System on a chip
A system on a chip or system on chip is an integrated circuit that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system. These components include a central processing unit, input/output ports and secondary storage – all on a single substrate or microchip, the size of a coin, it may contain digital, mixed-signal, radio frequency signal processing functions, depending on the application. As they are integrated on a single substrate, SoCs consume much less power and take up much less area than multi-chip designs with equivalent functionality; because of this, SoCs are common in the mobile computing and edge computing markets. Systems on chip are used in embedded systems and the Internet of Things. Systems on Chip are in contrast to the common traditional motherboard-based PC architecture, which separates components based on function and connects them through a central interfacing circuit board. Whereas a motherboard houses and connects detachable or replaceable components, SoCs integrate all of these components into a single integrated circuit, as if all these functions were built into the motherboard.
An SoC will integrate a CPU, graphics and memory interfaces, hard-disk and USB connectivity, random-access and read-only memories and secondary storage on a single circuit die, whereas a motherboard would connect these modules as discrete components or expansion cards. More integrated computer system designs improve performance and reduce power consumption as well as semiconductor die area needed for an equivalent design composed of discrete modules, at the cost of reduced replaceability of components. By definition, SoC designs are or nearly integrated across different component modules. For these reasons, there has been a general trend towards tighter integration of components in the computer hardware industry, in part due to the influence of SoCs and lessons learned from the mobile and embedded computing markets. Systems-on-Chip can be viewed as part of a larger trend towards embedded computing and hardware acceleration. An SoC integrates a microcontroller or microprocessor with advanced peripherals like graphics processing unit, Wi-Fi module, or one or more coprocessors.
Similar to how a microcontroller integrates a microprocessor with peripheral circuits and memory, an SoC can be seen as integrating a microcontroller with more advanced peripherals. For an overview of integrating system components, see system integration. In general, there are four distinguishable types of SoCs: SoCs built around a microcontroller, SoCs built around a microprocessor found in mobile phones. Systems-on-chip can be applied to any computing task. However, they are used in mobile computing such as tablets, smartphones and netbooks as well as embedded systems and in applications where microcontrollers would be used. Where only microcontrollers could be used, SoCs are rising to prominence in the embedded systems market. Tighter system integration offers better reliability and mean time between failure, SoCs offer more advanced functionality and computing power than microcontrollers. Applications include AI acceleration, embedded machine vision, data collection, vector processing and ambient intelligence.
Embedded systems-on-chip target the internet of things, industrial internet of things and edge computing markets. Mobile computing based SoCs bundle processors, memories, on-chip caches, wireless networking capabilities and digital camera hardware and firmware. With increasing memory sizes, high end SoCs will have no memory and flash storage and instead, the memory and flash memory will be placed right next to, or above, the SoC; some examples of mobile computing SoCs include: Apple: Apple-designed processors A12 Bionic and other A series, used in iPhones and iPads S series and W series, in Apple Watches. Apple T series, used in the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro touch bars and fingerprint scanners. Samsung Electronics: list based on ARM7 and ARM9 Exynos, used by Samsung's Galaxy series of smartphones Qualcomm: Snapdragon, used in many LG, Google Pixel, HTC and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. In 2018, Snapdragon SoCs are being used as the backbone of laptop computers running Windows 10, marketed as "Always Connected PCs".
As long ago as 1992, Acorn Computers produced the A3010, A3020 and A4000 range of personal computers with the ARM250 system-on-chip. It combined the original Acorn ARM2 processor with a memory controller, video controller, I/O controller. In previous Acorn ARM-powered computers, these were four discreet chips; the ARM7500 chip was their second-generation system-on-chip, based on the ARM700, VIDC20 and IOMD controllers, was licensed in embedded devices such as set-top-boxes, as well as Acorn personal computers. Systems-on-chip are being applied to mainstream personal computers as of 2018, they are applied to laptops and tablet PCs. Tablet and laptop manufacturers have learned lessons from embedded systems and smartphone markets about reduced power consumption, better performance and reliability from tighter integration of hardware and firmware modules, LTE and other wireless network communications integrated on chip. ARM based: Qualcomm S
A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock driven, register based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, provides results as output. Microprocessors contain sequential digital logic. Microprocessors operate on symbols represented in the binary number system; the integration of a whole CPU onto a single or a few integrated circuits reduced the cost of processing power. Integrated circuit processors are produced in large numbers by automated processes, resulting in a low unit price. Single-chip processors increase reliability because there are many fewer electrical connections that could fail; as microprocessor designs improve, the cost of manufacturing a chip stays the same according to Rock's law. Before microprocessors, small computers had been built using racks of circuit boards with many medium- and small-scale integrated circuits.
