Cryptocurrency mining and semiconductor manufacturing are closely related as there is a need for better computing power using less energy. Big semiconductor companies are entering the sector. As the competition grows, it is expected that the prices will go down and chips will be using less electricity.
Nearly all cryptocurrencies must be mined and maintained with high-cost mining rigs. As the mining processes go on, the cost of mining a single coin increases. Thus, miners seek out to find new ways to reduce costs related to the mining process. Semiconductor manufacturing companies are competing to produce more powerful machines with reduced power usage to address this problem. Nowadays, a mining rig cost around $3,000 and $10,000. And, the cost of mining one coin could be as high as $3,000. So, semiconductor companies are focusing on more profitable mining rigs.
The race for producing the best mining semiconductor is called “ASIC Arms Race”. In 2017’s graphics card shortage, NVIDIA and AMD were caught offhand as their supplies were not enough for the high demand. Now, there are several mining rig retailers and producers, and the competition gets hotter every day. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is being rivaled by Samsung lately. The entry of a big player such as Samsung will make competition harder. Even though Samsung would be more focused on its mobile phone branch, this move is a good one for the sector. Also, Intel announced that they are producing 10 nm chips. These chips are going to be used in mining computers. However, Intel also stated they are postponing the release of 10 nm chips until 2019.
Although there were good ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) in the past, they were producing low amounts of coin and they were expensive. However, with the big players coming into play, and semiconductors produced at manufacturing plants, we can see reduced prices and higher performances.
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