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Parallelization is not the only to pursue specialized hardware [0]. The real benifit of specialized hardware is that it can do one thing very well. Most of what a CPU spends its energy on is deciding what computation to do. If you are designing an circuit that only ever does one type of computation you can save vast amounts of energy.

[0] Its not even a particularly good reason. The only reason we don't have massively parallel general purpose CPUs is because of how specific the problems that can benefit from it are. Even then, modern GPUs are pretty close to being general purpose parralell processors.

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