Microprocessors combined this into a few large-scale ICs. Continued increases in microprocessor capacity have since rendered other forms of computers completely obsolete, with one or more microprocessors used in everything from the smallest embedded systems and handheld devices to the largest mainframes and supercomputers; the complexity of an integrated circuit is bounded by physical limitations on the number of transistors that can be put onto one chip, the number of package terminations that can connect the processor to other parts of the system, the number of interconnections it is possible to make on the chip, the heat that the chip can dissipate. Advancing technology makes more powerful chips feasible to manufacture. A minimal hypothetical microprocessor might include only an arithmetic logic unit, a control logic section; the ALU performs addition and operations such as AND or OR. Each operation of the ALU sets one or more flags in a status register, which indicate the results of the last operation.
The control logic retrieves instruction codes from memory and initiates the sequence of operations required for the ALU to carry out the instruction. A single operation code might affect many individual data paths and other elements of the processor; as integrated circuit technology advanced, it was feasible to manufacture more and more complex processors on a single chip. The size of data objects became larger. Additional features were added to the processor architecture. Floating-point arithmetic, for example, was not available on 8-bit microprocessors, but had to be carried out in software. Integration of the floating point unit first as a separate integrated circuit and as part of the same microprocessor chip sped up floating point calculations. Physical limitations of integrated circuits made such practices as a bit slice approach necessary. Instead of processing all of a long word on one integrated circuit, multiple circuits in parallel processed subsets of each data word. While this required extra logic to handle, for example and overflow within each slice, the result was a system that could handle, for example, 32-bit words using integrated circuits with a capacity for only four bits each.
The ability to put large numbers of transistors on one chip makes it feasible to integrate memory on the same die as the processor. This CPU cache has the advantage of faster access than off-chip memory and increases the processing speed of the system for many applications. Processor clock frequency has increased more than external memory speed, so cache memory is necessary if the processor is not delayed by slower external memory. A microprocessor is a general-purpose entity. Several specialized processing devices have followed: A digital signal processor is specialized for signal processing. Graphics processing units are processors designed for realtime rendering of images. Other specialized units exist for video machine vision. Microcontrollers integrate a microprocessor with peripheral devices in embedded systems. Systems on chip integrate one or more microprocessor or microcontroller cores. Microprocessors can be selected for differing applications based on their word size, a measure of their complexity.
Longer word sizes allow each clock cycle of a processor to carry out more computation, but correspond to physically larger integrated circuit dies with higher standby and operating power consumption. 4, 8 or 12 bit processors are integrated into microcontrollers operating embedded systems. Where a system is expected to handle larger volumes of data or require a more flexible user interface, 16, 32 or 64 bit processors are used. An 8- or 16-bit processor may be selected over a 32-bit processor for system on a chip or microcontroller applications that require low-power electronics, or are part of a mixed-signal integrated circuit with noise-sensitive on-chip analog electronics such as high-resolution analog to digital converters, or both. Running 32-bit arithmetic on an 8-bit chip could end up using more power, as the chip must execute software with multiple instructions. Thousands of items that were traditionally not computer-related inc
A real-time clock is a computer clock that keeps track of the current time. Although the term refers to the devices in personal computers and embedded systems, RTCs are present in any electronic device which needs to keep accurate time; the term real-time clock is used to avoid confusion with ordinary hardware clocks which are only signals that govern digital electronics, do not count time in human units. RTC should not be confused with real-time computing, which shares its three-letter acronym but does not directly relate to time of day. Although keeping time can be done without an RTC, using one has benefits: Low power consumption Frees the main system for time-critical tasks Sometimes more accurate than other methodsA GPS receiver can shorten its startup time by comparing the current time, according to its RTC, with the time at which it last had a valid signal. If it has been less than a few hours the previous ephemeris is still usable. RTCs have an alternate source of power, so they can continue to keep time while the primary source of power is off or unavailable.
