Chips and Salsa

What Does Chips and Salsa Mean?

In IT, the colloquial phrase “chips and salsa” refers to the difference between hardware and software technologies. The hardware is the “chips,” and the software is the “salsa.” IT pros might talk about hardware and software displayed for the purposes of troubleshooting or for other types of descriptions or explanations.


Techopedia Explains Chips and Salsa

In one sense, the phrase chips and salsa is a play on the word “chip.” While a chip, in American English, is a tasty snack, it is also used to describe microprocessors. So it makes sense to call hardware “chips.” There is also the difference between the density and texture of chips and salsa – the chips are hard and crunchy, the salsa is more of a liquid – and the differences in application: the chip is dipped into salsa. All of this supports the idea that this food metaphor can be used to talk about hardware and software.


Related Terms

Latest Buzzwords and Jargon Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…