Electronics giant Samsung has begun manufacturing ASIC chips designed for Bitcoin mining. The firm completed the development of its ASIC chips last year and began mass production this month.
Samsung, the largest company in South Korea, has begun the production of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) hardware with Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC, according to the report from The Bell. Samsung, the tech titan, is involved in this collaboration as a foundry operator.
“We are in the middle of a foundry business that is being supplied to a virtual money mining company in China,” Samsung Electronics said.
Last year, Samsung partnered with a Chinese bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer. Now, when the development of its ASIC chips is finished, China will be the first purchaser of cryptocurrency mining equipment. Despite the fact that Samsung was earlier unsure of the revenues it can generate from ASIC chips, the company plans to expand its mining equipment venture from China to other regions like South Korea and Japan, where the demand for cryptocurrencies is stronger than in other countries.
Bitcoin mining requires high-speed and energy-efficient hardware. The ASIC is a specialized piece of hardware designed to mine cryptocurrencies based on a specific hashing algorithm, such as SHA256 or Scryptan. It makes up a part of the crypto mining device.
Taiwan-based TSMC supplies the ASIC chips needed for cryptocurrency mining to Bitmain, a China-based Bitcoin mining company. Bitmain also manufactures its own hardware, having released two ASIC-style products in September, 2017. Samsung that has entered the global cryptocurrency mining sector can become the companies’ first real competitor and challenge their dominant market share. Hardware manufacturing can provide the firm with such an opportunity.
Samsung has a large-scale and sophisticated semi-conductor manufacturing plants which are capable of matching orders of any size. Since last year, Samsung has been the sole supplier of OLED screens for Apple’s iPhone X production line. In the upcoming months, Samsung also intends to manufacture GPU miners for miners targeting small cryptocurrencies.
According to Hwang Min-seong, an analyst at Samsung Securities, Samsung will be able to increase its revenues through ASIC chip manufacturing. But the company should expand its venture internationally in order to have a major impact on its revenues. Otherwise, it will be difficult.
“Samsung Electronics could increase its revenues through ASIC chip manufacturing but because the foundry only accounts for a small portion of the company’s semi-conductor manufacturing plant, it is difficult to predict that the firm’s mining venture will have a significant impact on the company’s revenues.”
Samsung is not the only company seeking to make its foray into the mining hardware industry. Earlier in January, Kodak licensed its name to a mining hardware manufacturer to produce Kodak-branded miners. It announced the launch of a new digital photography blockchain platform called KODAKOne.