Earlier this month, it was reported that Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain has a deal with TSMC for 20,000 16nm wafers per month. Bitmain uses TSMC to make chips for its mining systems and it seems this is becoming a pretty big growth driver for the Taiwanese foundry.
Today DigiTimes has an update about the situation. The site reports Bitmain's total order now amounts to 100,000 wafers monthly at TSMC! It's really quite stunning, in a matter of a couple of months, Bitmain has become one of TSMC's largest clients:
Bitmain can not only design ASICs, but also supply mining machines and build mining grounds. The company has squeezed into TSMC's list of major customers by placing large-size orders with the foundry house for fabricating ASIC mining chips and AI (artificial intelligence) chips on 16nm FinFET process, industry sources said.
Bitmain's orders are enough to occupy 90% of TSMC's ASIC foundry capacity during off-peak season, with the remaining 10% booked by Canaan Creative. Bitmain's orders amount to 100,000 wafers monthly at TSMC, serving as a significant driver for the foundry house's revenue growth in 2018, the sources indicated.
The real question is how durable this demand is. But in the mean time, lots of players are profiting significantly from this crypto-fueled uptake in demand.