It’s incredibly difficult to find a mid-range or high-end graphics card that isn’t selling way above MSRP right now, and that is a direct result of cryptocurrency mining. Maybe (hopefully) that will change once Samsung starts shipping hardware designed specifically for mining.
We’re not holding out hope that Samsung will prove a savior for gamers, but the company has begun mass producing special hardware designed to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips. However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.
A media outlet in Korea claims that Samsung developed a specialized ASIC chip last year and started mass producing the part this month. ASIC hardware has replaced GPUs for certain cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, though digital coins like Ethereum are mined best with a graphics card. Because of this, we don’t anticipate Samsung’s entry in the cryptocurrency market having a big impact on GPU prices, but who knows.
Samsung also recently said that it has begun mass producing the industry’s first 16-gigabit (Gb) GDDR6 memory, which will be used on next-generation graphics cards.
“Samsung’s immediate production of GDDR6 will play a critical role in early launches of next-generation graphics cards and systems. With all of its improvements in density, performance and energy efficiency, the 16Gb GDDR6 will be widely used in rapidly growing fields such as 8K Ultra HD video processing, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence,” Samsung said.
Hopefully AMD and Nvidia will have sorted things out by the time they start shipping next-generation graphics cards.