Computer chips reason for Samsung's record profit

Samsung jumps on cryptocurrency bandwagon as giant reveals plans to create mining chips

The company said in a statement: "Samsung's foundry business is now engaged in the manufacturing of crypto-currency mining chips". Samsung's move could affect cryptocurrency, other cryptocurrency miners and China's local players.

Korean technology company Samsung's fourth quarter resulted in a record profit, mainly thanks its chip division, where prices remain sky high. These processors are specifically designed for a single computational task, as opposed to the multi-purpose processors we now use in our phones and computers. Until 2013, they were more commonly associated with the TV industry. These companies specialise in producing ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits), chips explicitly created to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

While the profit was expected, the firm's shares surged more than 8 percent after it unveiled the stock split.

The company says that a specific devision within its semiconductor business called Foundry will head up the project.

"Samsung's foundry business is now engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips". Samsung said it expects its Foundry arm to be "number two" in the business.

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Samsung may well capitalize on growing demand for them, having just passed Intel to become the world's largest chipmaker by revenue. The validation of these transactions involves solving some complex mathematical problems in order to prove the authenticity and legitimacy of a transaction.

However, the outlook for Samsung's smartphones was uncertain amid competition from Chinese rivals in markets like Europe and Asia, said Tom Kang, research director at data provider Counterpoint.

Samsung earned 15.15 trillion won (US$14.15 billion) in operating profit with its revenue standing at 65.98 trillion won in the fourth quarter past year.

Samsung's chip-making division is diving into the lucrative space of cryptocurrency mining.

However, the downside to using Samsung's chipsets for cryptocurrency is that users might not be able to get the most out of mining.