The cryptocurrency craze for extraterrestrial

Scientists listening to alien broadcasts are scrambling to get the computer hardware they need, thanks to the cryptocurrency mining craze, a radio astronomer said.

Seti  researchers want to expand operations into two observatories However, they have found that key computer chips are in short supply. We’d like to use the latest GPUs [graphics processing units] and we can’t get them said Dan Werthimer. GPU demand has exploded recently thanks to cryptocurrency mining. That is limiting our search for aliens, to trying to answer the question, ‘Are we alone? Is anyone out there  Dr Werthimer told the BBC.

This is a new problem, it only happened on orders that we have been trying to do in the last few months Mining for a currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum involves connecting computers to a global network and using them to solve complex mathematical puzzles. This is part of the validation process of transactions made by people who use the currency. Russian Nuclear Scientists Arrested For ‘Bitcoin Mining Scheme.

As a reward for this work, the miners receive a small payment in cryptocurrency, which makes it potentially profitable. Bitcoin mining devours Iceland’s power supplies Bitcoin falls below $ 6,000 GPUs are high-performance chips and aren’t just used to power video games; Bitcoin miners, radio astronomers, or others interested in processing large amounts of data for certain applications can stack it together.

At Seti we want to see as many frequency channels as possible because we do not know on what frequency ET will be transmitted and we want to look for many different types of signals: AM or FM What are they using Explained Dr. Werthimer, Chief Scientist at the Berkeley Seti Research Center. That requires a lot of computing power. He added that, in some telescopes, Berkeley Seti has around 100 GPUs processing data from large listening matrices.

These arrays can pick up the weakest radio frequencies that have been blasted through our solar system from other parts of the universe, often from natural phenomena like star collapses. Seti scientists are trying to improve their ability to analyze such data at two observatories: Green Bank in West Virginia and Parkes in Australia. But they have been affected by the GPU shortage.

We have the money, we have contacted the providers and they say, ‘We just don’t have it,'” Dr. Werthimer said. Earlier this year, there were reports that video gamers had been hit by a sudden spike in the cost of GPUs, thanks in particular to an increase in mining for Ethereum, which can be done with chips destined for GPUs. consumers. At the time, major chipmaker Nvidia said that retailers should make arrangements.


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