An application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC //, is an integrated circuit (IC) customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use. For example, a chip designed to run in a digital voice recorder is an ASIC. Application-specific standard products (ASSPs) are intermediate between ASICs and industry standard integrated circuits like the 7400 or the 4000 series.
As feature sizes have shrunk and design tools improved over the years, the maximum complexity (and hence functionality) possible in an ASIC has grown from 5,000 gates to over 100 million. Modern ASICs often include entire microprocessors, memory blocks including ROM, RAM, EEPROM, Flash and other large building blocks. Such an ASIC is often termed a SoC (system-on-chip). Designers of digital ASICs use a hardware description language (HDL), such as Verilog or VHDL, to describe the functionality of ASICs.