Network on Chip vs System on Chip- Which one is better?

Network on chip (NOC) and System on chip (SOC) both are sub system based integrated circuit that integrates even component of a particular system. But, just as the name suggests NOC is designed for an organized network but SOC is meant for an organized device like computer. This why NOC acts as an integral link between the IP code and the System on chip of the computer, whereas the system on chip connects the computer or any other electronic device in one sole system. So, SOC is more like an embedded system that ties every unit of a particular device together.

The vitality of NOC and SOC is equally important for any system. Moreover, there are four basic advantages that are associated to this integration.

  • Higher Operation Frequencies:  When the NOC chip is linked with the SOC of a system then it is going to simplify the hardware applications by reducing the routing functions making the SOC interconnect with the NOC so that they can function promptly at higher operation frequencies. Similarly, a SOC is always embedded in a long sensitive path which need precise placement of such chips so that the IP of the system is not affected because of the integration. NOC is acclaimed to be globally asynchronous locally SOC (GALS) that allows the electronic module to operate in a synchronous manner maintaining a clockwise connection in-between them.
  • Reduced Wiring Congestions: Routing a particular data with the SOC requires a lot of wiring; this increases the wiring congestions causing a lot of complications for the system. This is where Network on chips can act as a lifesaver, because when a Network on chip is connected with the SOC then they significantly reduce the wiring connections that are required by the system to function.
  • Change IP at an Extreme Ease: A system quite often faces semiconductors Intellectual property block, so when you have integrated the circuit with the NOS then you can swap the IP blocks without any trouble. This allows the chips to respond in a timely manner and even makes sure that the embedded system is working in accordance to the protocol of the unit. In a small network unit the NOC interfaces with the synthesized targeted IP block, so that other topologies that are part of the system can function in an efficient manner.
  • Ease Timing Closure: When the NOC is precisely placed in the SOC framework then it can easily function in accordance to the timing closure without affecting the chip in any manner.


Difference between the Design Flow of NOC vs SOC

The design flow of SOC is quite different from that of NOC. In Soc there are two vital things which are hardware and software that acts as the control centre of the components that are related to them like DSP cores, microprocessors, and microcontrollers. The basic aim of the SOC is to make sure that both the hardware and the software applications work in a parallel manner. To obtain this, the SOC tends to make use of hardware blocks for the hardware components and software drivers for software components. They are just like protocol stacks that are present inside the system so that the device can function in accordance to that. Here, the software operations are moduled with the help of software development environment and the hardware is integrated with the help of CAD tools.

But, there is a time when the computational power of these SOC is adversely affected and hence its potential starts to crumble, this makes them a complex system to use and even a bit costly too.  Therefore, to address such problems in a manageable manner NOC is something that was needed. With NOC operations the IP blocks will have the ability to exchange the data using a common platform entitled as the public “transportation”.  This sort of chip works with the operations of “Very Large Scale Integration” by using a thick layer of stacked chip for the core system communication mode. This is structured with the help of the point to point data link that technically gets connected to the routers, by following the protocol and then making a routing decision. This chip is quite similar to that of Telecommunication network that functions using digital networking operations.

Final Verdict Network On Chips vs System On Chips   

Now, NOC has become almost a well established concept, talking about the comparison between NOC and SOC then NOC is something that wins the race. The technology, benefits and adaptive abilities that are showcased by this chip is phenomenal and it is something that greatly supports “Quality of Service” and has rebooted the potentials of the System On Chips. There has been tremendous research that is talking place for creating this chip in a revolutionized form and for transforming the system applications. From what it can be seen in the current scenario the first thing is that there is least amount of practice that is needed from the user end to operate it in a better form but the level of quality that is brought by this chip is truly impressive. Till now, there are a plethora of NOCs that were designed in accordance to the testified protocols but, only few NOCs were made out of silicon. Therefore, in the near future it is expected that NOC will have a wide range of applications with successful implementations.

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