Samsung has ventured into the world of bitcoin before when it made a bitcoin mining rig from its old phones. Samsung Electronics has now started to produce chips called application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Production started last month for an unidentified Chinese mining company according to the local media.
A Samsung Electronics spokesperson said, “We are in the middle of a foundry business that is being supplied to a virtual money mining company in China.” The company said that producing ASICs will help boost the earnings this year. Samsung claimed that it would “benefit from cryptocurrency demand increase” in the semiconductor arm.
Bitcoin mining process requires special hardware and chipsets in which complicated mathematical equations are solved by supercomputers to validate a transaction on the bitcoin network. ASICs are designed for a single task: mining bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Processors designed for bitcoin mining are appearing on the market and offer better performance and lower energy use than GPU chips, which are still most commonly used for the task. GPUs are used for both handling the graphics on the computers as well as for bitcoin mining.
The existing chip products for Samsung consist of high-capacity memory chips for GPUs and accounted for more than 60% of its profits in 2017 operating revenue. Samsung said that the company will be expanding on the current chip products and will shift towards manufacturing processors for the crypto mining industry.
China’s Bitmain and Canaan Creative are dominating the ASICs market and they are both working with the Taiwanese giant TSMC. The size of Samsung’s semiconductor plant could give the form a huge advantage. If Samsung does get involved in mining, other industry leaders will have some serious competition.
Even though the price of Bitcoin has dipped recently, it’s demand has not decreased and the tech giants who just passed Intel as the world’s largest chipmaker by revenue, and the giants will want to cash this opportunity. We will have to wait a little to find out exactly what the company has planned.