An application processor, or SoC (System on a Chip), is a microprocessor with a specialized architecture for deployment in embedded systems, such as digital still/video cameras, digital/smart TVs and set-top boxes, and automotive systems, among others. An SoC operates at frequencies from several hundred MHz to a few GHz, and is architected to deliver significant computing performances at low power consumption levels in limited board spaces. High-end SoCs often contain multiple cores, enabling them to deliver exceptional performances in applications such as digital imaging and multimedia devices.
Current-generation SoCs are capable of running full-fledged versions of modern operating systems, providing the user a rich, interactive interface on devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Almost all the latest SoCs have the ability to decode a majority of multimedia codecs, and contain hardware engines to deliver enhanced multimedia experiences to the user. They also contain dedicated MMUs (memory management units) to manage the memory for applications being run on the device. Recent SoCs also have a multitude of peripheral connectivity solutions on the chip, offering the designer extensive control in providing connectivity options on the device. SoCs are application specific, and contain features targeted towards the intended deployment segment. Thus, an SoC designed for a mobile handset would include front-end GSM RF functionalities on-chip, which would be absent in an SoC designed for deployment in a digital still camera. An increasing number of SoCs, however, are now offering a wide range of features, making the processor suitable for deployment on any application. Samsung is a worldwide leader in providing the most advanced, efficient, and customizable SoC solutions for deployment on a wide range of platforms, such as digital imaging, multimedia, and mobile communication and computing. Samsung’s line of SoCs offers the highest performance, thermal stability, reliability, and I/O density in the smallest form factors at the lowest power consumption levels. Worldwide, Samsung is the preferred provider for SoC solutions for a majority of developers and OEMs for deployment on the broadest computing and communication devices and platforms.