ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuits. Contrary to other multipurpose ICs, ASIC is custom designed to carry out a specific function. Due to the fact that they can only be used for a single purpose, ASICs are normally quite expensive.
ASIC Bitcoin Miner such as BitMain AntMiner S9 ASIC miner is produced exclusively for the purpose of mining Bitcoin. Although they are expensive as previously discussed, they are actually way more cost-effective when compared to CPU (Central Processing Unit) or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) mining and even FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) mining. They have a higher hash rate and are much more electricity-efficient in overall.
According to Mike Murray, an ASIC miner that costs $2500 will have an equivalent power as around 400 GPUs or 12,000 CPUs ( which will cost a whopping $18M ! ) Mining has gradually become more and more competitive, especially for Bitcoin mining. It is almost impossible without using ASIC miners. Therefore, if you are thinking to start bitcoin mining, we don’t actually recommend you to unless you have access to some really low cost electricity. Alternatively, you could try mining other altcoins with smaller market cap and considerable room for value growth. Cloud mining could be another viable and convenient option which is worth a try.