Computer hardware containing an ASIC chip and configured to mine bitcoins. They can come in the form of boards that plug into a backplane, devices with a USB connector, or standalone devices including all the necessary software, that connect to a network via a wireless link or ethernet cable. Mining of cryptocurrency data blocks can demand a significant amount of computer space and time, some miners set aside entire machines to do nothing but mining. As the profitability of Bitcoin mining became apparent, miners sought faster and more efficient hardware to maximize profits. These ASIC miners have taken mining out of the hands of the general public and centralized mining in the hands of specialized mining pools. ASIC devices are custom built powerful machines designed to efficiently hash the cryptography algorithms of the Bitcoin network.
Malone, J.A (2015). Glossary of Bitcoin Terms and Definitions. United States: Lulu Press, Inc