Samsung Producing Chips For Bitcoin Mining
Electronics giant Samsung has begun manufacturing ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) chips designed for Bitcoin mining for a Chinese client, according to the local media reports.
The publication states that the process for the development of semiconductor ASIC was completed last year, and that mass production has started in January.
“We are in the middle of a foundry business that is being supplied to a virtual money mining company in China,” a Samsung spokesperson confirmed, adding that the company was unsure how profitable the venture would prove to be.
Taiwanese hardware giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company supplies the ASIC chips needed for cryptocurrency mining to Bitmain, a China-based Bitcoin mining company, and is the only other major semiconductor manufacturer to form a partnership with a Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer.
Last year, Samsung used 40 old Galaxy phones to create a Bitcoin mining rig as part of an “upcycling” initiative intended to persuade customers to find new use cases for their old phones. The rig, of course, was mostly a curiosity, but it is an interesting development given that, according to this new information, Samsung was secretly developing ASIC chips at the time.
This shows that chip manufacturers like Samsung are well aware of the prevalent use of their GPUs (graphics processing unit) for cryptocurrency mining by end users, and might be even focusing it with new designs. For example, only a few days ago, it was revealed that Nvidia was trying to prevent crypto miners from getting their hands on their products, in order to protect their gamer clientele.