An Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) is an integrated circuit, or computer chip, that has been designed and manufactured to perform a set of specific tasks. They are optimized at the hardware level to perform their designated tasks in the most efficient way possible. An example is the SSL offload ASIC in some Loadmaster devices that is designed and optimized to rapidly handle SSL operations. ASIC’s differ from general purpose processors that are found in personal computers, which are designed to perform multiple activities depending on the software in use. ASICs often consolidate components in their design that were previously found on separate chips.
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