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AMD Bolsters Crypto Mining in Latest GPU Software Update

Graphics card (GPU) maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has updated one of its drivers to better handle the processes tied to cryptocurrency mining.

The release notes for its Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.3.4, published Monday, explained that one of the fixed issues from previous versions addresses efficiency problems seen when running the energy-intensive process.

As the statement explained:

“Some blockchain workloads may experience lower performance than expected when compared to previous Radeon Software releases.”

Previous versions of the software do not list the issues related to crypto-mining, though it is notable that the fix was applied to software optimized for gaming, and not the blockchain-specific type released last year.

As previously reported, AMD has developed drivers in the past that improved GPU performance when mining cryptocurrencies. The Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute software was first released last August.

The software was released on an “as is” basis, according to the release notes, “and will not be supported with further updates, upgrades or bug fixes” – suggesting that, for the time being, AMD isn’t eyeing regular fixes for cryptocurrency-related problems.

The drivers were unique in that they were “not intended for graphics or gaming workloads,” according to the company’s release notes.

Stepping back, the move is just the latest from GPU manufacturers whose products have been swept up by cryptocurrency miners. AMD in particular noted in its most recent 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission filing that its business, which boosted its stock price heavily last year, that a drop in cryptocurrency demand specifically could hurt its business.

The company expressed concern that volatility in the cryptocurrency market could lower the demand for GPUs, as previously reported.

However, an analyst with Jeffries does not see this as a likely possibility, as Mark Lipacis wrote last year that he expects demand to continue.

Rows of GPUs image via Shutterstock

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