Thanks to the cryptocurrency craze the prices of graphics cards have been inflated to up to three times their retail cost, while inventories have been falling to all-time lows. But relief for PC gamers could be coming soon, as Samsung has announced that it’s making new chips specifically for mining.
Samsung confirmed that its foundry business is ‘engaged the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips’ with TechCrunch. Aside from the scant confirmation, a separate Korean news report from The Bell suggest that the company will produce application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) designed for single computational tasks.
Among the many unknowns of Samsung’s new confirmed mining chips is how this form of ASIC will be able to readily chip at Ethereum, which has classically been ASIC-resistant. Ethereum isn’t necessarily invulnerable to ASIC, but it’s a problem that Samsung will need to solve.
The Korean electronics firm’s move into the cryptocurrency world might seem like a curious one, but the company is already deeply involved in mining. A majority of the graphics cards used in mining feature Samsung’s high-capacity memory chips.
And, while Samsung is largely known for its smartphones and QLED 4K TVs, the company recently toppled Intel as the world’s largest chipmaker. So, this latest initiative could help solidify its position in the silicon arena.
Hopefully, Samsung’s move into ASIC chips can help take some of stress of the world’s stockpile of GPUs. But we can also easily see the company’s burgeoning focus in the mining world cut into the memory supply meant for graphics cards as well.