Samsung has confirmed that it has begun manufacturing ASIC chips in partnership with an unidentified Chinese mining company which is used to mine bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies.
A spokesperson for the firm told TechCrunch: “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 declined to provide more details when we asked. Samsung already produces high-capacity memory chips for GPUs, which are conventionally used to handle graphics on computers but are also deployed for mining purposes.
These chips are known as ASICs or application-specific integrated circuits. ASICs are processors that have been specially designed for a single computational task, as opposed to the multi-purpose processors we use in computers and phones. Mining for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin means putting your computer to work solving thorny math problems that are used to verify cryptocurrency transactions. In return for your gobs of processing power, you can be rewarded with coins.