SOC (System-on-Chip) is a type of integrated circuit that combines multiple components of a computer system, including a microprocessor, memory, input/output, and other digital logic, into a single, physical component or chip. By putting all of these components together in a single chip, complex functions can be built and miniaturization of the entire system is possible.
A SOC is typically used in embedded systems such as cellular phones, digital cameras, medical equipment, and game consoles. They are also found in industrial and automotive applications. Compared to traditional computer systems, SOCs offer several advantages, such as: decreased power and space requirements, increased performance, greater reliability, and improved cost effectiveness.
SOCs are often referred to as System-on-Chip, SoC, or System-on-Package (SOP). In addition, they are sometimes known as complete systems in a package (SiP). These terms are all used to refer to the same technology and concept, which is that of combining multiple components into a single physical entity.
For SOCs, the components to be integrated typically include core logic (including NAND or NOR Flash, SRAM, CPU/MCU cores, and bus controllers), analog and RF circuitry, RFID transceivers, and complex hard-wired logic.
Since it places several components on a single integrated circuit, SOCs allow for a significant reduction in the number of components required for a system, and in turn can make the system faster, cheaper, and more efficient. This process is also known as system integration. SOCs also increase the functional density of the system and allow for more efficient use of the board space on the motherboard. Additionally, with fewer components, the system is simpler to design, manufacture, and test.