There are numerous hardware cryptography acceleration devices on the market, does someone use these for minting coins?
Indeed, the most readily available option is a GPGPU-capable card, and these are widely used in the miners community. Then, there are processor extensions such as VIA Padlock, but what about specialised devices?
A knowledgeable person may even build one with FPGA, let's see if we can get something going.
One option is the VIA C7 and the VIA Nano CPUs. They have built-in firmware/hardware instructions to perform the hashing used in bitcoin.
I run one currently although it is not really profitable in the current bitcoin environment.
It is a VIA C7 1.8 Ghz cpu. It gets about 1500 khash/s currently using the cpuminer client on Linux (32 bit). The whole system it is mounted in including disk and ram but no monitor draws about 27 watts. That makes it one of the most power efficient CPUs for bitcoin mining and is also pretty nice from the total cost point of view.
Unfortunately the hi end ATI GPUs are still more efficient.