Samsung Is Building ASIC Chips for Bitcoin Mining

Cryptocurrency illustration

That clinking clanking sound it makes the world go'round. And apparently Samsung's not deaf to it. Getty Images

These do not make general-purpose editing on computers, but they are specialized in crypto-mining.

These are chips that are custom-designed to carry out a single task (i.e mining) and are not used for any other computing requirements. Those computers increasingly require more efficient chips to power them.

This year, processors, which are designed for bitcoin mining, were put on the market. This has led to miners moving on from using standard integrated graphics cards to GPUs designed for gaming, and now to specially built ASICs.

Still, Samsung Electronics said its fourth-quarter operating profit in the IT and Mobile Communications division fell to 2.42 trillion won from 3.29 trillion won a quarter earlier on increased marketing costs for its smartphones.

Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that its board of directors has approved a 50:1 stock split due to record highs in sales and operating profits in the fourth quarter on rising chip demand.

The company is said to have completed the process for the development of ASICs for bitcoin mining a year ago.

Samsung has made this revelation in its latest earnings reports, saying these chips will boost its profits even further.

The company says that a specific devision within its semiconductor business called Foundry will head up the project.

But seasonal factors impacted growth for the System LSI and Foundry businesses, it said, and profitability for LCD panels. Currently, China's Bitmain and Canaan Creative dominate this space, with both companies partnering with Taiwanese chip maker TSMC.

The market for ASIC miners has already been booming, and there was a big price rally in 2017.

Mining is a process of solving mathematically complex problems that serve to verify the transactions of cryptocurrency coins. At the time of writing, Bitcoin trades near $9,300. The South Korean company has surpassed Intel and has been the world's largest manufacturer of processors since previous year.

He predicts sales from cryptocurrency mining chips will account for less than one per cent of Samsung's total revenue this year.

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