This alternate source of power is a lithium battery in older systems, but some newer systems use a supercapacitor, because they are rechargeable and can be soldered. The alternate power source can supply power to battery backed RAM. Most RTCs use a crystal oscillator. In many cases, the oscillator's frequency is 32.768 kHz. This is the same frequency used in quartz watches; this frequency is 215 cycles per second. It is a convenient rate to use with simple binary counter circuits, it is too high for humans to hear. The quartz tuning fork of these crystals does not change size much from temperature, so temperature does not change its frequency much; some RTCs use a micromechanical resonator on the silicon chip of the RTC. This reduces the cost of an RTC by reducing its complexity and parts count. Micromechanical resonators are much more sensitive to temperature than quartz resonators. So, these compensate for temperature changes using electronic logic. Many commercial RTC ICs are accurate to less than 5 parts per million.
In practical terms, this is good enough to perform celestial navigation, the classic task of a chronometer. In 2011, Chip-scale atomic clocks were invented. Although more expensive, they keep time within 50 picoseconds. Many integrated circuit manufacturers make RTCs, including Epson, Intersil, IDT, Maxim, NXP Semiconductors, Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics and Ricoh. A common RTC used in single-board computers is the Maxim Integrated DS1307; the RTC was introduced to PC compatibles by the IBM PC/AT in 1984, which used a Motorola MC146818 RTC. Dallas Semiconductor made compatible RTCs, which were used in older personal computers, are found on motherboards because of their distinctive black battery cap and silkscreened logo. In newer systems, the RTC is integrated into the southbridge chip; some microcontrollers have a real-time clock built in only the ones with many other features and peripherals. Some modern computers receive clock information by digital radio and use it to promote time-standards.
There are two common methods: Most cell phone protocols directly provide the current local time. If an internet radio is available, a computer may use the network time protocol. Computers used as local time servers use GPS or ultra-low frequency radio transmissions broadcast by a national standards organization; some older computer designs such as Novas and PDP-8s used a real-time clock, notable for its high accuracy, simplicity and low cost. The computer's power supply produces a pulse at logic voltages for either each half-wave or each zero crossing of AC mains. A wire carries the pulse to an interrupt; the interrupt handler software counts cycles, etc. In this way, it can provide an entire calendar; the clock usually formed the basis of computers' software timing chains. Counting timers used in modern computers provide similar features at lower precision, may trace their requirements to this type of clock. A software-based clock must be set each time; this was done by computer operators. When the Internet became commonplace, network time protocols were used to automatically set clocks of this type.
In Europe, North America and some other grids, this RTC works because the frequency of the AC mains is adjusted to have a long-term frequency accuracy as good as the national standard clocks. That is, in those grids this RTC is superior to quartz clocks and less costly; this design of RTC is not practical in portable computers or grids that do not regulate the frequency of AC mains. It might be thought inconvenient without Internet access to set the clock; some motherboards are made without real time clocks. The real time clock is omitted either out of the desire to save money or because real time clocks may not be needed at all. High Precision Event Timer IRQ 8 Real-time clock alarm System time Timer Wall-clock time Time formatting and storage bugs Media related to Real-time clocks at Wikimedia Commons
The NEC V20 was a processor made by NEC, a reverse-engineered, pin-compatible version of the Intel 8088 with an instruction set compatible with the Intel 80186. The V20 was introduced in 1982, the V30 debuted in 1983; the chip featured much more than the 29,000 transistors of the simpler 8088 CPU, ran at 5 to 10 MHz and was around 30% faster than the 8088 at the same clock speed due to faster effective address calculation, along with faster loop counters, shift registers and multiplier. NEC V20 was used in "turbo" versions of some PC clones such as Commodore PC compatible systems and Tandy 1000 laptop series, as well as in the Casio PV-S450 PDA and Hewlett-Packard's HP 95LX, the GRiD Model: 1810 laptop computer, the Bandai WonderSwan, a handheld gaming system released in Japan in 1999. Sony produced this microprocessor under license from NEC as the V20H; because it was pin-compatible with the 8088 and inexpensive, the V20 was a popular end-user upgrade for systems with a socketed processor, including the original IBM PC and XT.
