Technology covers a vast spectrum of things, most of which are only familiar to the tech geeks who really dig deep into what every smartphone, computer, and other gadgets are made up of. So, if you’re not one of those who has a strong passion for technology, you might wonder what a system-on-a-chip or SoC is.
Here’s everything you need to know about this all-in-one microchip:
What is a System-On-A-Chip Anyway?
A system-on-a-chip or more commonly known as SoC is an integrated circuit containing a vast number of electronic components designed to function together. In simple terms, an SoC has most necessary electronics to make complex devices or systems. Typically, an SoC has complex computing power, memory, analog or sensing circuitry, power management functions, and interfaces to the outside world.
In fact, you can compare it to a computer that’s fitted into one microchip. This is why your smartphone and tablet can function almost as well as your computer, only much smaller and more compact.
What makes up a System-On-A-Chip?
Like a regular computer, an SoC is made up of different components. It has a Central Processing Unit mostly using ARM technology. It also has a Graphics Processing Unit to let you enjoy those 3D games on your smartphone or tablet. Of course, an SoC should have a memory to enable you to perform different tasks on your device.
Other SoC components could include a cellular radio for 4G LTE connectivity like what you find in Snapdragon S4-powered gadgets, a Northbridge that facilitates communication between the CPU and the rest of the SoC and other circuitry that help power your device.
Where can you find a System-On-A-Chip?
You will find SoCs in a lot of applications these days, most of which are aimed at creating devices that perform various tasks in a compact body. SoCs power smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, wearables, routers and a lot of other products. From the first SoCs that was developed a few years back, the system-on-a-chip that you will find on your phone today is much more complex and somehow smaller than ever!
What are the Benefits of using a System-On-A-Chip?
There are numerous advantages to using an SoC. For one, a system-on-a-chip is integration at its best. Companies that create devices small enough to fit in your hand know how important integration is in powering them, and that’s where SoCs come in.
An SoC is also very small and compact, which means that it doesn’t require much power and can fit perfectly inside an electronic device while leaving space for batteries and other components.
And since SoCs are a lot smaller, their manufacturing costs are also a lot lower, but they will not disappoint when it comes to functionality and power. They are, of course, more efficient when compared to their traditional counterparts.
There is still so much to learn about systems on chips and how they help power the devices that we’ve come to love today. Contact Linear MicroSystems today for a free SoC consultation!
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