Cryptocurrency mining is becoming a huge business and it's astonishing how this impacts the whole supply chain. Gamers have to suffer from low availability and extremely high pricing in the retail channel, and now we're seeing that the larger players are going straight to the source by contracting TSMC to make their in-house ASICs using the latest process technology.
We already touched on this a couple of days ago, but here's an interesting tweet from ARKInvest that shows just how large the crypto business is for TSMC. Bitmain, the largest Bitcoin miner on the planet, is now buying a whopping 20,000 16nm wafers a month from TSMC! That's double as much as in the previous quarter and a higher volume than what NVIDIA orders from TSMC.
Dutch tech site Hardware.Info calculated that Bitcoin can get a maximum of 5,670 chips out of every wafer. In total, that would be enough for 600,000 Bitmain Antminer S9 systems per month, but the actual number will probably be lower as we don't know the yields.
In total, TSMC pulled in $350 million to $400 million of revenue from cryptocurrency chips in the third quarter alone. Bloomberg notes that was about 4 to 5 percent of the foundry's revenue.
TSMC — the world's largest chip factory — is all about crypto all of a sudden. Bitmain is buying ~20k 16nm wafers a month. That's more than Nvidia. pic.twitter.com/ivZOqXvJXu