Jensen Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia, speaks in the course of the firm’s occasion on the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2019.David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty PhotosNvidia on Thursday introduced it should launch a brand new sequence of semiconductors particularly for mining ether, the second-largest digital cryptocurrency.The new chip sort is named CMP, or Cryptocurrency Mining Processor. The first playing cards will go on sale in March, an Nvidia spokesperson mentioned.Ether mining is a course of during which computer systems clear up difficult math packages to assist the Ethereum cryptocurrency community run. In trade, miners get ether, the digital coin that runs on the Ethereum community. Ether hit a document excessive on Thursday, up over 160% year-to-date to over $1,914.Ether’s mining algorithms run greatest on graphics playing cards, which is the form of chip that Nvidia is thought for. Miners typically purchase a number of graphics playing cards and put them in a single machine to maximise their return.Last fall, Nvidia launched a brand new sequence of graphics playing cards marketed at PC avid gamers which have been persistently bought out. The semiconductor business can also be dealing with a scarcity throughout the board.Thursday’s announcement means that a minimum of a few of the demand for Nvidia’s chips got here from cryptocurrency miners, not simply avid gamers.”CMP merchandise — which do not do graphics — are bought by approved companions and optimized for the perfect mining efficiency and effectivity,” Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce advertising and marketing at Nvidia wrote in a weblog submit.Nvidia mentioned that the most recent chip in its gaming graphics playing cards sequence, the RTX 3060, can be modified when it is launched later this 12 months so it will not mine ether successfully. Cards which have already been bought, just like the RTX 3070 or RTX 3080, wouldn’t have the identical limitations, the Nvidia consultant mentioned.”RTX 3060 software program drivers are designed to detect particular attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and restrict the hash price, or cryptocurrency mining effectivity, by round 50 p.c,” Nvidia’s mentioned in a weblog submit.Graphics playing cards have been first developed to allow high-definition pc video games however they’re more and more important for brand new applied sciences like synthetic intelligence. Their usefulness in mining ether is not new, both — in 2017, Nvidia mentioned it made a whole lot of thousands and thousands of {dollars} per quarter promoting chips to cryptocurrency miners.”Cryptocurrency and blockchain is right here to remain. The market want for it’ll develop, and over time it should change into fairly giant,” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang mentioned in 2017.PC gaming can also be rising strongly. Consumer spending on PC gaming {hardware} was up 62% in 2020, in line with an NPD Group estimate. A graphics card is commonly the costliest a part of a gaming PC.