ASIC

Application Specific Integrated Circuit. Custom-designed integrated circuit with functions specifically tailored to an application. These replace the many discrete devices that could otherwise do the job but work up to ten times faster with reduced power consumption and increased reliability. ASICs are now only viable for very large-scale high volume products due to high start-up costs and their inflexibility as other programmable devices, such as FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), offer more flexible and cheaper opportunities for small-to-medium sized production levels.

See also: PLD