What is an SoC? Hint: the “S” stands for Server.

This a very comprehensive short post on SoC. I have working on porting ZurmoCRM onto QNAP TS-119PII which has a Marvell 2.0GHz. My initial test is very depressed on the performance: 104 seconds for two records. I expect to see performance improvements on Armada XP or need to move to Atom x86 platform for acceptable performance.

ARM Servers

The acronym “SoC” generally refers to “System on a Chip”. But with SoCs entering the server space, it is also taking on a new meaning: “Server on a Chip”. An SoC is a large scale integration of processor cores, memory controllers, on-chip and off-chip memories, peripheral controllers, accelerators, and custom IP (intellectual property) for specific applications and uses. As Moore’s law continues, chip process geometries shrink, allowing more transistors to reside on the same area of silicon. Traditionally, server processors have used this new real estate to add more cores. But there are better alternatives than just adding more cores for certain applications.

Increasing integration in an SoC brings a number of benefits including:

  • Higher performance – significantly faster and wider internal busses compared to those found in a multi-chip or multi-board solution.
  • Lower power – wider range of power optimization techniques can be employed in SoCs including power gating, changing…

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