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System-on-a-chip (SoC or SOC) is an idea of integrating all components of a computer system into a single chip. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions – all on one chip. A typical application is in the area of embedded systems.
A typical computer system consists of a number of integrated circuits that perform different tasks. These are: microprocessor, memory (RAM, ROM), UARTs, parallel ports, DMA controller chips, etc. The recent improvements in semiconductor technology have allowed VLSI integrated circuits to grow in complexity, making it possible to integrate all components of a system in a single chip. This can be done in a number of technologies. These are:
SOC designs usually consume less power and have a lower cost and higher reliability than the multi-chip systems that they replace. And with fewer packages in the system, assembly costs are obviously reduced as well.
Few Links : www.wipro.com/insights/systemonchip.htm **broken link removed**