.
Nvidia and AMD have not fully announced other plans, but you can bet that more is coming soon. Keep an ear to ground for more GPU news.