The cryptocurrency craze all around the world is bringing up the increased demands of memory chips.
According to industry sources on December 17, the demand of memory chips, such graphics processing unit (GPU) and DRAM, as well as high performance computer that is a digger needed to collect the digital currency, are on the rise.
When your computers solve complicated math problems, you get bitcoin in exchange as you dig gold in mines. As the price of bitcoin surges across the world, an increasing number of people are joining the mining race. Computers needs a higher level of performance to dig bitcoin so the demand of high performance memory chips is growing rapidly.
Until now, GPU chips manufactured by NVIDIA and AMD have been frequently used to dig the digital currency. It opened up a new market for GPUs that were mainly used in gaming consoles. The price of NVIDIA shares rose a whopping 79 percent this year.
Recently, there is an increase in the number of cases that provide customized system semiconductors which are optimized to dig bitcoin. Accordingly, Taiwan’s TSMC, a semiconductor foundry for fabless firms, are attracting attention. GPU chips are also being manufactured on a consignment basis. In addition, Samsung Electronics strengthened its foundry business division this year. Accordingly, market watchers say that the virtual currency sector can be a new opportunity.
The digital currency has become a favorable factor for DRAM chips as well. Song Myeong-seop, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities, said, “According to dealers at the spot market, the current demand of DRAM chips for PCs is very low. However, it has gone up to the similar level of the sales of DRAM chips for PCs as the sales of DRAMs for cryptocurrency diggers have recently surged.”
He also said, “The rapid increase in the demand of DRAMs for cryptocurrency diggers on the spot market correlates with the recent sharp rise in bitcoin prices. The spot price of DRAM chips is expected to be greatly influenced by the price trend of digital currency in the future.”
However, the memory chip industry believes that the virtual currency has a little ripple effect on the memory chip market, including DRAMs. An official from the semiconductor industry said, “The demand of DRAM chips for diggers is far lower than that of PCs and smartphones. So, it won’t have much effect on the overall price trend.” DRAMs for diggers is estimated to account for less than 5 percent of the total transactions.
Some express concerns that companies which have enjoyed the increased demand of memory chips, including NVIDIA and AMD, would be hit hard when the ways to dig the digital currency change.