Introduction to microcontroller

A microcontroller is a small and low-
cost computer built for the purpose of
dealing with specific tasks, such as
displaying information in a microwave
LED or receiving information from a
television’s remote control.
Microcontrollers are mainly used in
products that require a degree of
control to be exerted by the user.

image

Microcontroller v/s microprocessor
Microprocessors are used to execute
big and generic applications, while a
microcontroller will only be used to
execute a single task within one
application. Some of the benefits of
microcontrollers include the
following:
· Cost advantage: The biggest
advantage of microcontrollers
against larger microprocessors is that
the design and hardware costs are
much lesser and can be kept to a
minimum. A microcontroller is cheap
to replace, while microprocessors are
ten times more expensive.
· Lesser power usage:
Microcontrollers are generally built
using a technology known as
Complementary Metal Oxide
Semiconductor (CMOS). This
technology is a competent fabrication
system that uses less power and is
more immune to power spikes than
other techniques.
· All-in-one: A microcontroller usually
comprises of a CPU, ROM, RAM and I/
O ports, built within it to execute a
single and dedicated task. On the
other hand, a microprocessor
generally does not have a RAM, ROM
or IO pins and generally uses its pins
as a bus to interface to peripherals
such as RAM, ROM, serial ports, digital
and analog IO.

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