Samsung has confirmed that its foundry business will begin producing chips used in cryptocurrency mining equipment.
“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”, Samsung told The Market Mogul on Wednesday.
This follows reports from a South-Korean paper which published a story yesterday saying Samsung had entered into an agreement with an unnamed Chinese mining equipment manufacturer. It said Samsung would initially supply chips to the Chinese market but might look at expanding into South Korea and Japan, depending on the amount of revenue the venture generated,
The article did not say anything about possible expansions to America or Europe.
Samsung will be the first major electronics manufacturer to support mining. Its Pyeongtaek semiconductor manufacturing plant in South Korea is the largest one in the world. The company remains the single biggest consumer of semiconductor chips, spending $43.108bn in 2017 and beating Apple’s $38.754bn, even after the Californian tech-giant significantly increased its spending.
On Tuesday, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced it had received significant orders for its mining chips from Bitmain, a Chinese based developer for Application-Specific Integration Circuit (ASIC) chips, used for crypto-mining.
Samsung already produces high-capacity memory chips for Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) which are normally used to handle computer graphics but can also mine cryptocurrency.
According to its end of year financials for 2017, the South-Korean electronics firm became the biggest seller of chipsets, overtaking Intel after 25 years, with a total gross revenue of $68m in chip sales. Overall the company reported a full-year profit of $50.7bn.
Samsung has refused to comment on the name of the Chinese crypto-mining company, or even say whether it has come to an agreement with any other company at all. At present they have not provided any further details.
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