Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) - what is it?

A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a device designed to perform numerous mathematical calculations quickly.

Cryptocurrency mining is a technically complex process based on computational processes. Therefore, this requires special powerful computer equipment with a specific device. One of the popular solutions is a PC with GPUs - graphic processors. They are electronic circuits that can quickly perform various mathematical calculations. Due to the GPU's unique design features, it can simultaneously perform several operations in parallel based on different input data. Due to this, the efficiency of information processing has been increased compared to the previous version of the system device - the CPU.

Operating principle of GPU

Modern graphics processors are a complex of multiprocessors. Each element has:

  • several processors with corresponding registers;
  • shared memory block.

The GPU itself has persistent memory and memory on the board it is integrated into.

The operating characteristics of each GPU are slightly different, depending on the manufacturer, purpose, features of the chip structure, and the software designed to coordinate processes in the GPU.

Main types

All graphic processes, depending on the device and operating principle, differ in:

  • discrete;
  • integrated.

The first category is stand-alone chips, and the second, accordingly, is implemented in graphics processors. Depending on the assigned tasks, discrete elements can be located on the video card or another card in a slot directly on the motherboard.

GPU in cryptocurrency

The scope of GPU applications is very wide. Considering them exclusively within the cryptocurrency framework, they are used to modernize mining equipment. Since the speed of mining a new coin directly depends on the efficiency and speed of computing processes, the GPU's type and characteristics directly affect miners' profitability.

GPU Benefits

Graphics processors are a kind of intermediate tool between the CPU and integrated circuits - ASICs. Even though the latter is considered more productive and efficient, GPUs are still used in mining due to the following advantages:

  • ease of memory access;
  • good throughput;
  • the ability to work simultaneously on different threads;
  • support for various algorithms and protocols;
  • memory works faster.

That is, GPUs are valued for their ease of adaptation to any changes in the market and the ability to automatically switch from one type of currency to another to increase profitability, taking into account the current situation in the market. In addition, such a component always remains liquid; even if mining activities are completed, the GPU can be used for other purposes or sold.