Is AMD Preparing GPU For Cryptomining?

Linux news outlet Phoronix has spotted a couple of Linux patches that suggest to an unreleased AMD blockchain graphics card for cryptocurrency mining. The description refers to a “navi10 blockchain SKU,” implying that the Navi 10 silicon is at the heart of this new graphics card. As Phoronix noted, the major difference between this mysterious blockchain graphics and your normal Navi 10 offering is that the Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) engines are disabled. The lack of support indicates that the graphics card will likely arrive without any display outputs. The Navi 10 silicon is based on AMD’s RDNA 1.0 architecture, and it’s a product of TSMC’s 7nm FinFET manufacturing process. Checking in with a die size of 251 mm², Navi 10 houses up to 10,300 million transistors. Overall, the Navi 10 die houses 40 Compute Units (CUs), totaling to 2,560 Stream Processors (SPs). According to Phoronix this Navi 10 blockchain graphics card won’t debut until early next year. Navi might be more energy-efficient than Vega or Polaris, but we’re unsure if the crypto mining performance is there. Furthermore, crypto mining has shifted away from graphics cards, and the emergence of custom-tailored ASIC miners have practically replaced them. Nonetheless, it still depends on the type of cryptocurrency you’re into since certain algorithms still heavily favor the graphics card.