An unusual feature of the NEC V20 was that it added an Intel 8080 emulation mode, in which it could execute programs written for the Intel 8080 processors. The instructions BRKEM executed in 8086 mode and RETEM and CALLN executed in 8080 mode was used to switch or return to or from the emulation mode. There were some programs which allowed 8080-based CP/M-80 programs to run on MS-DOS machines, notably V2080 CPMulator by Michael Day and 22nice from SYDEX. Another unusual feature was the existence of several families of unique instructions; the ADD4S, SUB4S, CMP4S instructions were able to add and compare huge packed binary-coded decimal numbers stored in memory. Instructions ROL4 and ROR4 rotate four-bit nibbles. Another family consisted of the TEST1, SET1, CLR1, NOT1 instructions, which test, set and invert single bits of their operands, but are far less efficient than the i80386 equivalents BT, BTS, BTR, BTC. There were two instructions to insert bit fields of arbitrary lengths, and there were two additional repeat prefixes, REPC and REPNC, which amended the original REPE and REPNE instructions and allowed a string of bytes or words to be scanned while a less or not less condition remained true.
The NEC V30 was a version of the NEC V20, pin compatible with the 16-bit data bus Intel 8086 processor. It supports the 8080 emulation mode; the V30 was used in the GTD-5 EAX Class 5 central office as a drop-in performance upgrade for the processor complex in the late 1980s. It was used in the Psion Series 3, in the NEC PC-9801, the Olivetti PCS86, the Applied Engineering "PC Transporter" emulator for the Apple II series of computers, in various arcade machines in the late 1980s; the NEC V20HL and NEC V30HL were low-power versions. The NEC V25 is the microcontroller version of the NEC V20 processor. NEC V25HS V25 version with built-in RX116 RTOS NEC V25+ High-speed version of V25 The NEC V33 is a super version of the V30 that separates address bus and data bus, executes all instructions with wired logic instead of micro-codes, making it twice as fast as a V30 for the same clock frequency. V33 has the performance equivalent to Intel 80286. NEC V33 offers a method to expanding the memory address space to 16M bytes.
It has two additional instructions RETXA to support extended addressing mode. The 8080 emulation mode was not supported; the NEC V33A differs from the NEC V33 in that it has interrupt vector numbers compatible with intel 80X86 processors. The NEC V35 is the microcontroller version of the NEC V30 processor. Has 16-bit external data bus. NEC V35HS V35 version with built-in RX116 RTOS NEC V35+ High-speed version of V35 NEC V40 embedded version of V20, integrated Intel-compatible 8251 USART, 8253 programmable interval timer, 8255 parallel port interface. Used in the Olivetti PC1 and Digisystems Jetta XD. NEC V40HL high-speed low-voltage version of V40 NEC V50 embedded version of V30 with 16-bit data bus, it is the main CPU of the Korg M1. NEC V50HL high-speed low-voltage version of V50 The NEC V41 NEC V51 integrated V30HL core and PC-XT peripherals: 8255 parallel port interface, 8254 programmable interval timer, 8259 PIC, 8237 DMA controller and 8042 keyboard controller. Integrates full DRAM controller.
