Bitmain's chip supplier TSMC to increase wafer prices by up to 20%: report

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is reportedly increasing wafer prices amid a global chip shortage. Wafers are discs made of silicon that are used to build integrated circuits, which are key components of bitcoin mining machines.

Taiwanese business media Commercial Times reported on Wednesday that TSMC decided in an internal meeting last week it will increase the prices of wafers by up to 20% starting in Q1 next year.

The price jump will be 10% for advanced processors such as the 7-nm chips. For more mature technologies like the 16-nm chips, the price increase will be between 10 to 20%, the report added, citing information circulating within the local supply chain sector. TSMC declined to comment on market rumors, the report said.

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The move, if true, would likely also have a ripple effect on the cost of Bitmain's AntMiner bitcoin mining equipment, which sources wafers solely from the Taiwanese bluechip fab semiconductor. Bitmain's AntMiner S19 series are built on application-specific integrated circuit designs that use 7-nm chips supplied by TSMC.

The report said TSMC has not increased the quote prices for wafers over the past few years. But the cost of raw materials for it to fabricate wafers has continued to go up while the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020 has worsened the global chip supply.

The Block reported earlier this year that the global chip shortage has already led to a supply crunch for the newest generation of bitcoin mining equipment.

About Author

Wolfie joined The Block’s news team in 2020 and switched to the research side in 2021 to focus on crypto mining analysis. Prior to The Block, he had been a journalist at CoinDesk for three years. Wolfie has a background in financial journalism.