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Definition: SoC


(1) See security operations center and service organization control.

(2) (System-On-Chip) Pronounced "S-O-C." A group of processing units on a single chip, which previously were independent chips that had to be connected together. The microcontroller chip is miracle enough, but an SoC is why complex computers can be held in our hands (see images below). Also, the more miniaturization, the more reduction in power.

The Microcontroller Was the First SoC
With billions used every day for just about everything, the MCU contains the CPU, RAM, storage and I/O. See microcontroller, PSoC, Versal, mobile platform, system in package and package on package.




Android System-on-Chip
Today's SoCs are amazing. Debuting in 2019, this Snapdragon 855 chip contains all the processing components in a modern smartphone. See ISP, GPU and neural processing unit.






The Rest of It
Each block is a separate chip. The radios (Wi-Fi, cellular, etc.) are increasingly built into the SoC. See GPU.






The Versal from Xilinx
With more than 35 billion transistors, this is one spectacular system-on-chip. It includes CPUs, RAM, I/O, parallel processing DSP engines and "adaptive hardware" (wiring the internal logic each time the chip is turned on). See FPGA and Versal. (Image courtesy of Xilinx, www.xilinx.com)