Was used in Olivetti Quaderno XT-20. The NEC V53 integrates a V33 core with 4-channel DMA, UART, three timer/counters and interrupt controller; the NEC V53A integrates some peripherals with a V33A core. NEC V55PI The Vadem VG230 was a single-chip PC platform; the VG230 contained a 16 MHz NEC V30HL processor and IBM PC/XT-compatible core logic, LCD controller with touch-plane support, keyboard matrix scanner, dual PCMCIA 2.1 card controller, EMS 4.0 hardware support for up to 64 MB, built-in timer, PIC, DMA, UART and RTC controllers. It was used in the IBM Simon; the enhanced Vadem VG330 contained a 32 MHz NEC V30MX processor and IBM PC/AT-compatible core logic with dual PICs, LCD controller, keyboard matrix scanner, PC Card ExCA 2.1 controller and SIR port. Starting with the NEC V60, NEC departed from the x86 design. Die photos NEC
A floating-point unit is a part of a computer system specially designed to carry out operations on floating point numbers. Typical operations are addition, multiplication, square root, bitshifting; some systems can perform various transcendental functions such as exponential or trigonometric calculations, though in most modern processors these are done with software library routines. In general purpose computer architectures, one or more FPUs may be integrated as execution units within the central processing unit; when a CPU is executing a program that calls for a floating-point operation, there are three ways to carry it out: A floating-point unit emulator Add-on FPU Integrated FPU Historically systems implemented floating point via a coprocessor rather than as an integrated unit. This could be an entire circuit board or a cabinet. Where floating-point calculation hardware has not been provided, floating point calculations are done in software, which takes more processor time but which avoids the cost of the extra hardware.
For a particular computer architecture, the floating point unit instructions may be emulated by a library of software functions. Emulation can be implemented on any of several levels: in the CPU as microcode, as an operating system function, or in user space code; when only integer functionality is available the CORDIC floating point emulation methods are most used. In most modern computer architectures, there is some division of floating-point operations from integer operations; this division varies by architecture. CORDIC routines has been implemented in the Intel 8087, 80287, 80387 up to the 80486 coprocessor series as well as in the Motorola 68881 and 68882 for some kinds of floating-point instructions as a way to reduce the gate counts of the FPU sub-system. Floating-point operations are pipelined. In earlier superscalar architectures without general out-of-order execution, floating-point operations were sometimes pipelined separately from integer operations. Since the early 1990s, many microprocessors for desktops and servers have more than one FPU.
The modular architecture of Bulldozer microarchitecture uses a special FPU named FlexFPU, which uses simultaneous multithreading. Each physical integer core, two per module, is single threaded, in contrast with Intel's Hyperthreading, where two virtual simultaneous threads share the resources of a single physical core; some floating-point hardware only supports the simplest operations – addition and multiplication. But the most complex floating-point hardware has a finite number of operations it can support – for example, none of them directly support arbitrary-precision arithmetic; when a CPU is executing a program that calls for a floating-point operation, not directly supported by the hardware, the CPU uses a series of simpler floating-point operations. In systems without any floating-point hardware, the CPU emulates it using a series of simpler fixed-point arithmetic operations that run on the integer arithmetic logic unit; the software that lists the necessary series of operations to emulate floating-point operations is packaged in a floating-point library.
In some cases, FPUs may be specialized, divided between simpler floating-point operations and more complicated operations, like division. In some cases, only the simple operations may be implemented in hardware or microcode, while the more complex operations are implemented as software. In some current architectures, the FPU functionality is combined with units to perform SIMD computation. In the 1980s, it was common in IBM PC/compatible microcomputers for the FPU to be separate from the CPU, sold as an optional add-on, it would only be purchased if needed to enable math-intensive programs. The IBM PC, XT, most compatibles based on the 8088 or 8086 had a socket for the optional 8087 coprocessor; the AT and 80286-based systems were socketed for the 80287, 80386/80386SX based machines for the 80387 and 80387SX although early ones were socketed for the 80287, since the 80387 did not exist yet. Other companies manufactured co-processors for the Intel x86 series; these included Weitek. Coprocessors were available for the Motorola 68000 family, the 68881 and 68882.
