What is a Microcontroller………
A Microcontroller is a Microcomputer in a single Chip. That means that amicrocontroller chip includes a microprocessor (CPU) as well as some often usedperipherals. A controller is used to control (makes sense!) some process or aspectof the environment. A typical microcontroller application is the monitoring of myhouse. As the temperature rises, the controller causes the windows to open. If thetemperature goes above a certain threshold, the air conditioner is activated.As the process of miniaturization continued, all of the components needed for acontroller were built right onto one chip. A one chip computer, or microcontrollerwas born. A microcontroller is a highly integrated chip which includes, on one chip,all or most of the parts needed for a controller. The microcontroller could be called a”one-chip solution”. It typically includes:
· CPU (central processing unit or the microprocessor)
· EPROM/PROM/ROM (Read Only Memory for the program code)
· RAM (Random Access Memory for the data)
· I/O (input/output) devices (serial, parallel, ADC, DAC etc.)
· Timers· Interrupt controller
By only including the features specific to the task (control), cost is relatively low. Atypical microcontroller has bit manipulation instructions, easy and direct access toI/O (input/output), and quick and efficient interrupt processing. Microcontrollers area “one-chip solution” which drastically reduces parts count and design costs.