Microcontroller

microcontrollersMCUmicro-controllermicro controllermicrocontroller unitMCU (Micro Controller Unit)microcontroller boardcontrollerMCUsmicroprocessor control
A microcontroller (MCU for microcontroller unit) is a small computer on a single metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit chip.wikipedia
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System on a chip

SoCsystem-on-a-chipsystem-on-chip
In modern terminology, it is similar to, but less sophisticated than, a system on a chip (SoC); an SoC may include a microcontroller as one of its components.
A SoC integrates a microcontroller or microprocessor with advanced peripherals like graphics processing unit (GPU), Wi-Fi module, or one or more coprocessors.

Sensor

sensorsdetectorsensing
In the context of the internet of things, microcontrollers are an economical and popular means of data collection, sensing and actuating the physical world as edge devices.
With advances in micromachinery and easy-to-use microcontroller platforms, the uses of sensors have expanded beyond the traditional fields of temperature, pressure or flow measurement, for example into MARG sensors.

Microprocessor

microprocessorsprocessorprocessors
Microcontrollers are designed for embedded applications, in contrast to the microprocessors used in personal computers or other general purpose applications consisting of various discrete chips.
In 1997, about 55% of all CPUs sold in the world were 8-bit microcontrollers, of which over 2 billion were sold.

Transistor count

transistor densitytransistorsdoubling of transistors
By 1964, MOS chips had reached higher transistor density and lower manufacturing costs than bipolar chips.
To compare, the smallest computer, dwarfed by a grain of sand, has on the order of 100,000 transistors, and the one, fully programmable, with the fewest transistors ever has 130 transistors or fewer.

Central processing unit

CPUprocessorprocessors
A microcontroller contains one or more CPUs (processor cores) along with memory and programmable input/output peripherals.
An IC that contains a CPU may also contain memory, peripheral interfaces, and other components of a computer; such integrated devices are variously called microcontrollers or systems on a chip (SoC).

Programmable read-only memory

PROMPROMsprogrammable ROM
Program memory in the form of ferroelectric RAM, NOR flash or OTP ROM is also often included on chip, as well as a small amount of RAM.
These types of memories are frequently used in microcontrollers, video game consoles, mobile phones, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, implantable medical devices, high-definition multimedia interfaces (HDMI) and in many other consumer and automotive electronics products.

Control system

control systemscontrolcontrols
Microcontrollers are used in automatically controlled products and devices, such as automobile engine control systems, implantable medical devices, remote controls, office machines, appliances, power tools, toys and other embedded systems.
Today, most such systems are constructed with microcontrollers or more specialized programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

Intel MCS-48

Intel 80488048MCS-48
Partly in response to the existence of the single-chip TMS 1000, Intel developed a computer system on a chip optimized for control applications, the Intel 8048, with commercial parts first shipping in 1977.
The MCS-48 microcontroller (µC) series, Intel's first microcontroller, was originally released in 1976.

Texas Instruments TMS1000

TMS 1000TMS1000TMS1100
The result of their work was the TMS 1000, which became commercially available in 1974.
The TMS1000 is a family of microcontrollers introduced by Texas Instruments in 1974.

Integrated circuit

integrated circuitsmicrochipchip
A microcontroller (MCU for microcontroller unit) is a small computer on a single metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit chip. MOS chips further increased in complexity at a rate predicted by Moore's law, leading to large-scale integration (LSI) with hundreds of transistors on a single MOS chip by the late 1960s.
This led to the inventions of the microprocessor and the microcontroller by the early 1970s.

Texas Instruments

TITexas Instruments (TI)Texas Instruments Inc.
One book credits TI engineers Gary Boone and Michael Cochran with the successful creation of the first microcontroller in 1971.
TI also produces TI digital light processing technology and education technology products including calculators, microcontrollers and multi-core processors.

EEPROM

electrically erasable programmable read-only memoryE2PROMEEPROM memory
In 1993, the introduction of EEPROM memory allowed microcontrollers (beginning with the Microchip PIC16C84) to be electrically erased quickly without an expensive package as required for EPROM, allowing both rapid prototyping, and in-system programming.
EEPROM (also E 2 PROM) stands for electrically erasable programmable read-only memory and is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers, integrated in microcontrollers for smart cards and remote keyless systems, and other electronic devices to store relatively small amounts of data but allowing individual bytes to be erased and reprogrammed.

