ASIC is an acronym and it stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuits. It is used to refer to a type of integrated circuit that is dedicated to a specific function. ASIC chips can be put to use in all kinds of applications, such as cellular phones, voice recorders, temperature monitors, graphics cards, or computer memory.
The CPU chips found in typical personal computers are programmable logic devices, able to turn their hand to many different tasks, so while they are good at many things, they’re not excellent at one thing.
In contrast, ASICs are designed to perform one task at high speed. This means that they can do so more efficiently than a non-dedicated chip, and so they consume less electricity doing a better job. The downside of these dedicated chips is that they are expensive to design and build. ASICs are custom made, and so they tend to be more pricy than “Jack of all trades” type chips.
There are 3 types of ASIC—the bespoke ASIC which is built from the ground up for a particular application. There is the semi-custom ASIC which includes park customization during the manufacturing process. Then there is the platform ASIC which is designed and built using existing methodologies. These build on already tried and tested silicon designs, and so cost less to develop and manufacture.