We often hear the phrase Microcontroller in the context of various DIY electronics boards like Arduino. What is a Microcontroller? A microcontroller is an integrated circuit which brings together the essential elements of a computer.
What is a Microcontroller? What Are IC and Microprocessor?
An integrated circuit (IC) is also known as electronic chip is an electronic component reproducing one or more electronic function incorporating several basic types of electronic components in a small space, for making easy to really create a circuit.
Again, microcontroller is an integrated circuit that brings together the essential elements of a computer including processor, memory (ROM and RAM, and peripheral interfaces. The microcontrollers are characterized by a high degree of integration, lower power consumption, lower operating speed (a few MHz to more than one gigahertz ) and reduced cost compared to versatile microprocessors used in computers. Compared to the microprocessors, microcontrollers are used to reduce the size, power consumption and cost of the products. Obviously there is a processor in the microcontroller.
Microcontrollers are commonly used in embedded systems such as automotive engine controllers, remote controls, household appliances, toys, mobile phones, etc.
A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor optimized for the operational needs of digital signal processing to measure, filter and/or compress continuous real-world analog signals. Micro controllers can work as digital signal processor (DSP).
What is a Microcontroller? Is that Black Chip or the Whole Board?
That black “Chip” not the “Board”. It is a micro computer itself. You need an electron microscope to cut it to section and view all the components. Here is a section of a microcontroller from
cpu-world posted by member James :
Microcontrollers have more complex architecture than that of the microprocessors but perform limited number of executions simultaneously.
Much of the complex electronic systems used today are embedded systems. Embedded systems stand out from traditional computer systems in several aspects like size constraints (integration), power consumption (autonomy) and significant cost. They are usually assigned to a specific task. The size of the programs and the amount of memory they have, are modest compared to a microcomputer.
They may have no means of human-computer interaction – neither keyboard nor screen or disk or printer.
What are components of a Microcontroller?
A microcontroller commonly comes with the following features at minimum :
- Central processing unit
- Volatile memory (RAM) for data storage
- ROM, EPROM, EEPROM or Flash memory for the storage of program and operating parameter
- Discrete input and output bits allows the control and detection of the logic state of an individual package pin
- Serial input/output
- Clock generator – a quartz timing crystal, resonator or RC circuit
- In-circuit programming and debugger
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