In a System-on-a-Chip, all programmable electronic components of a system (RAM, CPU, graphics chip and co-processors) are installed in one chip, i.e. an integrated circuit (IC). In systems without an SoC, the components mentioned are soldered onto a board in several chips, but they perform the same tasks as an SoC. The advantages of an SoC are lower costs, lower power dissipation and lower energy consumption, as well as the significantly more compact (space-saving) design.
Areas of application for SoCs include smartphones, tablet computers and other compact electronic devices.