System on Chip (SoC) is an integrated circuit (IC) that contains all the required circuitry and components of an electronic system on a single chip such as a CPU, memory, graphics processor, etc.. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions – all on a single substrate. It can be contrasted with a traditional computer system, which is comprised of many distinct components. A desktop computer, for example, may have a CPU, video card, and sound card that are connected by different buses on the motherboard. An SoC combines these components into a single chip.
The primary advantage of a system on a chip is the reduction of physical space required for the system. By merging multiple components together, SoCs can be used to create fully functional systems that are a fraction of the the size of their traditional counterparts.« Back to Glossary Index