Featured Articles

Snapdragon 400 is Qualcomm’s SoC for watches, wearables

Snapdragon 400 is Qualcomm’s SoC for watches, wearables

We wanted to learn a bit more about Qualcomm's plans for wearables and it turns out that the company believes its…

More...
Qualcomm sampling 20nm Snapdragon 810

Qualcomm sampling 20nm Snapdragon 810

We had a chance to talk to Michelle Leyden-Li, Senior Director of Marketing, QCT at Qualcomm and get an update on…

More...
EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0 reviewed

EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0 reviewed

Nvidia has released two new graphics cards based on its latest Maxwell GPU architecture. The Geforce GTX 970 and Geforce GTX…

More...
Nvidia GTX 980 reviewed

Nvidia GTX 980 reviewed

Nvidia has released two new graphics cards based on its latest Maxwell GPU architecture. The Geforce GTX 970 and Geforce GTX…

More...
PowerColor TurboDuo R9 285 reviewed

PowerColor TurboDuo R9 285 reviewed

Today we will take a look at the PowerColor TurboDuo Radeon R9 285. The card is based on AMD’s new…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:21

TSMC making a killing on cryptocurrency mining

Written by Peter Scott



ASICs and GPUs

TSMC seems to be making a pretty penny on the cryptocurrency craze, as it is the leading provider of silicon used in mining rigs.

A couple of years ago bitcoin mining was usually handled by consumer grade hardware, namely AMD GPUs. However, as the hash difficulty increased GPUs were rendered obsolete and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) took their place. ASICs are the only viable way to mine bitcoins right now. Trying it on a GPU will just land you with a huge electric bill and nothing to show for it.

However, mining certain kinds of altcoins such as litecoin on GPUs still makes sense. Radeons are still the best way to mine Scrypt-based currencies like litecoins and Scrypt is much harder to master with ASICs. Right now there are no Scrypt ASICs on the market, but British outfit Alpha Technologies claims it will have the first units ready in a couple of months. Even AMD mentioned altcoin mining in its latest Kaveri APU presentation.

TSMC produces AMD GPUs, some of which are in high demand due to the litecoin mining craze. Tahiti products are the most popular GPU for litecoin mining, as they offer the best performance/value ratio. In addition to Tahiti, TSMC is building some ASICs, too, along with Globalfoundries.

Other hardware outfits are trying to get in on the act, offering mining motherboards capable of accommodating more discrete graphics cards. IC designers like Global Unichip and Alchip Technologies are also entering the market, Commercial Times Taipei reports

It is still unclear how much TSMC and AMD stand to gain, but Wedbush estimates around $200 million was spent on mining hardware this year. However, much of the money went towards the bitcoin network, which is powered by ASICs rather than AMD GPUs.

Peter Scott

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments