The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data, autonomous driving, and cryptocurrency mining—applications that all require immense processing power—has been fueling a rally in the semiconductor industry.

In 2017, the surge of cryptocurrency prices spurred the cryptomining frenzy worldwide and created explosive demand for cryptomining hardware, like the high-end GPU and ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) chips used to power the mining machines. This is not only driving growth in foundries and chip manufacturers but also related businesses all the way down the semiconductor industry’s supply chain—design, packaging, assembly, etc.

As the world’s manufacturing backyard, Taiwan’s exports rose by 16.7% to a record US$30 billion in March, which, according to the Ministry of Finance, is “driven by strong demand for high-performance chips, cryptocurrency mining, and artificial intelligence applications.”

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Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.