AMD Launches Software Driver for Cryptocurrency Mining

Graphics processing unit (GPU) manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has launched its new software driver called the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute as of mid-August 2017.

The software is designed mainly to improve the performance of GPUs that are used in cryptocurrency mining.

The release of the software was made amidst the increasing demand for GPUs for digital currency mining.

The demand is chiefly driven by the continuous surge in the prices of virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in the market.

Brief background of cryptocurrency mining

Digital currency mining is an energy-intensive method of processing, recording and securing a virtual currency transaction, as well as a process of creating new cryptocurrency tokens using a computer.

During the process, a transaction is added to the public ledger called Blockchain. Meanwhile, the miners are rewarded with new tokens for their work.

Due to its energy-intensive requirements, digital currency mining requires powerful computers to increase production. This has benefitted GPU manufacturers like AMD and its main rival Nvidia.

Latest developments in the GPU market

Meanwhile, AMD’s rival Nvidia is also exploiting the current cryptocurrency mining boom as shown in its financial results in the second quarter of 2017.

The company’s GPU division has registered $1.9 bln in earnings during the quarter, an increase of 59 percent from its figures in the second quarter of 2016.

According to Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia CEO, they are very bullish about the future of the digital currencies, as well as the Blockchain technology.

Huang says:

"Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are here to stay. Over time, it will become quite large. It is very clear that new currencies will come to market. It’s clear the GPU is fantastic at cryptography. The GPU is really quite well positioned."

However, AMD has taken a bearish position on the prospects of the cryptocurrency mining market.