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Why A.I. and Cryptocurrency Are Making One Type of Computer Chip Scarce

SAN FRANCISCO — Two technology booms — some people might call them frenzies — are combining to turn a once-obscure type of microprocessor into a must-have but scarce commodity.Artificial intelligence systems, made by companies ranging in size from Google to the Chinese start-up Malong Technologies, rely heavily on a computer chip called a graphics processing unit, or G.P.U. The chips are also very useful in mining digital currencies like Ethereum, a Bitcoin alternative riding the same wave of hype as its more famous cousin.With people and companies involved in the two surging tech niches buying up the same chips, G.P.U.s have been in short supply over the…

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