Photos emerge of the Gigabyte CMP 30HX

Posted on Friday, Mar 12 2021 @ 08:25 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
The first photos of an NVIDIA cryptocurrency mining processor (CMP) card have hit the web. This new product line from NVIDIA is aimed at cryptocurrency miners, it is basically video cards that can't be used for gaming due to the lack of display outputs. The first CMPs are based on the 12nm Turing GPU, so they don't directly compete for foundry capacity with the new 8nm Ampere GPUs. In order to push CMPs, NVIDIA has implemented a hash rate limiter on its GeForce RTX 3060 video card.

The anti-mining algorithm will likely be expanded to future releases, it makes mining less profitable on GeForce cards. So far, it doesn't seem like the protection has been hacked yet. Earlier this week, reports came out of Asia about a mod to circumvent the hash rate limiter but this turned out to be fake news. The screenshot that made the rounds didn't show Ethereum but some other crypto coin.

First photos of the Gigabyte CMP 30HX

The CMP cards are exclusively made by NVIDIA's add-in board (AIB) partners, the firm doesn't deal directly with crypto miners. VideoCardz uploaded the first photos of a CMP 30HX model from Gigabyte. This card has a 125W TDP and features a TU116-100 GPU with 6GB GDDR6 memory. According to NVIDIA, miners can expect around 26MH/s in Ethereum minig, which is equivalent to the nerfed GeForce RTX 3060.

The exact number of CUDA cores of the 30HX is unknown, it could be 1280 or 1408. VideoCardz claims NVIDIA's AIBs are already mass-producing both the 30HX and 40HX:
The popularity of the CMP series will depend mainly on the supply and their price. Big mining farms already had a supply through their own channels, those often being AIB partners who had no problem selling cards at higher margins. The CMP series will formalize how mining should be handled by AIBs because these cards will not be sold by NVIDIA directly. According to our information, AIBs have already begun mass production of the first models (30HX and 40HX).
Gigabyte CMP 30HX

Whether the CMPs will become a success remains to be seen. At least on paper, the cards aren't terribly exciting as the mining performance and mining performance per Watt is pretty bad. But of course, it's better than nothing for miners if they can't get a steady supply of GeForce discrete video cards or RTX 30-series laptops.

Chinese SMIC hitting 95% yields on 14nm?

Global semiconductor supply is in a massive unbalance between supply and demand so extra capacity is always good news. There are some reports coming out of Asia that SMIC, China's most advanced semiconductor foundry, is hitting very high yields on its 14nm node. According to the rumor mill, SMIC is now achieving 95 percent yields on 14nm. If true, this would be very good as it would be on-par with what world leader TSMC achieves.

However, WCCF Tech writes there's reason to doubt these claims as the numbers don't seem to add up:
In 2020's final quarter, sales of chips manufactured through 14nm and 28nm contributed only 5% to SMIC's overall revenues, dropping from the roughly 15% share that the two nodes had achieved in the previous quarter. At the same time, the company shipped roughly the same amount of wafers, 1.4 million, and it earned $980 million in revenue, which also dropped sequentially.

Combining the yield and revenue mix percentages together, engineers working for Taiwanese chip firms have doubted the viability of the claims. They believe that given that 14nm's revenue percentage dropped in the fourth quarter, it is unlikely that a yield increase independent of an increase in output for a process can happen.
SMIC is a relatively tiny player versus TSMC and Samsung, but China has high hopes for the future of its homegrown semiconductor industry.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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