"System on a Chip" Technology and the Advantages of Using it


June 22, 2020

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System-on-a-Chip or SOC refers to the combination of all the essential electronic circuits of different functions into one single chip or GaAs Wafer. In other words, SOC technology offers an entirely electronic system that can perform various functions, which makes it a more useful product. So, instead of building an electronic product by putting together multiple chips and components on a circuit board, through the SOC technology, you only need one single chip.

What is "System in a Chip" or SOC Technology?

System-on-a-Chip or SOC has something to do with microchip fabrication technology. It should not be confused with SIP or System-in-a-Package. SIP is an advanced type of packing technology that is made of various individually manufactured chips that comprise a complete electronic system stored in a single package. SOC or System-in-a-Chip, on the other hand, is a technology that offers an electronic system as a whole in a single chip.

The Advantages of Using SOC Technology Include the Following:

  • Fast and high performance, since all the circuits, are located in one single chip
  • Takes up only a small space, it can be used for microtechnology
  • It doesn't require significant memory to function properly
  • More reliable system
  • Reduced consumer cost

The Challenges Faced by Users Using SOC Technology Include the Following:

  • Requires larger design space
  • Prototyping can be expensive
  • It takes a while to complete design and prototyping
  • Debugging will be more complicated
  • Higher GaAs wafer cost, since it requires a bigger die to work with

For example, an SOC for electronic control of a car's suspension system will contain an accelerometer, an ADC (to convert the accelerometer's analog data into digital data), a digital signal processor, and an output driver system. In a SOC technology, all these functions will be incorporated in a single integrated circuit made from GaAs wafer or other semiconductor material.

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