ASIC stands for “Application Specific Integrated Circuit”. In its core, it is a computer chip designed to complete a specific task.

What is it for? ASICs are designed for all sorts of specialized computing tasks. While they are limited in their use, they are extremely effective when operating on the specific tasks they are designed for, for instance – mining.

Who uses ASICs now? A number of Proof of Work based tokens have ASICs designed for them, including Bitcoin.

How do ASICs work? ASICs achieve efficiency through “pipelining”, that is to say, that by placing chips with essential bits physically closer to each other, they’re able to supplement parallelization gains.

Interesting facts

  • The first ASIC miner debuted in January 2013 in 130-nm VLSI (Very-large-scale integration) technology.
  • In fact, the cost of designing the ASIC is extremely variable. For instance, it can cost starting literally from a few thousand dollars for a simple ASIC and go up to billions of dollars for industry-scale solutions.