In general, processors that are dedicated to a single task are faster and more efficient than a general purpose processor like the ones Intel provides. That's why a small, low-power chip dedicated to decoding video can easily handle a task that can strain a CPU. The downside is that they're only good for the task they're made for. It's only recently that devices like field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have provided a best-of-both-worlds option. FPGAs can be reconfigured on the fly to perform a single task. But a competing technology is in the works that may be able to compete with FPGAs, and it's based on chaos theory.