A microcontroller is a small and low-cost computer built for the purpose of dealing with specific tasks, such as displaying information in a microwave LED or receiving information from a television’s remote control. Microcontrollers are mainly used in products that require a degree of control to be exerted by the user.
The architecture of a typical microcontroller is complex and may include the following all embedded on a single chip:
1. A CPU, ranging from simple 4-bit to complex 64-bit processers.
2. Peripherals such as timers, event counters and watchdog.
3. RAM (volatile memory) for data storage. The data is stored in the form of registers, and the general-purpose registers store information that interacts with the arithmetic logical unit (ALU).
4. ROM, EPROM, EEPROM or flash memory for program and operating parameter storage.
5. Programming capabilities.
6. Serial input/output such as serial ports.
7. A clock generator for resonator, quartz timing crystal or RC circuit.
8. Analog-to-digital convertors.
9. Serial ports.
10. Data bus to carry information.
Microcontrollers are used in products that are controlled automatically.
The various products that make use of microcontrollers in our everyday life are given below:
1. Home: Television, DVD player, Telephone, Fax machine, Cellular phones, Security systems, Camera, Sewing machine, Musical Instrument, Exercising machine, Video games, Computer, Microwave oven.
2. Office: Computers, Printers, Telephones, Fax machine, Security systems.
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