A System-on-a-Chip (SoC) is an integrated chip or circuit that combines all of the various components of a computer or other system. This might include such things as the CPU, memory, secondary storage, and input/output ports, as well as whatever digital, radio, or analog functionality the application requires. The main advantage of SoCs is their low power consumption, which makes them ideal for mobile computing applications, wearable devices, and embedded systems of many kinds. Size is another significant advantage. An SoC is only a little larger than a CPU but packs a lot more functionality into that space. A CPU can’t function without dozens of other chips, but you can build a complete computer with a single SoC, and that computer can be much smaller, and much cheaper.
A good example is the Raspberry Pi, which uses an SoC as a self-contained microcomputer. The Raspberry Pi 2 costs only $35 and features an HDMI port, AV port, USB input, a 900 MHz, 32-bit quad-core ARM processor and 1 GB of RAM. it is popular with students and hobbyists and was designed to be a cheap and easy platform to promote computer science in emerging countries.
Slimmed-down operating systems such as SUSE Linux Enterprise Just Enough Operating System (JeOS) are designed to deliver a subset of critical features on SoCs for things like embedded systems. And SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM is the first generally available commercial enterprise-grade Linux distribution that is optimized for servers based on the 64-bit Armv8-A architecture. SUSE offers a specially packaged version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for ARM as an image, tailored for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.