A microcontroller is a chip optimized to control electronic devices. It is stored in a single integrated circuit which is dedicated to performing a particular task and execute one specific application.
It is specially designed circuits for embedded applications and is widely used in automatically controlled electronic devices. It contains memory, processor, and programmable I/O.
In this Microprocessor Vs. Microcontroller tutorial, you will learn:
- What is Microcontroller?
- What is a Microprocessor?
- Types of Microprocessor
- Types of Microcontroller
- History of Microprocessor
- History Microcontroller
- Features of Microcontroller
- Features of Micro-processor
- Microprocessor vs. Microcontroller
- Applications of Microprocessor
- Applications of Microcontroller
A microprocessor is a controlling unit of a micro-computer wrapped inside a small chip. It performs Arithmetic Logical Unit (ALU) operations and communicates with the other devices connected with it. It is a single Integrated Circuit in which several functions are combined.
- Microprocessor consists of only a Central Processing Unit, whereas Micro Controller contains a CPU, Memory, I/O all integrated into one chip.
- Microprocessor is used in Personal Computers whereas Micro Controller is used in an embedded system.
- Microprocessor uses an external bus to interface to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals, on the other hand, Microcontroller uses an internal controlling bus.
- Microprocessors are based on Von Neumann model Micro controllers are based on Harvard architecture
- Microprocessor is complicated and expensive, with a large number of instructions to process but Microcontroller is inexpensive and straightforward with fewer instructions to process.
Important types of Microprocessors are:
- Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors
- The Application Specific Integrated Circuit
- Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessors
- Digital Signal Multiprocessors (DSPs)
Here are important types of Microcontroller:
- 8 bit Microcontroller
- 16 bit Microcontroller
- 32 bit Microcontroller
- Embedded Microcontroller
- External memory Microcontroller
Here, are the important landmark from the history of Microprocessor
- Fairchild Semiconductors invented the first IC (Integrated Circuit) in 1959.
- In 1968, Robert Noyce, Gordan Moore, Andrew Grove found their own company Intel.
- Intel grew from 3 man start-up in 1968 to industrial giant by 1981.
- In 1971, INTEL created the first generation Microprocessor 4004 that would run at a clock speed of 108 kHz
- From 1973 to 1978, second-generation 8-bit microprocessors were fabricated like Motorola 6800 and 6801, INTEL-8085, and Zilog’s-Z80.
- In 1978, Intel 8008 third-generation process came into the market.
- In the early 80s, Intel released fourth-generation 32-bit processors.
- In 1995, intel released in fifth-generation 64-bit processors .
Here, are important landmarks from the history of Microcontroller:
- First used in 1975(Intel 8048)
- The introduction of EEPROM in 1993
- The same year, Atmel introduced the first microcontroller using Flash memory.
Here are some important features of Microcontroller:
- Processor reset
- Program and Variable Memory (RAM) I/O pins
- Device clocking central processor
- Instruction cycle timers
Here are some important features of Microprocessor:
- Offers built-in monitor/debugger program with interrupt capability
- Large amount of instructions each carrying out a different variation of the same operation
- Offers Parallel I/O
- Instruction cycle timer
- External memory interface
Here is the difference between Microprocessor vs. Microcontroller
|Microprocessor is the heart of Computer system.||Micro Controller is the heart of an embedded system.|
|It is only a processor, so memory and I/O components need to be connected externally||Micro Controller has a processor along with internal memory and I/O components.|
|Memory and I/O has to be connected externally, so the circuit becomes large.||Memory and I/O are already present, and the internal circuit is small.|
|You can’t use it in compact systems||You can use it in compact systems.|
|Cost of the entire system is high||Cost of the entire system is low|
|Due to external components, the total power consumption is high. Therefore, it is not ideal for the devices running on stored power like batteries.||As external components are low, total power consumption is less. So it can be used with devices running on stored power like batteries.|
|Most of the microprocessors do not have power saving features.||Most of the microcontrollers offer power-saving mode.|
|It is mainly used in personal computers.||It is used mainly in a washing machine, MP3 players, and embedded systems.|
|Microprocessor has a smaller number of registers, so more operations are memory-based.||Microcontroller has more register. Hence the programs are easier to write.|
|Microprocessors are based on Von Neumann model||Micro controllers arc based on Harvard architecture|
|It is a central processing unit on a single silicon-based integrated chip.||It is a byproduct of the development of microprocessors with a CPU along with other peripherals.|
|It has no RAM, ROM, Input-Output units, timers, and other peripherals on the chip.||It has a CPU along with RAM, ROM, and other peripherals embedded on a single chip.|
|It uses an external bus to interface to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals.||It uses an internal controlling bus.|
|Microprocessor-based systems can run at a very high speed because of the technology involved.||Microcontroller based systems run up to 200MHz or more depending on the architecture.|
|It’s used for general purpose
applications that allow you to handle loads of data.
|It’s used for application-specific systems.|
|It’s complex and expensive, with a large number of instructions to process.||It’s simple and inexpensive with less number of instructions to process.|
Microprocessors are mainly used in devices like:
- Accounting system
- Games machine
- Complex industrial controllers
- Traffic light
- Control data
- Military applications
- Defense systems
- Computation systems
Microcontrollers are mainly used in devices like:
- Mobile phones
- CD/DVD players
- Washing machines
- Security alarms
- Keyboard controllers
- Microwave oven
- Mp3 players