Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hey guyz, today we are trying to understand the difference between microprocessor and microcontroller. Many of you know your computer or PC (personal computer) in and out, right!! So lets see what a computer is comprised of........
A processor is a circuit comprises of a logical circuits like adder, differentiator, flipflops and accumulator etc. These circuit together processes your data stored in the memory or storage device. In general it executes your software data which you run on your computer, softwares like MS word, media players, browsers, games etc. A Processor is like a brain of your computer.

  • Hard Disk Drive: 

It is used to store your data, application software, multimedia files and of course the OS (operating system) like WINDOWS or LINUX.

  • RAM(Random Access Memory):

It is a temporary memory. Its like a small bucket used to transfer water from one tank to another. Here water refers to "DATA" and tank refers to Hard disk and the Processor.

  • ROM(Read Only Memory):

It is permanent memory. It contains the startup code for your computer, the code is written by the manufacturers. ROM loads the necessary files required to initiate your operating system. The black screen after your computer is switched on and it displays some data about your computer, these are the thing loaded by the code in ROM. 

These are the things needed to run your computer perfectly. And regarding I/O devices like DVD writer, keyboard and Monitor etc those are needed for human interaction with the computer.

Microprocessor alone cannot handle a task or run a system, it requires at least of these above peripherals to handle a given task/system, Whereas the MICROCONTROLLER contains all the ingredients in it require to handle a given task without any peripherals. 

Its like a One man army in the battle field.  This doesn't mean that microprocessor has a drawback or it has failed in its purpose.

Microprocessor is best when it comes to multi-tasking. And microcontroller is best suitable for single tasking or application specific tasks.EXAMPLE: You cant use a battle tank to kill a fly. It can be done just by using the fly swatter. Likewise, you can use a microprocessor to blink an led, but it can also be done using microcontroller(less cost, single task efficient and flexible). Think wisely and choose smartly.

Lets take a look at simple comparison table for better understanding.

*      You can blink an led using Microcontroller
*      You can also blink an led using microprocessor, but to blink an led microprocessor is way to costly.
*      Microcontroller is best suitable for learning purpose.
*      Microprocessor cannot be used without peripherals, hence it is not suitable for learnng purpose.
*      Microcontroller is single tasking. Either you can blink an led or run a motor at a time.
*      You can do many more things with microprocessor. Run multiple tasks at a time.
*      No need of operating system.
*      Best utilized when operating system is installed.
*      Low power consumption.
*      High power consumption
*      Best suitable for hobbyist, students and people who love to do some magic in their home using electronics.
*      Best suitable for Personal computers

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