Home computer use, technology: what is SoC?

The tutor shares a discovery he made while researching Windows 10.

In my June 26 post I began about the possibility of upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7. I’ve heard the deadline to do so for free is July 29; with Microsoft encouraging the switch, I continue to research it.

Lately I went to check the system requirements (you can see them here.) The Windows 7 computers I use easily passed; however, what piqued my curiosity was the phrase “or SoC.” I decided to look it up.

Apparently, SoC, in this context, means “system on chip.” Put simply, it means that not only the CPU, but all the other inner devices of the computer sit on the same “chip” (“wafer” might be easier to imagine).

SoC is different from the traditional way computers were designed. Before SoC, the CPU sat on its own chip; wires connected it to the graphics unit, USB controllers, a power management module, internet receivers, etc. The CPU constantly communicated with the other devices to “run” the computer as the user demanded.

In desktop computers, the traditional setup makes sense. Inside the box, there is lots of room. From the wall plug-in, there is lots of power available.

Compared with desktop computers, however, modern smart phones need miniaturization – and minimal power usage. SoC is today’s solution. It puts the CPU, the graphics unit, USB controllers, internet receivers, power management module, etc, on the same “chip”, so there’s no “space between”. At the same time, power usage is reduced, partly because the wiring between the internal devices is much less.

I looked up the ten best tablets of 2016 and found a list here. Then I looked up the CPU for each one; I believe they are all SoC.

I’ll be discussing more about computing devices from a home user’s perspective:)

Source:

extremetech.com

notebookcheck.net

wikipedia

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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