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By Samuel Haig – |
Microchip Powerhouse TSMC Credits High Performing Quarter to Cryptocurrency Mining
The world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), has attributed its high performance for the third quarter of 2017 to surging demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Saw an Increase in Revenue by 17.9% During the Third Quarter
TSMC has credited booming demand for cryptocurrency mining equipment as a significant contributing factor to the company’s excellent performance during the third quarter of 2017. TSMC’s chief financial officer, Lora, Ho, stated that “the strength of our third quarter revenue was driven mainly by major mobile product launches and a generally healthy demand environment, including cryptocurrency mining.”
TSMC was founded in 1987, and was the world’s first dedicated semiconductor foundry. TSMC claims to be the largest independent semiconductor foundry in the world, with its clients including Apple Inc., Broadcom Corporation, and major graphics processing unit (GPU) manufacturers Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). In March of this year, TSMC’s market capitalization surpassed that of semiconductor giant Intel, reaching a market cap of $168.4 billion. Many of TSMC’s customers also manufacture application-specific integrated circuits, including those designed for cryptocurrency mining.
2017 Saw Unprecedented Demand for Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware
2017 witnessed global shortages of graphics cards due to a surge in cryptocurrency mining activities. Whilst demand for GPUs for bitcoin mining had been relatively high between 2010 and 2013, the release of ASICs for bitcoin mining has shifted the bitoin mining market away from GPUs.
The skyrocketing altcoin prices of early 2017 inspired an unprecedented spike in demand for GPUs. The increased demand led to international shortages in graphics cards.
In order to manage demand from cryptocurrency miners and avoid alienating their gamer customer-base, many GPU manufacturers began to produce purpose-built GPUs designed primarily for mining. Hong Kong-based Sapphire Technology became the first company to bring GPUs purpose-built for cryptocurrency mining to market, launching GPUs that do no feature display ports, in late June. Asus and Nvidia quickly released their own purpose-built mining GPUs, launching GPUs that featured only a single display port.