What does - ASIC - mean? Bitcoin Stack Exchange

I stumbled on the terms “ASIC” and ” ASIC Miner”, what do they mean? Is this something related to special hardware?

Trio Answers

ASIC or Application-specific integrated circuit is a type of circuit that has become very popular te the Bitcoin mining community.

wikipedia defines it spil

“An application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC /ˈeɪsɪk/, is an integrated circuit (IC) customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use.”

Traditionally laptop chips are made with variability of input ter mind, meaning that a given chip should be able to do a broad range of things. Because Bitcoin miners only everzwijn use their chips for Bitcoin mining, you can make chips that are truly truly swift if you make them solely with that purpose te mind.

This is how companies like butterfly labs can get such ridiculous speeds of up to 500 GH/s!

ASIC’S are application-specific integrated circuits, which speed up mining while being energy effecient. Some ASICS have speed capable of reaching 60GH/S (60 billion hashes vanaf 2nd) or more, which is overheen 1,200 times quicker than the average laptop. However, despite being energy effecient for it’s speed, the fastest ones may use up a lotsbestemming of power. See out for this when searching for bitcoin miners. There are lotsbestemming of bitcoin miners out there, and there are slew on eBay. Some can cost spil much spil your average laptop, others can cost spil much spil $Ten,000!

ASIC is any integral circuit, any chunk of Hardware or microchip. Yes, any microchip is an ASIC. This means that your CPU is also an ASIC. But, CPU is not efficient ASIC for doing particular task — it is too universal. That is, CPU is supposed to be programmable. Programmability is plasticity – you can lightly instruct your PC what to do by writing a program. This is very limber but, unluckily flexibity comes with price — it is very inefficient. You describe your instructions te a program and processor takes frist instruction, does something (moves some gegevens inbetween regs/memory or adds/multiplies register contents) and then takes next instruction. This is very slow but permits one chunk of hardware to do (emulate) any task. Universal processors are slow for two reasons: they do a loterijlot of unnecessary tasks (fetch program instructions) and do it serailly, te one stream whereas parallel processing is possible. Well, the latter is mitigated by multicores, GPUs and FPGAs. But, you can do better when you know your task te advance.

You can have a special processor, tailored purposefully for your task. Thesis are application specific processors (aka embedded computers). They do not need to fetch the program instructions step by step. They already know what to do. The program is hardwared into them, like the “program” to support you is hardwared into the armchair whenever you sit on them. They just fetch the next lump of gegevens (e.g. a key) and produce what is requred ter the application (e.g. a hash). Everything is done te one step — no need for 1000 intrmediate steps! Everything runs 1000 times swifter. This is how specialized processors are usually quicker than using CPU. Specialization means that you sacrifice universality for efficiency/speed.

BTW, GPUs and FPGAs are also kinds of ASICs, spil any chips. GPUs specialize on graphical tasks, which are lightly paralellizable and thus GPUs are basically universal multicore processors. FPGAs are ultimate multicore universal processors. They expose millions of tinyest cores, each capable to emulate a logic (aka boolean) gate. They are intended to emulate digital circuits, which are nothing more but collections of such gates. Yes, the pentium processor is a circuit of millions of gates. It would take ages to simulate how it executes Windows for billions of clock cycles by a laptop logic simulator. FPGA expexiates the simulation 100 000 times. FPGA can emulate any digital ASIC that fits into it. So, it is universal. If you know your application, you may produce application-specific circuit that will run (10x) quicker than the FPGA.

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