Samsung Begins Manufacturing ASIC Chips for Mining Cryptocurrency

Samsung Begins Manufacturing ASIC Chips for Mining Cryptocurrency

Samsung is currently the top chipmaker in the world, and it’s quietly expanding into a new market: cryptocurrency mining. Samsung isn’t mining coins itself, but it is using its massive manufacturing capacity to produce so-called “application specific integrated circuits,” or ASIC chips, for use in mining rigs. These chips are designed just to mine coins, making them vastly more efficient than a stack of GPUs.

Cryptocurrencies have different features, values, and management features, but almost all of them can be mined. To mine coins, your machine has to complete complex mathematical calculations as “proof of work.” This computing power goes toward processing transactions on the crypto’s network, and in return you are rewarded with a small amount of the currency. However, the calculations get more difficult over time, and that means you need more powerful and efficient ways to mine it.

Bitcoin has long since passed the point you can profitably mine it at home — even a giant rig of GPUs won’t have enough power to compensate for the electricity you use. This happens to every cryptocurrency eventually, but ASIC chips can keep a mining operation profitable. Thus far, most ASIC chips have been designed by Chinese firms Bitmain and Canaan Creative, both of which work with Taiwanese fabrication company TSMC. The entry of Samsung, with its impressive manufacturing capacity into this space, could upend the market.

An ASIC Bitcoin miner.
An ASIC Bitcoin miner.

Samsung has confirmed it’s working on cryptocurrency mining chips, but it refuses to discuss its specific partners. Previous reports claim it’s a Chinese firm, which would make sense. The low cost of electricity there has made it a hub of cryptocurrency mining. The unnamed partner would need to buy a substantial number of chips to affect Samsung’s bottom line. The company brought in $69 billion in chip sales last year, most of which were used in smartphones. That was the largest chunk of its revenue; even more than smartphone sales.

Having more ASIC hardware on the market certainly won’t hurt, though. The price of consumer GPUs is through the roof right now because miners are buying them up to accumulate newer cryptocurrencies in hopes of striking it rich when they take off. Although, it’s unknown whether Samsung’s mystery partner plans to sell ASIC hardware or just use it in a private mining operation. Most consumer ASIC devices have been failures, but recent increases in crypto value might turn that trend around. Maybe you’ll be able to get a GPU for retail price someday.

Continue reading

Trump Administration: End ISS Funding, Return to Lunar Exploration

The Trump administration has called for NASA to cease funding ISS operations in 2024, in order to divert that money into manned lunar exploration in 2025.

YouTube Is Serving Covert Cryptocurrency Mining Ads

Cryptocurrency mining in-browser (and without user consent) is finally infecting sites like YouTube, to the widespread detriment of the site's users.

Trump Administration Denies Plan to Nationalize 5G Network

A memo leaked from the Trump administration discusses the possibility of nationalizing the 5G networks under construction in the US, but the administration states it has no plans to do so.

ET Deals Roundup: Optiplex Mini PC for $560, 17-inch Laptop Under $800, and more

For a limited time, Dell is selling the OptiPlex 3050 Micro PC for just $559. If you're looking to optimize your desk space, this tiny PC is worth picking up. We've also found incredible discounts on laptops, 4K TVs, DNA tests, and tons of Valentine's Day gifties.