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Difference between microprocessor and microcontroller

We live in an era of technology where everything is computerized. It isn’t easy to believe that there will be anyone today who doesn’t know about computers. Difference between microprocessor and microcontroller. We are greatly dependent on computers whether it’s office work or a business. Whether it’s students or teachers. It is a must for everyone to acquire and learn computer.

However, basic knowledge of computers doesn’t give you any information on what this computer does. How am I able to carry out all functions and tasks? It’s not magic. The answer to it is microprocessors and microcontrollers. Let’s see how they work.

What is a microprocessor?

Have you ever wondered how a computer knows all these calculations that you can’t solve very quickly? A microprocessor is the one performing all arithmetic and logic operations. These include addition, subtraction, transferring, and comparing numbers. Microprocessors are known to people as CPUs, processors, or logic chips.

The microprocessor is just like an engine of a car; it starts processing as soon as the computer is switched on. It’s a device that is programmable and multipurpose. It has the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit.

How does a microprocessor work?

The microprocessor requires input in the form of binary data to process. It provides output after processing the input from the instructions stored in the memory. The processing of data takes place in ALU (arithmetic and logical unit). A control unit and a register array. The control unit controls the flow of information going to the system.

What are the benefits of a microprocessor?

Firstly, take into account that computers are not the only device that needs microprocessor. Every machine working today needs a microprocessor, cars, fridge, smartphone, smart tv, automatic washing machines, etc. Microprocessors are widely used nowadays because of many advantages.

  • A microprocessor is very cheap. This reduces the overall value of the device. Its IC technology makes the production of microprocessors very cheap.
  • The microprocessors produced with modern technology today are high-speed. They can perform millions of instructions per second with the latest technology.
  • Microprocessors are manufactured by metal oxide semiconductor technology. It lowers the power consumption compared to the traditional processors. Hence, it is an effective energy saver.
  • Microprocessors are portable, just like a microprocessor in your smartphone, which you can carry anywhere.
  • There is no failure count received till now. The microcontrollers are built with semiconductor technology that makes them quite reliable.
  • These are very versatile as they can work for some applications.

What is a microcontroller, and how does it work?

A microcontroller designed in a way that it offers to do specific tasks only. It because of the program that has installed in the MCU chip while manufacturing. You cannot change or alter its functions. Specific tools required to re-burn this chip. A microprocessor has specific tasks to do; hence it offers results that have previously input in it.

The tasks given by the users or can detect by sensors installed in microcontrollers. For example, the work of a washing machine is to wash the clothes. This task preloaded on this device. It will do it whenever you give it this instruction. However, you cannot ask it to do anything else. The task is its input and the task completed is its output.

Since microcontrollers designed only to do specific functions, again and again, they require less memory. Similarly, the I/O ports are lesser in a microcontroller. Since everything inbuilt in a chip, it smaller in size and portable. No external component needs to attach to it. But once this controller built, you cannot undo or modify it.

Some essential types of the microcontroller are 8-bit Microcontroller, 16-bit Microcontroller, 32-bit Microcontroller, Embedded Microcontroller, and External memory Microcontroller.

What’s the difference between a microprocessor and a microcontroller?

  • Microprocessors knew as the heart of the computer system. The microcontrollers knew as the heart of an embedded system.
  • Microprocessors don’t have memory or I/O components. It is just a processor, and the components need to attach externally. However, the microcontroller is a processor with internal memory and attached I/O components.
  • As the components need to attach externally to a microprocessor, the size of its circuit increases. Nevertheless, the circuit of a microcontroller tiny as everything inbuilt.
  • Microprocessors cannot used in compact systems, unlike microcontrollers.
  • The cost of a device with a microprocessor is higher than a microcontroller.
  • External components in the microprocessor consume a higher power consumption. Comparatively, a microcontroller consumes very little power. It can even work on batteries.
  • Microprocessors don’t offer power-saving features, and microcontrollers offer power-saving features.
  • Microprocessors usually used in personal computers, whereas microcontrollers used in mp3, washing machines, smartphones, etc.
  • The model of microprocessors prepared by Von Neumann. And the model of the microcontroller prepared by Harvard.
  • A microprocessor doesn’t have RAM, ROM, timers, or input/output units. In contrast, a microcontroller has a CPU with RAM and ROM.

A microcontroller has an internally controlling bus, unlike a microprocessor that uses an external bus.

  • The technology involved in microprocessor speeds it up more than a microcontroller. The microcontroller can reach up to 200MHz.
  • Microprocessors used a lot of data processed by general-purpose applications. Although microcontrollers only used for the application-specific system.
  • As the microprocessors need to handle a lot of information, they are pretty expensive. However, the microcontrollers are very cheap but can perform only specific tasks.
  • Microprocessors mainly used in calculators, accounting systems, games, machines, industrial controllers, traffic lights, control data, military applications, defense systems, and computation systems. Microcontrollers used in devices like mobile phones, automobiles, CD/DVD players, washing machines, cameras, security alarms, microwave ovens, watches, and mp3 players.

The invention of technology called “Microprocessor” and “microcontrollers” has changed the view of computerization. It over two decades that this technology used. The first commercial microprocessor developed by Intel in 1971. It was 4-bit 4004.

Although there are many differences between microcontrollers and microprocessors, we can indeed justify that none is less important. They both have their distinct qualities and usage.

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