You may have heard the term “system on a chip” (SoC) in the recent Apple M1 processors and iPhones news. What are SoCs in comparison to MCUs and traditional CPUs? We’ll explain everything if you follow along.
Definition of System-Only-Chip
System-on-chips combine many different computer components into one chip. Although an SoC must contain a CPU, it can also have other details such as USB storage and system memory and even more complicated accessories such as radio modems (for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) or neural network circuits.
A system-on-a-chip combines all the components of a traditional computer into one chip. Incorporating SoCs in computer design can result in a smaller, faster, more cost-effective, lower energy consumption.
Why use a System-Only-Chip?
It is possible to consolidate many Processors, memory chips, and other components on a single silicon chip. This allows for less energy and money to run the system while improving its performance and shrinking its footprint. The development of mobile devices and computers that are more efficient and faster is possible through knowledge. This, in turn, saves battery life.
Apple is a company that takes great pleasure in making small and powerful computers. Since the beginning of time, Apple’s iPhones and iPads have been powered by SoCs. It initially relied on SoCs from third parties built on the ARM platform.
Apple introduced the A4 CPU to power the iPhone’s first generation in 2010. Apple’s A-series chipsets have seen many iterations, with each one improving on the previous. iPhones can reduce battery consumption using SoCs without sacrificing their small size and high performance. Many phone manufacturers use SoCs. An SoC has a negative side. It prevents you from upgrading your phone quickly by swapping out individual components.
However, SoCs have become more common in desktop computers. In 2020, Apple introduced the M1 processor, the first system on a chip (SoC) for Mac laptops and desktops. M1 combines the central processing unit, graphics processing unit, storage, and other components into one silicon chip.
Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max were not released until 2021. These two updated versions of the M1 are the M1 Pro and M1 Max. These three devices allow Macs to function well and use less power than other, older designs.