ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) – is an integral circuit built specifically for solving a particular task. In contrast to non-specific integrated circuits ASICs are used in a particular set of devices where they perform strictly limited functions that are appropriate to their architecture. Due to this narrowness all calculations are conducted faster and ultimately cheaper. Digital Signal Processors used for audio and video signals coding, voice and image recognition, etc. serve as an example of ASICs.
ASICs have a very narrow field of use caused by their very distinct architecture and tightly predefined set of functions. As such they are widely used in industrial grade Bitcoin mining where they provide maximum energy efficiency which is necessary for profitable mining.
Modern ASICs often contain 32-bit CPUs, memory modules (both RAM and HDD) and other major modules. Such ASICs are frequently called “System-on-a-Chip”.
Such hardware description languages (HDLs) as Verilog and VHDL are used for ASIC logic development.