Samsung Electronics has reported 58 percent year-on-year growth in its operating profits for Q1 2018 – an increase driven in part by strong demand for cryptocurrency mining chips.
During a financial earnings call on Thursday, Robert M. Yi, Samsung’s executive vice president of investor relations, said the profitability increase seen in the firm’s semiconductor business played a significant role in setting a new quarterly operating profit record of 15.6 trillion Korean won ($14 billion).
“In the semiconductor business, the earning increases significantly year over year thanks to favorable market conditions driven by strong demands in server and graphic card memories as well as earning improvement in both the System LSI and Foundry businesses led by an increasing demand of chips used in flagship smartphones and cryptocurrency mining.”
While Samsung did not disclose precise figures for the mining chip side of the business, the positive figures follow a February confirmation from the tech giant that it was now producing 8nm and 11nm processors to meet growing market demand from the cryptocurrency mining industry.
Samsung’s expansion into cryptocurrency mining also adds to the regional competition in the sector, with Taiwanese chip maker TSMC also reporting similar growth in mining chip demand during its own recent earnings call.
Looking ahead, Samsung forecast that the demand for mining processors will continue to expand in Q2, while the earnings of its LSI and Foundry businesses may decrease due to slowing demand for smartphone components.
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