Samsung posts healthy Q4 profit and 50:1 stock split

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Samsung Electronics has announced that it is making chips specifically to cash on crypto-currency coins.

Korean technology company Samsung's fourth quarter resulted in a record profit, mainly thanks its chip division, where prices remain sky high. ASICs are processors that have been specially designed for a single computational task, as opposed to the multi-purpose processors we use in computers and phones. Those computers increasingly require more efficient chips to power them. These companies specialise in producing ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits), chips explicitly created to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Currently, the company is focusing on manufacturing of crypto-currency mining chips.

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

Local investment agencies forecast on February 1 that Apple's disappointing iPhone X sales would weigh down on Samsung Electronics' display business.

Right now, it's unclear how exactly Samsung will be going about this, but reports from Korean media suggests that the company will be working with Taiwanese firm TSMC.

Mining rig

Samsung's existing chip products, which consist of high-capacity memory chips for GPUs, reportedly accounted for more than 60 percent of its 2017 operating revenue.

The upbeat outlook from the world's biggest maker of memory chips comes as investors look for signs of an end to the massive expansion in the global semiconductor business that has driven profits at chipmakers in recent years.

The sharp rise in the prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the past year has boosted interest in their mining.

The executive also added that Samsung's display business "will not be affected much a certain customer". On Tuesday, Samsung reported 2017 chip sales of $69 billion, blowing past Intel's $63 billion from a year ago.

Overall, the company reported full-year revenue of KRW 239.58 trillion (roughly 276.7 billion AUD) and full-year operating profit of KRW 53.65 trillion (roughly 62 billion AUD).

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