Capacity of TSMC's 12nm and 16nm nodes is reportedly tight due to continued strong demand for both GPUs and cryptocurrency mining ASICs. DigiTimes writes the Taiwanese company is the foundry of choice for ASIC developers, but the tight supply situation has sparked some to shift orders to Samsung's foundry business. Baikal Miner, for example, has contracted Samsung to make 10nm and/or 14nm ASICs.
Samsung has seen orders for cryptocurrency mining chips ramp up, said the sources, adding that Baikal and some China-based designers have contracted the Korea-based vendor to manufacture their mining ASICs using 14nm and 10nm process technologies.
Orders for cryptocurrency mining chips have become a new driver of TSMC's and Samsung's profit growths, the sources said. Both chipmakers have seen chip orders for smartphones slow down as the smartphone market continues to become saturated.
The strong demand is expected to boost TSMC's performance in the first half of 2018.