Know Difference Between Microprocessors and Microcontrollers


A microprocessor is an electronic computer component crafted from miniature sized transistors & some other circuitry elements on a solitary semi-conductor IC (integrated circuit) or micro chip. The abbreviated of microprocessor is µP or uP. The CPU (central processing unit) is the most renowned micro-processor, but numerous other constituents in a computer contain them, like- the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) on a video card. In the race of personal computers, the names CPU & microprocessor are applied inter-changeably. At the Center of all PCs and at maximum of the workstations a microprocessor is incorporated. Microprocessors control the logic of approximately all digital machines, from radios clock to fuel injection structures for automobile. Microprocessor is a single IC package in which several functions are integrated.

There are mainly five sorts of microprocessors; these minute units provide computers with a “brain”. Inside a usual silicon micro-processor, there will be a number of minute transistors and tremendously tiny parts. All of these components are employed to assist a computer work as planned.

Types of Microprocessors:

Different Types of Microprocessors
Different Types of Microprocessors
  • Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors:This type of microprocessor is also known as CISM. CISM classify a micro-processor in which each & every order can be executed together with several other low-level functions. These Functions are intended to carry out actions such as- uploading data into memory card, re-calling or downloading data from memory card or a complex mathematics computation in a single command.
  • Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessors: Also known as RISC, this was intended to pace up computer microprocessors. These chips are built up under the guideline that permits the microprocessor to do a smaller amount of things within each command and this will permit it to complete more commands more rapidly.
  • Superscalar processors:This type of processor replica the hardware on the micro-processor so that it can perform numerous instructions at the same time. These replica resources can be committed arithmetic logic units or multipliers. Superscalars comprise of several operational units. Superscalar micro-processors carry out more than one command throughout a single clock cycle by concurrently transmitting numerous instructions to superfluous operational units in the processor.
  • The Application Specific Integrated Circuit:Also known as ASIC microprocessor is intended for extremely precise purposes, which possibly will comprise- automotive emissions control or Personal Digital Assistants computers. ASICs at times is produced to specification, but can also be manufactured by making use of off-the-shelf gears.
  • Digital Signal Multiprocessors (DSPs):DSPs are unique micro-processors employed to decode & encode video, or convert digital or video to analog and vice-versa. These operations need a micro-processor particularly excellent at carrying out mathematical calculations. DSP chips are generally employed in SONAR, mobile telephones, RADAR, home theater audio gears and cable set-top boxes.



Microcontroller is a computer on‐a‐chip optimized to manage electric gadgets. It is intended particularly for precise tasks like controlling a particular system. A microcontroller sometimes uses abbreviated uC, µC, or MCU, is fundamentally a specialized variety of microprocessor that is intended to be self-satisfactory and lucrative. Also, a microcontroller is a fraction of a set in system, which is fundamentally a complete circuit board. A fixed-in system is a computer system intended to carry out one or more functions over and over again with real‐time work out limits. It is embedded as an element of a full machine often counting hardware and motorized elements as well. Some external electronic peripherals are interfaced to microcontroller for a better performance depends on applications.

Illustrations of microcontrollers are the 8051, Intel’s 80196, Microchip’s PIC and Motorola’s 68HCxx series. Microcontrollers which are normally incorporated in toys, automobiles, appliances and office machines are gears which amalgamate a number of constituents of a microprocessor system on a solo microchip:

  • Memory (both ROM and RAM)
  • The CPU core (microprocessor)
  • Some parallel digital I/O

The microcontroller witnesses the incorporation of a number of helpful functions into a solitary IC pack. These functions are:-

  • The capability to carry out an accumulated set of commands to perform user described jobs.
  • The capability to be proficient to use peripheral memory chips to both read & write data from and to the memory.

Types Of Microcontrollers:

The micro-controllers are sorted in terms of in-house bus width, in-built micro-controller, order set, memory structural design, IC chip or VLSI core or Verilog file & family unit. For the similar family, there may be a range of editions with different sources. Here we are giving few types of microcontroller used in different applications.

Different Types of Microcontrollers
Different Types of Microcontrollers
  • 8-bit microcontroller:When in-house bus in a MCU is 8-bit bus then the ALU carries out the logic & arithmetic operations on a byte at an order. The MCU is 8-bit micro-controller. The illustrations of 8-bit MCU are- Intel 8031/8051, Motorola MC68HC11 & PIC1x families.
  • 16-bit microcontroller:The 16 bit Microcontroller consists of a 16 bit bus and the ALU performs arithmetic and logic operations on the 16 bit operand. It provides greater precision and performance as compared to 8 bit MCU.
  • 32-bit microcontroller:When in-house bus for the data transmitting function in an MCU is 32-bit bus then the ALU carries out logic & arithmetic functions on operand words of 32 bits at the orders. The MCU is 32-bit micro-controller. These supply better accuracy and performance in comparison to the 16-bit MCUs.
  • Embedded microcontroller:When a fixed or embedded system includes an MCU that has each hardware and software parts in a solo unit, the MCU is known as embedded micro-controller. Extremely few or no extra peripheral unit or system exists for processing during the control or making use of the peripheral devices. For illustration, a telephone receiver circuit employs an in-built or embedded micro-controller.
  • External memory micro-controller:When an in-built or embedded system adds an MCU that has each of the hardware and software parts present not as a solo component and has all or a piece of the memory component externally interfaced by bringing into play an interfacing circuit which is known as the glue circuit, the MCU is known as a peripheral or external memory micro-controller. For instance, 8031 comprise of a program memory which is interfaced outwardly to it. The 8051 has both in-house as well as peripheral program memory.

Difference Between Microprocessors and Microcontrollers

The dissimilarity amid the two is that a microcontroller integrates the features of a microprocessor (ALU, CPU, Registers) together with the existence of extra characteristics such as existence of ROM, RAM, counter, Input/Output ports, etc. Here a microcontroller controls the function of a device by employing fixed programs accumulated in ROM that does no amend with duration.

Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller
Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

From one more point of view, the major dissimilarity amid a usual microprocessors and microcontrollers parting there architectural terms is the area of their application. Usual microprocessors such as the Pentium family or Intel Core family processors or alike processors are in computers as a universally functioning programmable machine. In its life span it has to manage numerous different assignments and programs specified to it.

In contrast a microcontroller of PIC family or 8051 family or any other have noticed their applications in tiny embedded systems such as- control system of traffic signals or some sort of robotic system. Also these gadgets manage similar task or similar program all through their entire life cycle. Another difference is that the microcontroller generally has to handle instantaneous tasks whereas on the contrary the micro-processors in a computer system perhaps will not handle an instantaneous task at all times.

Nowadays many engineering students are showing lot of interest towards the microprocessor and microcontroller projects as they are very interesting and helpful to build good career in electronics.

Photo Credits:

Comments are closed.