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ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit)

Acronym for Application Specific Integrated Circuit. Most of us are at least vaguely aware of the concept of the Integrated Circuit (IC) these days. Basically they are chips that do the same function as an entire circuit board populated with dozens to thousands of different components. There are many thousands of generic IC chips on the market today for doing thousands of different tasks. Manufacturers simply choose the model and type best suited for their designs and buy them from wholesale distributors. However, in some cases a manufacturer needs a circuit for a very specific function that is not easily accomplished using generic chips. In those cases they will sometimes custom design their own proprietary chip to build the device around, or at least to do the parts of its function that aren’t elegantly handled by other available devices. This is where the Application Specific part of ASIC comes in. A lot of the more sophisticated electronic equipment we use today has one to several custom ASIC’s at work doing the job.

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