These were common in Motorola 68020/68030-based workstations like the Sun 3 series. They were commonly added to higher-end models of Apple Macintosh and Commodore Amiga series, but unlike IBM PC-compatible systems, sockets for adding the coprocessor were not as common in lower end systems. There are add-on FPUs coprocessor units for microcontroller units /single-board computer, which serve to provide floating-point arithmetic capability; these add-on FPUs are host-processor-independent, possess their own programming requirements and are pro
Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip manufacturer based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers. Intel ranked No. 46 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, Dell. Intel manufactures motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphics chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing. Intel Corporation was founded on July 18, 1968, by semiconductor pioneers Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, associated with the executive leadership and vision of Andrew Grove; the company's name was conceived as portmanteau of the words integrated and electronics, with co-founder Noyce having been a key inventor of the integrated circuit.
The fact that "intel" is the term for intelligence information made the name appropriate. Intel was an early developer of SRAM and DRAM memory chips, which represented the majority of its business until 1981. Although Intel created the world's first commercial microprocessor chip in 1971, it was not until the success of the personal computer that this became its primary business. During the 1990s, Intel invested in new microprocessor designs fostering the rapid growth of the computer industry. During this period Intel became the dominant supplier of microprocessors for PCs and was known for aggressive and anti-competitive tactics in defense of its market position against Advanced Micro Devices, as well as a struggle with Microsoft for control over the direction of the PC industry; the Open Source Technology Center at Intel hosts PowerTOP and LatencyTOP, supports other open-source projects such as Wayland, Mesa3D, Intel Array Building Blocks, Threading Building Blocks, Xen. Client Computing Group – 55% of 2016 revenues – produces hardware components used in desktop and notebook computers.
Data Center Group – 29% of 2016 revenues – produces hardware components used in server and storage platforms. Internet of Things Group – 5% of 2016 revenues – offers platforms designed for retail, industrial and home use. Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group – 4% of 2016 revenues – manufactures NAND flash memory and 3D XPoint, branded as Optane, products used in solid-state drives. Intel Security Group – 4% of 2016 revenues – produces software security, antivirus software. Programmable Solutions Group – 3% of 2016 revenues – manufactures programmable semiconductors. In 2017, Dell accounted for about 16% of Intel's total revenues, Lenovo accounted for 13% of total revenues, HP Inc. accounted for 11% of total revenues. According to IDC, while Intel enjoyed the biggest market share in both the overall worldwide PC microprocessor market and the mobile PC microprocessor in the second quarter of 2011, the numbers decreased by 1.5% and 1.9% compared to the first quarter of 2011. In the 1980s, Intel was among the top ten sellers of semiconductors in the world.
In 1992, Intel became the biggest chip maker by revenue and has held the position since. Other top semiconductor companies include TSMC, Advanced Micro Devices, Texas Instruments, Toshiba and STMicroelectronics. Competitors in PC chipsets include Advanced Micro Devices, VIA Technologies, Silicon Integrated Systems, Nvidia. Intel's competitors in networking include NXP Semiconductors, Broadcom Limited, Marvell Technology Group and Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, competitors in flash memory include Spansion, Qimonda, Toshiba, STMicroelectronics, SK Hynix; the only major competitor in the x86 processor market is Advanced Micro Devices, with which Intel has had full cross-licensing agreements since 1976: each partner can use the other's patented technological innovations without charge after a certain time. However, the cross-licensing agreement is canceled in the event of takeover; some smaller competitors such as VIA Technologies produce low-power x86 processors for small factor computers and portable equipment.
However, the advent of such mobile computing devices, in particular, has in recent years led to a decline in PC sales. Since over 95% of the world's smartphones use processors designed by ARM Holdings, ARM has become a major competitor for Intel's processor market. ARM is planning to make inroads into the PC and server market. Intel has been involved in several disputes regarding violation of antitrust laws, which are noted below. Intel was founded in Mountain View, California, in 1968 by Gordon E. Moore, a chemist, Robert Noyce, a physicist and co-inventor of the integrated circuit. Arthur Rock helped. Moore and Noyce had left Fairchild Semiconductor to found Intel. Rock was not an employee; the total initial investment in Intel was $10,000 from Rock. Just 2 years Intel became a public company via an initial public offering, raising $6.8 million. Intel's third employee was Andy Grove, a chemical engineer, who ran the company through much of the 1980s and the high-growth 1990s. In dec