ASIC and SoC have become "buzzwords" as ICs their distinction has morphed and merged over the years--Bill Schweber puts back the meaning.
We've had application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) in this industry for a long time. But what each of those actually is has changed over the years, due to time, technology, and trends. Like so many other things, ASIC and SoC became "buzzwords," which meant just about whatever you wanted them to mean to fit your storyline.
How so? Very often, the ASIC was somewhat "application-specific," but it was often also usable in a fairly broad range of associated applications. As for the SoC, it seemed to be more a case of definition and frame of reference than actual use, since one person's "system" is another person's "component." Note that for a circuit designer, a component is an IC, a resistor, capacitor, diode, etc.; for the audio-studio designer, it's a rack-mounted chassis. So we go from one end of the spectrum to the other.
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