Micro-controllers-Basic Introduction Tutorials

A micro-controller is essentially a microprocessor with several other features embedded
onto a single chip 
  1. Microprocessor - A single chip that contains the CPU or most of the computer
  2. Micro-controller - A single chip used to control other devices
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Examples:
  • Microprocessor - Pentium, Power-PC chip in your computer
  • Micro-controller - 68HC11, 68332, MPC555

Examples of things that use micro-controllers
Auto-mobiles, Automatic Cameras, CD player, etc.

Why use a micro-controller?
  1. Reduce chip count
  2. Many applications do not require as much computing power
  3. Reduced power consumption
  4. Reduced design cost
  5. In fact, industry sells 10 times as many micro-controllers as microprocessors

What are the parts of a micro-controller?

  1. CPU
  2. Memory
  3. I/O (Input/Output)

CPU
Central Processing Unit
“Smart part” of the computer that processes data and makes decisions
Has all the parts of a normal microprocessor

Memory
RAM – Random Access Memory – Storing data while micro-controller is running
ROM – Read Only Memory – Store boot-up data information
EEPROM or EPROM – Persistent storage of data parameters that can be rewritten
Example: Alarm clock saving the time when the power goes off

I/O
Methods to interact with the world outside the micro-controller
A typical CPU takes up only a small portion of the actual silicon real estate of a
micro-controller leaving additional space for other features.

Examples:

  1. A/D – Analog to Digital Converter
  2. Temperature Sensor
  3. Display controller
  4. Timing circuits
  5. Communication circuits
  6. Parallel, Serial, Ethernet

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