Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

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An application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is one of a class of microelectronic circuits or chips designed for a particular use, such as running the hash algorithms used in bitcoin mining.[1][2] As implied by its name, an ASIC cannot perform any other function than the one for which it was designed. An ASIC cannot be programmed to follow alternate instructions.[3]

Bitcoin mining is largely performed in corporate-owned datacenters, using ASICs in the nodes that aggressively optimize energy efficiency to unprecedented levels.

When BTC.com, a bitcoin mining pool, reported in September 2019 that the two week bitcoin hashing rate had reached record levels, the surge was attributed to the introduction of a half-a-million new models of ASIC miners over the preceding summer months. The introduction of new models from major ASIC manufacturers including Bitmain,Canaan, InnoSilicon and MicroBT coincided with the abundance of hydroelectricity based on the summer rains in southeastern China.[4]

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