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ASICs Powering the Future
General purpose integrated circuits are surely more powerful and equally inefficient when compared to ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit). While the former packs more horsepower, the capacity to perform very specific tasks might consume more power compared to the latter chipset, which specializes in particular tasks as opposed to general purpose integrations. This advantage gives ASIC an edge over more power consuming hardware. ASIC also becomes the preferred choice for most of the hardware integrations as specific tasks are more streamlined, efficient, and less power consuming.
Consider the blockchain network itself. Cryptocurrencies are discovered in the form of blocks by solving hashing algorithms—more the difficulty of algorithms, more is the value of block discoverable through mining processes. Of course, the ability to solve such difficult problems mainly correlates the computational horse and the GPU power of the systems. Since Bitcoin, one of the early adopters of the blockchain, used SHA-256 hashing algorithms, the mining capacity of a computer was mainly determined by CPU and the GPU of that particular system. This is one of the prominent examples of how specialized integrated circuits can outperform better hardware components. Another example would be the Raspberry Pi. The $30 chipset delivers the power of standalone computers while performing specific tasks. Enthusiasts have used the Raspberry Pi for some of the most discrete and specialized tasks such as crypto mining, remote controlled vehicles, and DIY robots. Various such peripherals constitute a digital array of hardware that outperforms general purpose processing units while being a less powerful hardware component.