Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world, will reportedly make Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) for Bitmain. A report by Digititmes states that TSMC will produce an ASIC using its 5 nanometer fabrication process for BItmain (via Tom’s Hardware).
It’s expected that TSMC will start making the ASICs for Bitmain in Q3 2021. The company will then reportedly ‘ramp up’ its output of the ASICs for Bitmain in Q1 2022.
The hashrates for miners from Bitmain blow the best mining GPUs out of the water, but they cost significantly more. The Bitmain’s Antminer S19j has a hashrate of 90 TH/s but costs over $5,000. It also has a power consumption of 3,100W. For comparison, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060’s hashrate is 60 MH/s. 90 TH is equivalent to 90,000,000 MH.
TSMC’s 5nm process could lead to increased hashrates for ASICs compared to current competing products. TSMC’s 5nm process provides the highest transistor density and power efficiency in the industry, which makes ASICs built with it ideal for crypto mining.
Apple and Huawei have also made technology that utilizes TSMC’s 5nm process, though those devices are for early adopters in an entirely different sector. Tom’s Hardware points out that MediaTek is expected to adopt the 5nm process in the future, though for a high-end mobile processor.
There’s a chance that TSMC producing the ASICs could affect its ability to ship other processors, but that’s only speculation at this point.