NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 anti-mining algoritm is not just a driver thing, technology could expand to more SKUs

Published: Feb 19th 2021, 07:56 GMT   Comments

NVIDIA sheds more light on its new technology meant to prevent mining on GPUs

Yesterday NVIDIA announced it will have a new product series called Crypto Mining Processor (CMP) HX series. The company did not disclose the specifications of the new cards, but it would appear that they are not solely based on Ampere architecture, but rather on Turing with only one Ampere SKU. 

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 is the first card to feature crypto limiter, Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA also announced it will implement new technology into their upcoming GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card that will limit mining hash rate, should the GPU detect it is used for mining. In an official blog post, the company announced that this is a driver implementation. However, shortly after the announcement members of tech media have started receiving more information from NVIDIA on the implementation of the algorithm. For starters, this technology will not only work in Windows operating system. This was a big concern, as only smaller miners were using Windows, while big farms rely on custom Linux distributions. NVIDIA Linux driver is not open source, which means it has more control over what is available to the user. This is not the case for AMD Radeon cards, which rely on open-source drivers.

On Twitter, Bryan Del Rizzo (Director of global PR for GeForce) confirmed that the anti-crypto technology works as a secure handshake between the driver, the GPU silicon, and BIOS. The latter confirms that this is indeed a BIOS implementation and explains how RTX 3060 in a very early test was already seeing the limited performance. The technology simply does not need a driver to work.

We also learn more about the future implementations of said technology. Back in January, Kopite7Kimi, the leaker who predicted NVIDIA Ampere specs months ahead of launch, has said that Jensen Huang (CEO of NVIDIA) will start a battle against mining. At the time it was unclear what Kopite meant, but now it is clear that he meant the new CMP series as well as the crypto limiter.

What is particularly interesting here is that according to the tweets, NVIDIA would relaunch its existing SKUs under a new Device ID. This means that future RTX3090/3080/3070/3060Ti models would carry a different ID and feature the anti-crypto algorithm. It is unclear when and if NVIDIA will even announce this change.

This will also mean that cards that were already sold will not receive the anti-crypto limiter, which wouldn’t make sense anyway, since miners would simply use an older driver or not flash a new BIOS.

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