I agree 100% with how the market evolves. Fortunately the technology in general isn't evolving much, people are just thinking outside of the box with already existing parts. I know the ess9218 chips will be out soon so well see of their is some advancenent Schiit uses their analog devices chip in their flagship yggdrisil thats normal use is in MRI machines and military tolerance applications!! They had to custom fab everything to get it to work as a stereo DAC as it was never intended to be used as an audio device. Much respect for schiit for that move. Chord uses a proprietary FPGA which are pretty much programmable mini computer board to control the dac. These excel in specialization and I have experience with ASICs so I understand the theory. They are quite powerful and don't be surprised when most DACs are FPGA based, its a lot of r&d for a audio company but I'm sure it will catch on.