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Samsung rides cryptocurrency boom, to manufacture chips used for mining

Samsung has already been in the industry of manufacturing GPU chips which are used not only in handling a computer’s graphics requirements but can also mine cryptocurrencies.

February 05, 2018 / 05:36 PM IST

After recently toppling Intel as the world's largest chip-seller, global manufacturing giant Samsung has forayed into the booming cryptocurrency. TechCrunch reported that the company confirmed it is making ASIC chips, which specialise in mining cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether, etc.

“Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips. However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers,” TechCrunch quoted a spokesperson from the company.

Samsung has already been in the industry of manufacturing GPU chips which are used not only in handling a computer’s graphics requirements but can also mine cryptocurrencies. However, the company’s latest foray is into ASIC chips or application-specific integrated circuits chips which are manufactured with the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrencies.

ASIC market is largely dominated by Chinese companies such as Bitmain and Canaan Creative who function together with Taiwanese TSMC or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company which has more than 50 percent share of global chip foundry market. However, Samsung’s entry into the market will most likely bring a large shift in market positioning.

Samsung has announced its entry at the right time as cryptocurrencies across the world have been in the spotlight, and as appetite for computing power keeps increasing for miners -- programmers that create new currency and settle transactions.

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The move may also likely bring a relief to the personal computer (PC) industry which was facing severe shortage of GPUs owing to huge demands by cryptocurrency miners. For example, it was recently reported that Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 which should cost around USD 380 (price may vary with different model), now costs approximately 80 percent more at about USD 700 mainly due to lack of supply in the market.

Samsung’s jump onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon is expected to boost the already impressive chip business it enjoys. The company clocked USD 69 billion just on chip sales thanks to the high-growth smartphone industry.
first published: Feb 5, 2018 05:36 pm

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