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Architecture of SoC

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  • Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2022
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SoC stands for System On Chip. It is a small integrated chip that contains all the required components and circuits of a particular system. The components of SoC include CPU, GPU, Memory, I/O devices, etc. SoC is used in various devices such as smartphones, Internet of Things appliances, tablets, and embedded system applications. In this article, we are going to see the architecture and architectural features of SoC.

Architecture of SoC

The following diagram shows us the architecture of SoC:

SoCarchitecture

The basic architecture of SoC is shown in the above figure which includes a processor, DSP, memory, network interface card, CPU, multimedia encoder/decoder, DMA, etc.

Processor:  It is the heart of SoC, usually SoC contains at least one or more than one coprocessor. It can be a microcontroller, microprocessor, or DSP. Most of the time DSP is used in every SoC as a processor.

DSP: DSP stands for Digital Signal Processor. It is included in SoC to perform signal processing operations such as data collection, data processing, etc. it is also used for the purpose of decoding the images.

Memory: Memory is used in SoC for the purpose of storage. It may be a volatile or non-volatile memory. Volatile memory includes RAM there are two types of RAM one is SRAM and another is DRAM. The non-volatile memory includes ROM.

Encoder/Decoder: Used for the purpose of interrupting information and converting it into codes.

Network Interface card: SoC has an internal interface or bus or network to connect all individual blocks. Basically, the Network interface card provides a connection of the network to the system.

GPU: GPU stands for Graphical Processing Unit, used in SoC to visualize the interface. GPU is specially designed to speed up the operations related to image calculations. The basic blocks of the GPU are the Bus interface, Power Management Unit, Video Processing unit, Graphics Memory Controller, Display interface, etc.

Peripheral devices: Externally connected devices/interfaces such as USB, HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth are included in peripheral devices. This device is used in SoC to perform various operations.

UART: Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter is included in SoC which is used to transmit or receive serial data. Voltage regulators, Oscillators, clocks, and ADC/DAC are also part of SoC.

Now let us see some advantages and disadvantages of SoC.

Advantages of SoC:  

  • It is small in size and includes many features and functions.
  • It consumes low power.
  • SoC is flexible in terms of size, and power factor.
  • It is built on a single chip.
  • It is cost-effective.
  • It is produced in a large quantity.

Disadvantages of SoC:

  • Time-consuming designing process. Usually, a designing process of SoC takes six to twelve months.
  • If any component of the SoC is not functioning properly then it cannot be replaced in that case an entire SoC has to be replaced.
  • Visibility of SoC is limited.

Uses of SoC:

  • Used in smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and computers.
  • Internet of Things applications such as home automation.
  • Embedded systems applications especially where the microcontroller is used.
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