what algorithms are you implementing in hardware? do they boil down to doing a series of calculations? (which they will for digital logic). If so the ASIC should not be able to be patented.
you could copyright it, but there had better be some creativity in what you do, not just mechanical layout based on high-level description (although any non-trivial high-level description can be copyrighted)
It doesn't matter if the implemenation is in circuits or in software.
just like combining words into a book is copyrightable, but not patentable.
If you create a new type of chip feature (i.e. a flash memory cell, phase change memory cell, new type of transister, gate, etc), that feature is patentable, but not the functionality of the ASIC or the algorithm that it implements.
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