Today's mobile phones have more processing power than typical desktop computers of the last millennium. Even the Portable Media Players (PMPs) have more sophisticated processors than the revolutionary Pentium processor launched 15 years back. On top of that, mobile phones, PMPs and other handheld devices are getting smaller and thinner with increasing battery life.
So, what makes these new generation handheld devices tick? Ticking at 200MHz or more, these devices are powered by a small silicon chip -the size of about 10mm x 10mm, which contains almost all components of a powerful computer including processor core, memory controller, interrupt controller, timer, multimedia co-processors or digital signal processor (DSP) etc. This silicon chip, along with the software running on it, is called a System-on-Chip or SoC.
We use a cutting-edge technology for development of electronics and devices based on Systems-on-Chip (SoC) from the leading semiconductor manufacturers such as Intel, Texas Instruments, Atmel, Sharp, and NetSilicon. This breakthrough technology allows creating competitive products with rich functionality while saving your time-to-market and expenses. Electronic device development with a new functional level based on MCU or DSP require significant amount of resources and a highly qualified team of hardware engineers, often resulting in failing to fit into project time frame.
The SoC has been talked about, marketed, and accepted in the new millennium, especially for embedded applications. More recently, with announcements of high-performance SoC designs such as the Cell chip, and use of these chips in consumer products including the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Microsoft® XBox, it has become clear that SoC designs will have broad impact. What is really exciting about SoC architecture is that supercomputing and embedded computing may become the cutting edge of computer architecture. For supercomputing this is nothing new, but embedded systems have often followed rather than led architecture.
System-on-chip is an integration of almost all components of a computer into a single integrated circuit (chip). The SoC consists of both the hardware (HW) components of the computer as well as the software (SW) that controls the microprocessor and peripherals.
SoCs include not only the brains (e.g. microprocessor) but also all required ancillary electronics, such as switches, comparators, resistors, capacitors, timing elements, and digital logic. While having the required interfaces (for example Ethernet, USB, LCD) onboard and almost the same functionality as a single board industrial computer (SBC), the embedded System-on-Chip (SoC) module provides additional advantages such as minimized footprint, operation in extended temperature range, minimized power consumption suitable for use in mobile environments