Korean electronics giant Samsung is the latest chip manufacturer to enter the bitcoin mining hardware market. The company’s foundry has reportedly already began producing ASIC chips for a Chinese client earlier this month.
Samsung Bitcoin Chips
Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930), the flagship company of the Korea-based multinational conglomerate Samsung Group, has entered the bitcoin mining business according to reports from the country. It has earlier signed a contract with a Chinese bitcoin mining hardware maker to supply it with chips, and already started mass production in January.
According to the reports Samsung Electronics completed the process for the development of semiconductor ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) for bitcoin mining last year. A Samsung Electronics spokesperson told Korea’s The Bell that, “We are in the middle of a foundry business that is being supplied to a virtual money mining company in China”.
The market for ASIC miners has been booming along with the massive 2017 price rally, and hardware manufacturers such as Bitmain used their strong profits to sway the semiconductor foundries to produce chips for them over traditional clients. It was recently revealed that the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, TSMC, expects that the bitcoin mining sector will continue to grow this year, possibly offsetting for weak iPhone X sales for Apple’s primary chip supplier.
Samsung is set to profit not just from the bitcoin ASIC mining boom, but also from the huge parallel demand for GPU-based cryptocurrency mining. The company has started the mass production of a new type of DRAM for graphics cards, which is said to be more suitable for cryptocurrency mining. The 10-nanometer 16Gb GDDR6 DRAM is twice as fast as conventional GDDR5 DRAM and improves power efficiency by more than 35%, resulting in greater profitability for GPU for cryptocurrency mining.
This shows that chip manufacturers like Samsung are well aware of the prevalent use of their GPUs for cryptocurrency mining by end users, and might be even focusing it with new designs. Only recently it was revealed that GPU manufacturer Nvidia has taken measures to try and ensure its products get into the hands of gamers, not miners.
Is the Korean government going to the support bitcoin ecosystem more now when its national champion Samsung is invested in its success? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Samsung.