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AMD Could Repurpose First-Gen RDNA GPUs for Cryptocurrency Mining

By October 25, 2020 No Comments

(Image: AMD)

Though the cryptocurrency mining rush seems to have faded out considerably over the past few years, the industry is still relatively booming. With PayPal’s announcement that it would be joining the fold, Bitcoin just got a positive boost in popularity. AMD may have its Big Navi set for release in just a week’s time, but these recent developments (as well as some intriguing findings) could indicate that AMD is looking for a way to utilize some of its older RDNA cards as important parts of the blossoming cryptocurrency market.

Interestingly enough, Phoronix found the “navi10 blockchain SKU” while sifting through Linux drivers. This could indicate a completely different SKU for a Navi graphics card with a focus on cryptocurrency mining.

Based on the RDNA 1.0 architecture, it would include 2,560 Stream Processors and 40 CUs. It would, however, be a bit underwhelming on the graphics display side, with its Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) engines disabled.

AMD already uses the Navi 10 silicon for at least four models of Radeon graphics cards, such as the Navi 10 XT and the Navi 10 XL in the Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700.

If these cards do end up arriving, it likely won’t be until in 2021. However, AMD could alternatively decide to use up the rest of the Navi silicon before it announces the Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs during its upcoming stream.

AMD has yet to announce anything in this regard, but there is an upcoming stream from the manufacturer that kicks off on October 28. It’s possible we may learn something about this potential card then, or at the very least an indication as to whether it’s possible that the “navi10 blockchain SKU” is indeed a reference to an additional product.

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