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Application specific integrated circuit (ASIC)

A custom, purpose-built integrated circuit made for a specific task or product.


The application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is a custom integrated circuit designed and optimized to fit a specific purpose and product. Because this integrated customized, it can be more power efficient and have better performance than an off-the-shelf general purpose integrated circuit. The ASIC is usually the ideal chip for its purpose, but it comes at a large price tag. The cost for non-recurring engineering of an ASIC is millions of dollars. The high cost usually reserves ASICs for large production runs.

ASICs can be designed by third-party fabless ASIC company, by in house chip designers or fabs if commissioned. More and more ASIC companies are looking at reuse approaches, such as chiplets, which allow customers to develop ASICs without the same financial overhead. Some ASICs are fully customized, where others are structured ASICs. The structured ASIC has some predefined metal layers to make the mask cheaper.