The Elec, a South Korean media reporting on the country’s electronics industry, published an article that reveals that Samsung started trial production of 3nm application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Such circuits are known for being the most efficient chips for cryptocurrency mining due to being customized for performing one specific repetitive task.
The Elec, citing sources familiar with the matter, claimed that the unnamed Chinese IC firm, which was later revealed to be PanSemi, will be the first customer for the new ASICs. Similarly, Qualcomm, the American semiconductor company and Samsung’s biggest customer, has also made reservations. Samsung reportedly agreed to make its 3nm manufacturing process available to Qualcomm at any point of time.
The 3nm ASICs are based on Samsung’s Gate All Around (GAA) technology which differs from the conventional FinFET process used to create 7nm and 5nm chips. Due to the modified structure where the gate contacts the channel from all sides, GAA transistors boast a smaller size, higher density, and improved performance.
The new ASICs by Samsung are expected to solve some main Bitcoin mining issues, like reducing power consumption by 30% or increasing mining speed by about 15%, bolstering the sha256 hash rate.
As Bitcoin price is 70% down from its $67k ATH, many miners are forced to go offline due to the drastic drop in profits. To make ends meet, mining companies convert their crypto reserves to fiat, contributing to the price capitulation. Recently, Bitfarms, the largest Bitcoin miner in North America, sold almost half its Bitcoin reserves for about $62m to maintain operations and pay debts.