Nvidia Swaps Ampere Silicon to Limit Ethereum Mining

HKEPC reports that Nvidia has discontinued the GA106-300 die, which powers the GeForce RTX 3060, citing an unnamed Taiwanese graphics card manufacturer as a source. As a result, the latest GA106-302 die will be used in upcoming GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards. The die swap, as easy as it might appear, is enough to render the Nvidia-leaked GeForce 470.05 Beta driver obsolete because it lacks the necessary data to detect the latest PCI Device ID. According to HKEPC’s sources, Nvidia has added additional mechanisms to the GA106-302 silicon, making it more difficult to crack the anti-mining limiter.

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Nvidia is expected to launch the GA106-302 silicon in May, implying that future GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards will feature the new die. Nvidia has essentially brought some confusion to the mix by injecting the latest variant into the existing market, causing cryptocurrency miners to think twice before purchasing a GeForce RTX 3060. On the other hand, Nvidia’s decision is likely to boost the value of older GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards, which are now fetching over $1000. While HKEPC only mentions the GeForce RTX 3060, it is possible that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Nvidia could also revise its other Ampere silicon, according to prominent hardware leaker kopite7kimi, who has an impeccable track record of Ampere leaks. The GA102 and GA104 silicons, which power the GeForce RTX 3090, GeForce RTX 3080, and GeForce RTX 3070, respectively, are included in the list. As a result, it seems that Nvidia is on a crusade to eliminate cryptocurrency miners.

The previous anti-mining limiter was short-lived, owing to Nvidia handing over the keys to the kingdom to cryptocurrency miners. We’re hoping that this time around, the chipmaker has added extra safeguards, and that, just maybe, more Ampere graphics cards will end up in gamers’ hands rather than Ethereum mining farms.