Alan Patterson, EETimes
1/19/2018 03:42 AM EST
TAIPEI — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) says that high-performance computing (HPC), including demand for chips used in cryptocurrency mining, has replaced smartphones as the key driver of its business.
While low- and mid-tier smartphones still show signs of growth, sales of leading-edge handsets are likely to be “flat”, according to the world’s largest foundry, which makes all of the application processors used in Apple’s latest iPhones as well as silicon used in handsets from a range of Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi.
HPC, which under TSMC’s definition includes applications for AI, GPUs and cryptocurrency mining, is picking up just as smartphone demand is losing momentum, the company said. While AI ASICs such as those used for cryptocurrency mining may to a degree be eroding sales of GPUs, demand for both types of chips is quite “solid”, according to TSMC.
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