Our search for extra-terrestrials is still a long way to go. However, its progress has been slowed down thanks to the current crypto-currency craze across the world.
Scientists from the SETI(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) have complained about the lack of availability of hardware required to expand their operations.
A radio-astronomer told BCC how they are suffering from the short supply for graphics processing units(GPUs).
Dan Werthimer added, “We’d like to use the latest GPUs [graphics processing units]… and we can’t get ’em,”
All the current high-end GPU’s are going to the miners who are buying them even on premium. Until now, we heard about how it is hampering the PC community as they have to buy an overpriced GPU to complete their rig. However, the crypto-craze now has a new victim, i.e., scientific endeavors.
Dan Werthimer, the chief scientist at Berkley Seti Research Center also told to BCC, “That’s limiting our search for extra-terrestrials, trying to answer the question, ‘Are we alone? Is there anybody out there?’,”
Furthermore, he also clarified that the problem is not new as they are trying to get stocks for the past two months or so.
So, how does it affect them?
GPU’s are required for processing huge amount of data when it comes to scientific endeavors. Without this kind of processing speed, the research becomes slow. GPU’s, on the other hand, is used by miners to mine Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies as they solve complex mathematical puzzles with the GPU’s processing speed.
To further clarify the situation, Dan explained on why they need high processing power.
“At Seti we want to look at as many frequency channels as we possibly can because we don’t know what frequency ET will be broadcasting on and we want to look for lots of different signal types - is it AM or FM, what communication are they using?”
“That takes a lot of computing power.”
As we move forward, we can see a further drop in supply as more and more people are entering into mining.