PIC16x84

PIC16C84PIC16F84
In 1993, the introduction of EEPROM memory allowed microcontrollers (beginning with the Microchip PIC16C84) to be electrically erased quickly without an expensive package as required for EPROM, allowing both rapid prototyping, and in-system programming.
The PIC16C84, PIC16F84 and PIC16F84A are 14-bit microcontrollers of which the PIC16C84 was the first introduced in 1993 and hailed as the first PIC microcontroller to feature a serial programming algorithm and EEPROM memory.

8-bit

8-bit computereight-bit8
It was followed by the 4-bit Intel 4040, the 8-bit Intel 8008, and the 8-bit Intel 8080.
Many 8-bit CPUs or microcontrollers are the basis of today's ubiquitous embedded systems.

Digital signal processor

DSPDSPsdigital signal processors
Other microcontrollers may serve performance-critical roles, where they may need to act more like a digital signal processor (DSP), with higher clock speeds and power consumption.
MOS integrated circuit technology was the basis for the first single-chip microprocessors and microcontrollers in the early 1970s, and then the first single-chip DSPs in the late 1970s.

Transistor

transistorstransistorizedsilicon transistor
MOS chips further increased in complexity at a rate predicted by Moore's law, leading to large-scale integration (LSI) with hundreds of transistors on a single MOS chip by the late 1960s.
It is often easier and cheaper to use a standard microcontroller and write a computer program to carry out a control function than to design an equivalent mechanical system to control that same function.

Atmel

Atmel CorporationQRG LimitedAtmel Corp
One example is the AT91CAP from Atmel.
The company focuses on embedded systems built around microcontrollers.

4-bit

four-bit44-
It was followed by the 4-bit Intel 4040, the 8-bit Intel 8008, and the 8-bit Intel 8080.
The 4-bit processors were programmed in assembly language or Forth, e.g. "MARC4 Family of 4 bit Forth CPU" because of the extreme size constraint on programs and because common programming languages (for microcontrollers, 8-bit and larger), such as the C programming language, do not support 4-bit data types (C requires that the size of the data type be at least 8 bits, and that all data types other than bitfields have a size that is a multiple of the character size ).

AT91CAP

AT91CAP7AT91CAP9
One example is the AT91CAP from Atmel.
AT91CAP (AT91CAP Customizable Atmel Microcontrollers) is a family of Atmel microcontrollers based on the 32-bit RISC microprocessors from ARM.

Assembly language

assemblerassemblyassembly code
Compilers and assemblers are used to convert both high-level and assembly language codes into a compact machine code for storage in the micro-controller's memory.

I²C

I2CI 2 CInter-Integrated Circuit
Dedicated on-chip hardware also often includes capabilities to communicate with other devices (chips) in digital formats such as Inter-Integrated Circuit (I²C), Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), Universal Serial Bus (USB), and Ethernet.
It is widely used for attaching lower-speed peripheral ICs to processors and microcontrollers in short-distance, intra-board communication.

CAN bus

CANController Area NetworkCAN-bus
A Controller Area Network (CAN bus) is a robust vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each others' applications without a host computer.

MOSFET

metal-oxide-semiconductorMOSMOS integrated circuit
A microcontroller (MCU for microcontroller unit) is a small computer on a single metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit chip.
The origins of both the microprocessor and the microcontroller can be traced back to the invention and development of MOS technology.

ARM Cortex-M

Cortex-M3ARM Cortex-M0ARM Cortex-M3
The device is a "0.04mm3 16nW wireless and batteryless sensor system with integrated Cortex-M0+ processor and optical communication for cellular temperature measurement."
They are intended for microcontroller use, and have been shipped in tens of billions of devices.

Universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter

UARTuniversal asynchronous receiver/transmitter16450 UART
A universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART) block makes it possible to receive and transmit data over a serial line with very little load on the CPU.
One or more UART peripherals are commonly integrated in microcontroller chips.