Friday, February 19, 2016


What is a Microcontroller?

A microcontroller (sometimes abbreviated ┬ÁC, uC or MCU) is a small computer on a single integrated circuit containing a processor core, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals.
Microcontroller - General Model

A micro-controller is a task specific single integrated circuit, commonly with the following features:
  • central processing unit - ranging from small and simple 4-bit processors to complex 32- or 64-bit processors
  • volatile memory (RAM) for data storage
  • ROM, EPROM, EEPROM or Flash memory for program and operating parameter storage
  • discrete input and output bits, allowing control or detection of the logic state of an individual package pin
  • serial input/output such as serial ports (UARTs)
  • other serial communications interfaces like I²C, Serial Peripheral Interface and Controller Area Network for system interconnect
  • peripherals such as timers, event counters, PWM generators, and watchdog
  • clock generator - often an oscillator for a quartz timing crystal, resonator or RC circuit
  • many include analog-to-digital converters, some include digital-to-analog converters
  • in-circuit programming and debugging support

Related topics:
Computer Internals   |   Microprocessor   |   Microprocessor Vs Microcontroller   |   Microcontroller and Embedded Systems   |   Choosing a Microcontroller

List of topics: Microcomputer

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