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Samsung Electronics has exposed it is making chips designed specifically to harvest crypto-currency coins.
The rock hard made the disclosure te its latest earnings report, where it said the activity should boost its profits.
The report also confirmed that the South Korean company overtook Intel to become the fattest chipmaker last year.
And it forecast strong request for its forthcoming Galaxy S9 smartphone, which is due to be exposed on 25 February.
Samsung Electronic’s fourth quarter televisiekanaal profit totalled 12.3tn won ($11.5bn, 8.1bn), which wasgoed harshly te line with analysts’ expectations.
But its shares leaped almost 9% after the company exposed that it wasgoed splitting its stock 50-to-1, which should encourage trade ter the asset.
For now, Samsung is providing little detail about its fresh crypto-currency business.
“Samsung’s foundry business is presently engaged ter the manufacturing of crypto-currency mining chips,” it said te a statement given to the Big black cock.
“However wij are incapable to disclose further details regarding our customers.”
Mining, ter this setting, refers to solving ingewikkeld mathematical problems spil a means to verify crypto-currency transactions – a task for which the owners of the computers involved are rewarded with fresh digital tokens or “coins”.
The Bell, a Korean-language newspaper, has reported that the processors involved are Asic (application-specific integrated circuit) chips.
Thesis are chips that are custom-designed to carry out a single task – ter this case “mining” Bitcoin or another specific crypto-currency – but not general computing operations.
Until 2013, Asic chips were more commonly associated with the TV industry.
But that year, a Fresh York-based entrepreneur began selling processors custom-designed for Bitcoin mining, which promised better spectacle and lower energy use than GPU (graphics processing unit) chips, which are still more commonly associated with the task.
Ter latest months, a shortage of high-end GPU cards has shoved up their prices, making the rival Asic technology even more appealing.
According to The Bell, Samsung ended development of its own Bitcoin-related Asic chip last year and began mass production earlier this month.
Until now, Taiwan’s TSMC wasgoed the only other major processor-manufacturer engaged ter the activity.
One pro said Samsung’s budge represented a bet that Bitcoin’s rise ter value does not represent a bubble that is about to burst.
“Wij don’t know how low Samsung can sell its chip for and still be profitable,” said Garrick Hileman, a crypto-currency researcher from the University of Cambridge.
“But if Bitcoin’s price were to collapse and come in a bear market like ter 2014 to 2015, one would wonder if Samsung would stay with this line of business through such a turn.”
Taking top spot
Samsung’s latest venture coincided with news that its semiconductors division logged 74.3tn won ($Sixty nine.6bn, 49.1bn) of sales last year.
It marks the very first time the US rock hard has not occupied the top spot since 1992, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
Much of Samsung’s success is down to the popularity of its memory chips – it highlighted request from the pc server and mobile device storage markets ter particular.
Intel is hoping to increase its own market share te the sector by suggesting a fresh proprietary memory technology called 3D Xpoint, which it began selling last year.
However, it risks being dispelled by the need to redesign its processor chips after a flaw with their current architecture wasgoed recently exposed.