Crypto Mining Boost Helps Taiwanese Chip Maker Break Sales Record

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reported strong financial results in the first quarter of 2018, figures driven by a growth in orders for cryptocurrency mining chips.

During its shareholder conference call on Thursday, the world’s largest independent semiconductor maker said it generated 248 billion Taiwan new dollars (US$8.5 billion) in sales revenue for Q1 – a year-on-year increase of 6.1 percent. Furthermore, the company saw NT$89 billion (US$3 billion) in net income, reflecting a 2.5 percent growth year-on-year.

Notably, the revenue in March alone accounted for 41 percent of the Q1 performance – NT$103 billion (US$3.5 billion) – making it the largest single monthly sales income for the firm, based on a financial statement filed on April 10.

“These results were mainly driven by strong demand from high performance computing such as cryptocurrency mining,” explained C. C. Wei, president and co-chief executive officer of TSMC, though he did not disclose the percentage accounted for by mining chip orders.

Adding to that, Mark Liu, also president and co-CEO, said:

“We see very strong demand in the first quarter from cryptocurrencies. During the second quarter, while we do see some weakness in the 28mm chip, the [demand for] the rest of the technology is still very strong on cryptocurrency.”

The sales figures follow a similar pattern to that seen last year, when the firm reported revenues of $8.32 billion and $9.2 billion in the third and fourth quarter, respectively – strong figures that the chip maker also attributed to a growing demand for cryptocurrency mining chips.

The news comes soon after Chinese mining hardware giant Bitmain, which CoinDesk confirmed is a client of TSMC, controversially released the Antminer E3, a dedicated ASIC mining machine for ethereum, in early April.

C. C. Wei image via conference call

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