Processors & Microcontrollers
Microcontrollers (MCU) Overview
Microcontrollers are small computers within a single integrated circuit, containing its own memory along with Inputs and outputs (I/O's). Microcontrollers (MCUs) contain a central processing unit (CPU), it also has both memory types RAM, ROM on-chip, along with other peripherals, all of which are embedded within a single chip. Microcontrollers are referred to as minicomputer embedded systems, single-chip computers, as they're considered their own self-contained computers, ideal for specific tasks within different control type application hardware, controlling various devices within a complete system.
Typical data bus width sizes are 32 Bit MCU,16 and 8 Bit microcontrollers.
Typical peripherals included
- Analogue to digital converters (ADCs).
- Digital to analogue converters (DACs).
- Real-time clock (RTC), for accurate time measurement with real-time monitoring.
- Universal asynchronous receiver transmitter (UART) - used to convert parallel signals into serial, and serial into parallel.
Processors and Microprocessors
CPU's and MPUs, perform tasks by carrying out fetch, decode and execute of required instructions. The memory, Ram and Rom are connected along with the Inputs and outputs externally. The Central Processing Units are different from microcontrollers, mainly due to microcontrollers, considered as complete mini-computers, with its own memory, Ram and Rom connected internally.
The processor carries out instructions by performing the basic arithmetic, logic, and control of inputs and outputs (I/O) as part of a Fetch, Decode and Execute cycle. The Central processing unit can be considered as microprocessors, however not all processors are used as the main central processing unit, within a computer system, as a computer system can contain multiple processors for separate applications. Separate processing of Graphics or Audio and other specific devices within an application within a computer system, separate from the main system that is running software to operate a complete computer system hardware setup.
Instruction set architectures are available in the following types:
- ARM = Advanced Reduced Instruction set computer machines.
- CISC = Complex instruction set computer.
- Harvard architecture.
- RISC = Reduced instruction set computer.
- MIPS = Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages.