Taiwan Semiconductor had their 2018 Q1 conference call on April 19th and mentioned a bump in revenue from cryptocurrency chip demand. The company, as reported by Coindesk, broke sales records in Q1 thanks in part to the increased demand in ASIC chip production. The company saw a 6% year-over-year increase, stating “[this] result was mainly driven by a strong demand from high-performance computing such as cryptocurrency mining and increases from both automotive and IoT, but offset by seasonal decline in smartphones.” The company continued with a warning regarding Q2 earnings, saying “[we] forecast TSMC’s 2018 revenue in US dollar will be about 10%, rather than the previously indicated 10% to 15% due to the Smartphone weakness and the uncertainty in cryptocurrency mining demand.”
“More than 50 products tape-outs has been planned by end of this year from applications across mobile, server CPU, network processor, gaming, GPU, PGA, cryptocurrency, automotive and AI. Our 7-nanometer is already in volume production.“
Digging further into the conference call transcript contained a hidden gem. TSCM notes that their 7nm chip has “[…] already fabbed out more than 18 customer products with good yield and performance.” The company continues with details of their 7nm process, stating that they already have more than fifty customers in the pipeline, including cryptocurrency ASIC designs.
As Bitmain is a confirmed customer of TSCM, it’s likely that the next generation of ASIC chips in the Antminer product line will be based on this 7nm technology. Since the 7nm fabrication process is “in volume production” we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bitmain receive ASIC chips before the year is out. The Antminer S9 is currently on sale now at prices lower than most competitors.
The entire transcript of the conference call is available for review.