SoCs vs. CPU: The difference between an SoC and CPU

SoCs vs. CPU: The difference between an SoC and CPU

After extra than 50 years on the pinnacle of the heap, the CPU is now being challenged via way of means of a newcomer called the SoC. For decades, you may without problems stroll into a shop and pick a brand new laptop primarily based totally on its CPU — and now, SoCs can be discovered in some thing from smartphones to capsules to pick laptops.

But do not worry: CPUs and SoCs are pretty similar, and almost the whole thing you already know approximately CPUs applies to SoCs as well.

What is an SoC?

An SoC, or system-on-a-chip, is a silicon chip that mixes nearly all of those additives into one. An SoC frequently consists of a CPU, memory, USB controller, energy control circuits, and wi-fi radios similarly to the CPU (WiFi, 3G, 4G LTE, and so on). Whereas a CPU can not paintings with out masses of extra chips, a unmarried SoC can be used to create entire computers.

What is a CPU?

Despite the heavy emphasis on CPU generation and performance, it’s miles a quite short calculator withinside the end. It retrieves information from reminiscence after which applies arithmetic (add, multiply) or logical (and, or, not) operations on it. The faster your laptop is, the greater expensive/complicated the CPU is, the greater information it is able to process.

A CPU, on the alternative hand, isn’t a private laptop in and of itself; it calls for a complete framework of extra silicon chips. Memory is needed to shop information, an audio chip is needed to decode and make bigger your music, a pix processor is needed to create visuals in your monitor, and loads of different additives are required to finish the work.

SoC vs. CPU: What is the difference?

The length of a SoC is its number one gain: Even aleven though a SoC is simply barely larger than a CPU, it packs loads greater punch. Because of the quantity of separate chips that need to be filled right into a laptop the usage of a CPU, creating a laptop smaller than 10cm (four inches) squared is extraordinarily difficult. We can suit complete computer systems into cell phones and capsules the usage of SoCs, leaving masses of room for batteries.

An SoC consumes a ways much less electricity because of its excessive diploma of integration and lots shorter wiring – again, that is a sizable gain on the subject of cellular computing. Because the range of bodily chips is reduced, constructing a laptop the usage of a SoC is likewise much less expensive.

An SoC’s sole essential disadvantage is its utter loss of flexibility. You can improve your PC’s CPU, GPU, or RAM at any moment, however you cannot do the equal together along with your smartphone. You can be capin a position to shop for SoCs that you may plug in withinside the future, however due to the fact the whole lot is integrated, this may be inefficient and high-priced if all you need to do is upload more RAM.

CPU Introduction

A Central Processing Unit, or Processor, is the brains of the operation (pun intended). It’s most effective a equipment withinside the wheel, albeit an critical one, withinside the universal scheme of things. It lies on pinnacle of the Motherboard, that’s generally called the computer’s heart. A CPU is a computer’s math genius and massive boss man who does what I affectionately seek advice from as FEDEX: Fetch, Decode, and Execute. It collaborates with different additives of the computer, starting with retrieving commands from RAM-primarily based totally programs. It then decodes those commands earlier than sending them directly to the hardware additives with the intention to execute them proper away.

When it involves CPUs, the antique saying ” heads are higher than one” holds true. Two CPUs can accomplish extra than one. Most CPUs available in the marketplace nowadays are dual-core (2 CPUs), but they will additionally be quad-core, hexacore, octa-core, and different Latin numbers. These greater cores offer your machine the greater horsepower it desires to deal with numerous computations right away with out breaking a sweat.

SoCs Overview

A System on a Chip (SoC) is an electrical circuit board that includes all the additives wanted in a pc and different digital devices. A snap shots processor (GPU), a vital processing unit (CPU), memory, electricity control circuits, a USB controller, wi-fi radios (WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM radio, 2G/3G/4G LTE), and different additives are included. These additives are completely soldered to the motherboard, in place of normal computers. And these computers encompass elements that can be swapped out at any moment.

System on a Chip (SoC) can be defined as what happens whilst Vector from Despicable Me makes use of his Shrinking Ray pistol on a full-fledged pc. A System on a Chip (SoC) is a operating pc that has been downsized to healthy on a unmarried silicon chip way to the electricity of miniaturization. Mobile computing (smartphones), unmarried board computers (which includes the Raspberry Pi), and different embedded structures all use SoCs.


A CPU is best a tools withinside the wheel, as our rationalization above demonstrated. It is simply certainly considered one among numerous additives in a System on a Chip. A CPU isn’t always absolutely beneficial through itself, but a SoC is. Although many humans confuse a CPU with a SoC, the 2 are significantly one of a kind in phrases of shape and function.

Components of a SoC

As befits its supposed use, SoCs include numerous components. We’ll recognition on SoCs in smartphones for the maximum part, as that is what we are maximum acquainted with. Mark you with a listing of a number of the components, which isn’t always complete.


When it involves SoCs, the Central Processing Unit, or Processor, usually takes middle stage. A CPU is the SoC’s brain, in rate of doing computations and normally commanding the opposite components. FEDEX stands for Fetch, Decode, and Execute. A CPU may be dual-core, quad-core, hexa-core, octa-core, or greater relying on the quantity of computing energy you require.


The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is the equal of a images card. A GPU is wonderful from the CPU, which does computations for widespread instructions. Processing visible transitions withinside the consumer interface, consisting of animations and three-D games, has been entrusted to it. Imagination PowerVR, Qualcomm Adreno, Arm Mali, and NVidia GeForce are a number of the maximum famous GPUs.


Random Access Memory is a time period that possibly does not want to be explained. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it’s far wherein program/app methods are loaded earlier than they may be used. The extra RAM you have, the extra applications you could run on the identical time with out experiencing any slowdown. Consider RAM to be a playground, and your applications to be the toys. A large sandbox permits extra kids to play with their toys on the identical time. In fact, the other is true.


Only examine Memory is the phase of a laptop or telephone this is best to be had to adults (manufacturers). The working device and critical device firmware are each protected withinside the ROM. “When in Rome, do what the Romans do,” because the proverb goes. As a result, it is satisfactory to keep away from tampering with ROM in any respect costs. As no person does so with out sizeable danger.


Wireless radio networks are required for SoC connection. WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM radio, 2G/3G/4G LTE, and different styles of connection are them. The variations of those radio networks range relying at the device’s age, price, and location. For example, gadgets designed for the American marketplace regularly have FM radio became off for something reason.


These additives certainly feature as bridges, which we expect turned into the muse for his or her names. For starters, the Northbridge serves as a hyperlink among the CPU and the relaxation of the SoC’s additives. Input/Output operations along with audio and USB are dealt with through the Southbridge.


After CPUs, SoCs are the subsequent logical step. SoCs will almost absolutely update CPUs withinside the destiny. AMD’s Llano and Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPUs are examples of this. And they integrate a reminiscence controller, PCI Express, and a portraits processor at the identical chip. However, cell and wearable devices, in addition to SoCs, constitute the destiny of computing.

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