Bitmain, one of the largest application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturers in the world, is reportedly working with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in order to leverage TSMC’s 5nm semiconductors. Industry sources say that the 5nm chips being created for Bitmain will start production in the third quarter.
Chip Maker TSMC Reportedly Producing Semiconductors for the Mining Rig Manufacturer Bitmain
Faster bitcoin mining rigs manufactured by Bitmain may be coming at the end of 2021 or possibly next year. A recent report published by digitimes.com says that Bitmain has placed 5nm chip orders with the Taiwan-based chipmaker.
TSMC has reportedly been contracted by Bitmain so the company can leverage the foundry’s N5 fabrication process (5nm). Currently, the world’s fastest bitcoin miners on the market crafted by firms like Bitmain, Canaan, and Microbt leverage chips between 12nm to 7nm.
The digitimes.com reporters Monica Chen and Jessie Shen claim that “industry sources” say that Bitmain has placed an order with TSMC but the amount and valuation of the alleged order are both undisclosed.
The report notes that TSMC will start production for Bitmain this year and start the process during the third quarter. In another report, the same technology columnists detail that TSMC is “stepping up 5nm chip output.”
Bitmain might be trying to acquire the 5nm products before the chips are sold out across the board. Colossal tech firms like Apple and Huawei are already purchasing chips created with TSMC’s N5 process.
Although, because Bitmain can produce capital faster than smaller tech companies, it might be one of the first in line to buy the N5 designed products. However, other bitcoin ASIC mining manufacturers and tech companies can also purchase 5nm products from Samsung.
ASIC Makers Could Also Tap Samsung’s N5 Process
Samsung has also disclosed that it has a working 5nm process and the firm is reportedly taking requests for future orders. One researcher who compared the two products created by both TSMC and Samsung said both companies will “employ more EUV layers at 5nm.”
“Samsung has said their 5nm process offers a 25% density improvement over 7nm with a 10% performance boost or 20% lower power consumption,” Scotten Jones’ post called the “TSMC and Samsung 5nm Comparison” notes. “This contrasts with TSMC who announced a 1.8x density improvement and a 15% performance improvement or 30% lower power,” Jones added.
Scotten Jones’ review of both Samsung’s and TSMC’s chips concludes by saying: “We believe TSMC’s 5nm process will significantly outperform Samsung’s 5nm process in all key metrics and represent the highest density logic process in the world when it ramps into production next year.”
Alongside Microbt, Bitmain makes some of the fastest ASIC bitcoin miners on the market today. The Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro, with 110 terahash per second (TH/s), gets around $19.40 per day using current BTC exchange rates and $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
The company’s most recent release, the Antminer S19j mining rig, has a hashrate of around 90 TH/s. The Antminer S19 models use custom-built 7nm chips with an efficiency parameter of around 34.5 joules per terahash (J/TH). Bitcoin ASIC mining rigs that employ the 5nm chips should be a lot faster in terms of TH/s and more energy efficient as far as (J/TH).