Friday, February 19, 2016

Microcontroller and Embedded Systems

Need for Microcontroller

  • Microprocessors contain no memory and no IO ports on the chip itself.
  • System designer using microprocessor must add memory and IO ports externally to make them functional.
  • System designer can decide on the amount of memory and IO ports needed to fit the application.
  • However, additional of external components makes the systems bulkier and much more expensive.
  • Microcontroller has a CPU (microprocessor) in addition to a fixed amount of RAM, ROM, I/O ports and a timer all on a single chip.
  • The fixed amount of memory and peripherals in microcontrollers makes them ideal for many applications in which costs and space are critical.
  • In many applications, the space it takes, the power it consumes and the price per unit are much more critical considerations than the computing power.
  • Many applications most often require some IO operations to read signals and turn on and off certain bits.
  • Microprocessors and microcontrollers are widely used in embedded system products.
  • A PC contains or connected to various embedded system products such as keyboard, mouse, printer, CD drive, modem, sound card.
  • Peripheral connected to PC has a microcontroller inside it to perform pre-defined task.
  • Microcontrollers are the preferred choice for many embedded systems.
  • For complex embedded application, an optimized version of general purpose processor is used. These processors are often called high-end embedded processor.
  • The term embedded processor and microcontroller are used interchangeably.

Related topics:
Computer Internals   |   Microprocessor   |   Microcontroller   |   Microprocessor Vs Microcontroller   |   Choosing a Microcontroller

List of topics: Microcomputer

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