Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

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Home » Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

What Is Microprocessor ?

A microprocessor is an integrated circuit that consist Only CPU (Central Processing Unit). It consists of an ALU, control unit and many registers, Where ALU performs arithmetic and logical operations on the data received from an input device or memory.

Control unit controls the instructions and flow of data within the computer and, number of registers like Register B, Register C, Register D, Register E, Register H, Register L, and accumulator.

Block diagram of 8086 microprocessor

What Is Microcontroller ?

Microcontroller is a microprocessor based integrated peripherals. It contain CPU, ROM, RAM, timers, counters, I/O ports, ADC, DAC, serial communication all functional block on a single chip, which make it a complete system.

Microcontroller is dedicated to performing a particular task and execute one specific application. It is specially designed circuits for embedded applications and is widely used in automatically controlled electronic devices. In microcontroller you cannot modify the size of RAM, ROM and other components. Once a controller is designed the structure is fixed. So, the structure of the microcontroller is not flexible.

Components of Microcontroller


Some Key Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

  • Microprocessor consists of only a Central Processing Unit, whereas Micro Controller contains a Memory, I/O ports, timers, counters other peripherals along with the CPU or processor.
  • Microprocessor is used in Personal Computers whereas Micro Controller is used in an embedded system.
  • Microprocessor uses an external bus to interface to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals, on the other hand, Microcontroller uses an internal controlling bus.
  • Microprocessors are based on Von Neumann model Micro controllers are based on Harvard architecture
  • Microprocessor structure is flexible. Microcontroller structure of the is not flexible means in microcontroller you cannot modify the size of RAM, ROM and other components. Once a controller is designed the structure is fixed.

Both ICs have different applications and have their own advantages and disadvantages. They can be differentiated in terms of Applications, structure, internal parameters, power consumption, and cost.

So, Let’s see the difference between the microprocessor and microcontroller in detail.


Microprocessor vs Microcontroller

MicroprocessorMicrocontroller
1) Microprocessor is the heart of Computer system. Micro Controller is the heart of an embedded system.
2) It is only a stand alone processor, so memory and I/O components need to be connected externally. Micro Controller has a processor along with internal memory and I/O components.
3) Memory and I/O has to be connected externally, so the circuit becomes large. Memory and I/O are already present, and the internal circuit is small.
4) You can’t use it in compact systems. You can use it in compact systems.
5) Cost of the entire system is high. Cost of the entire system is low.
6) Due to external components, the total power consumption is high. Therefore, it is not ideal for the devices running on stored power like batteries. As external components are low, total power consumption is less. So it can be used with devices running on stored power like batteries.
7) Most of the microprocessors do not have power saving features.Most of the microcontrollers offer power-saving mode.
8) It is mainly used in personal computers.It is used mainly in a washing machine, MP3 players, and embedded systems.
9) Microprocessor has a smaller number of registers, so more operations are memory-based.Microcontroller has more register. Hence the programs are easier to write.
10) Microprocessors are based on Von Neumann model.Micro controllers arc based on Harvard architecture.
11) It is a central processing unit (CPU) on a single silicon-based integrated chip.It is a byproduct of the development of microprocessors with a CPU along with other peripherals.
12) It has no RAM, ROM, Input-Output units, timers, and other peripherals on the chip.It has a CPU along with RAM, ROM, and other peripherals embedded on a single chip.
13) It uses an external bus to interface to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals.It uses an internal controlling bus.
14) The advantage of the microprocessor is that it has a flexible structure.Once a controller is designed the structure is fixed. So, the structure of the microcontroller is not flexible.
15) The program for the microprocessor can be changed for different applications.While in the case of the microcontroller once it is designed, the program is common for that application.
16) The common peripheral interface for the microprocessor is USB, UART, and high-speed Ethernet.the microcontroller peripheral interface is I2C, SPI, and UART.
17) Microprocessor-based systems can run at a very high speed because of the technology involved. The microprocessors are run at higher clock speeds range of 1 GHz to 4 GHz.Microcontroller based systems run up to 200MHz or more depending on the architecture. While in the case of microcontroller, high clock speed is not required 1 MHz to 300 MHz.
18) It’s used for general purpose applications that allow you to handle loads of data.It’s used for application-specific systems.
19) It’s complex and expensive, with a large number of instructions to process.It’s simple and inexpensive with less number of instructions to process.
20) The structure of the microprocessor is flexible.The structure of the microcontroller is not flexible.
Key differences between Microcontroller and Microprocessor

Applications Of Microprocessor And Microcontroller

Application Of MicroprocessorApplication Of Microcontroller

1) Calculators
2) Accounting system
3) Games machine
4) Complex industrial controllers
5) Traffic light
6) Control data
7) Military applications
8) Defense systems
9) Computation systems
10) Computers
11) TV
1) Mobile phones
2) Automobiles
3) CD/DVD players
4) Washing machines
5) Cameras
6) Security alarms
7) Keyboard controllers
8) Microwave oven
9) Watches
10) Mp3 players

MCQ Series and Topics


FAQ

What are application of Microprocessor?

Calculators, Accounting system, Games machine, Complex industrial controllers, Traffic light, Control data, Military applications, Defense systems, Computation systems, Computers, TV

What are the application Of Microcontroller?

Mobile phones, Automobiles, CD/DVD players, Washing machines, Cameras, Security alarms, Keyboard controllers, Microwave oven, Watches, Mp3 players

Is arm a microprocessor or microcontroller?

Arm is microcontroller.

What is difference between Microcontroller and Microprocessor

Microprocessor consists of only a Central Processing Unit, whereas Micro Controller contains a Memory, I/O ports, timers, counters other peripherals along with the CPU or processor.
Microprocessor is used in Personal Computers whereas Micro Controller is used in an embedded system.
Microprocessor uses an external bus to interface to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals, on the other hand, Microcontroller uses an internal controlling bus.


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