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Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller – The primary difference between a microprocessor and a microcontroller is that a microprocessor is simply an integrated circuit (IC) designed to perform general digital computation tasks. A microcontroller, on the other hand, is an IC that is combined with various instruments to perform a specific task. Another significant difference between a microprocessor and a microcontroller is that the main PCB size of a microprocessor basic system is excessively large, whereas the main PCB size of a microcontroller basic system is relatively small. In this blog we will give you everything you need to know about basics and the difference between microprocessor and microcontroller.

What exactly is a microprocessor?

Microprocessors are beneficial in highly intensive processes. It only has a CPU (central processing unit), but many other components are required to work with the CPU to complete a process. All of the other components are externally connected.

Microprocessors are not designed for a specific task, but they are useful in situations where tasks are complex and difficult, such as the development of software, games, and other applications that require a large amount of memory and where input and output are not defined.

Some of real world example for Microprocessor

For example, complex home security systems, computers, video game systems, automobiles, trains, planes, computer servers, high-tech medical devices.

Types of Microprocessor:

Important types of Microprocessors are:

  • Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors
  • The Application Specific Integrated Circuit
  • Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessors
  • Digital Signal Multiprocessors (DSPs)

What exactly is a microcontroller?

The microcontroller is designed to perform a single task or to repeat the same task. Once a programme is embedded on a microcontroller chip, it is difficult to change, and reburning it may necessitate the use of specialized tools. Based on the application, the process is programmed into the microcontroller. As a result, the output is determined by the user’s input, sensors, or predefined inputs.

Some of real world example for Microcontroller

For example, a calculator, a washing machine, an ATM machine, a robotic arm, a camera, a microwave oven, an oscilloscope, a digital millimeter, an ECG machine, a printer, and so on.

Types of Microcontroller:

Here are important types of Microcontroller:

  • 8 bit Microcontroller
  • 16 bit Microcontroller
  • 32 bit Microcontroller
  • Embedded Microcontroller
  • External memory Microcontroller

Here is Basic and Advanced Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

The microprocessor is the heart of a computer system.The microcontroller serves as the embedded system’s heart.
It is a processor with an externally connected memory and I/O output component.It is a controlling device with internal memory and I/O output components.
Because the memory and I/O output will be connected externally. As a result, the circuit is more complicated.Because there is on-chip memory and an I/O output component. As a result, the circuit is simpler.
It is not suitable for use in a compact system. As a result, microprocessors are inefficient.It is suitable for use in a small system. As a result, microcontrollers are more efficient.
There are fewer registers on the microprocessor. As a result, the vast majority of operations are memory-based.More registers are available on the microcontroller. As a result, writing a programme is simplified.
A microprocessor with a status flag of zero.A microcontroller does not have a zero flag.
It is primarily found in personal computers.It is mostly found in washing machines and air conditioners.
A microprocessor is an integrated circuit that performs the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) (IC).A microcontroller is a small computer that contains a processor and other components to function as a computer.
Microprocessors are primarily used in the design of general-purpose systems ranging in size from small to large and complex systems such as supercomputers.Microcontrollers are used in devices that are automatically controlled.
Personal computers rely heavily on microprocessors.Microcontrollers are commonly found in embedded systems.
The microprocessor has a very high computational capacity. As a result, it is capable of performing complex tasks.When compared to microprocessors, they have less computational capacity. Typically used for easier tasks.
A microprocessor-based system is capable of performing a wide range of tasks.A microcontroller-based system can only perform one or a few tasks.
It is useful for general-purpose applications that handle large amounts of data.It’s useful for system-specific applications.
It’s difficult and costly, with a large number of instructions to process.It’s simple and inexpensive, with fewer instructions to follow.

Bottom Line:

Microprocessors only have a Central Processing Unit, whereas Micro Controllers have a CPU, Memory, and I/O all integrated into a single chip. In a personal computer, a microprocessor is useful, whereas a microcontroller is useful in an embedded system. The microprocessor interfaces with RAM, ROM, and other peripherals via an external bus, whereas the microcontroller uses an internal controlling bus. The Von Neumann model underpins microprocessors. Harvard architecture is used in microcontrollers. The microprocessor is complex and expensive, with a large number of instructions to process, whereas the microcontroller is simple and inexpensive, with fewer instructions to process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference between microprocessor and microcontroller?

The main difference between microprocessor and microcontroller is that the microcontroller serves as the circuit’s brain, whereas the microprocessor serves as the chip’s CPU and thus performs similar functions to the CPU.

Which is the best microprocessor or the microcontroller?

Although they serve different purposes, microprocessors are preferred over microcontrollers when processing speed is required. Microcontrollers are preferred when cost-effective and low-power options are required.

Which is faster: the microprocessor or the microcontroller?

Microprocessors are far more powerful than microcontrollers. A microprocessor’s clock speed exceeds 1 GHz. The Microcontroller, on the other hand, has a clock speed of 200MHz or higher, depending on the architecture


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