microprocessor and microcontroller basics pdf

Microprocessor And Microcontroller Basics Pdf

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

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Basics of Microcontrollers – History, Structure and Applications

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

Mixed signal microcontrollers are common, integrating analog components needed to control non-digital electronic systems. 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. Some microcontrollers may use four-bit words and operate at frequencies as low as 4 kHz for low power consumption single-digit milliwatts or microwatts.

They generally have the ability to retain functionality while waiting for an event such as a button press or other interrupt ; power consumption while sleeping CPU clock and most peripherals off may be just nanowatts, making many of them well suited for long lasting battery applications.

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. The origins of both the microprocessor and the microcontroller can be traced back to the invention of the MOSFET metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor , also known as the MOS transistor.

Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in , and first demonstrated in 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 s.

All of these processors required several external chips to implement a working system, including memory and peripheral interface chips. As a result, the total system cost was several hundred s US dollars, making it impossible to economically computerize small appliances.

One book credits TI engineers Gary Boone and Michael Cochran with the successful creation of the first microcontroller in The result of their work was the TMS , which became commercially available in During the early-to-mids, Japanese electronics manufacturers began producing microcontrollers for automobiles, including 4-bit MCUs for in-car entertainment , automatic wipers, electronic locks, and dashboard, and 8-bit MCUs for engine control.

Partly in response to the existence of the single-chip TMS , [8] Intel developed a computer system on a chip optimized for control applications, the Intel , with commercial parts first shipping in Among numerous applications, this chip would eventually find its way into over one billion PC keyboards.

At that time Intel's President, Luke J. Most microcontrollers at this time had concurrent variants. One had EPROM program memory, with a transparent quartz window in the lid of the package to allow it to be erased by exposure to ultraviolet light. These erasable chips were often used for prototyping.

For the latter, sometimes the designation OTP was used, standing for "one-time programmable". Because the erasable versions required ceramic packages with quartz windows, they were significantly more expensive than the OTP versions, which could be made in lower-cost opaque plastic packages.

For the erasable variants, quartz was required, instead of less expensive glass, for its transparency to ultraviolet light—to which glass is largely opaque—but the main cost differentiator was the ceramic package itself.

Nowadays microcontrollers are cheap and readily available for hobbyists, with large online communities around certain processors. Over two billion 8-bit microcontrollers were sold in , [13] and according to Semico, over four billion 8-bit microcontrollers were sold in A typical home in a developed country is likely to have only four general-purpose microprocessors but around three dozen microcontrollers.

A typical mid-range automobile has about 30 microcontrollers. They can also be found in many electrical devices such as washing machines, microwave ovens, and telephones. Historically, the 8-bit segment has dominated the MCU market [.. The bit MCU market is expected to grow rapidly due to increasing demand for higher levels of precision in embedded-processing systems and the growth in connectivity using the Internet. Cost has plummeted over time, with the cheapest 8-bit microcontrollers being available for under 0.

On 21 June , the "world's smallest computer" was announced by the University of Michigan. The device is a "0. Because they are too small to have conventional radio antennae, they receive and transmit data with visible light.

A base station provides light for power and programming, and it receives the data. A microcontroller can be considered a self-contained system with a processor, memory and peripherals and can be used as an embedded system. While some embedded systems are very sophisticated, many have minimal requirements for memory and program length, with no operating system, and low software complexity. Typical input and output devices include switches, relays , solenoids , LED 's, small or custom liquid-crystal displays , radio frequency devices, and sensors for data such as temperature, humidity, light level etc.

Microcontrollers must provide real-time predictable, though not necessarily fast response to events in the embedded system they are controlling.

When certain events occur, an interrupt system can signal the processor to suspend processing the current instruction sequence and to begin an interrupt service routine ISR, or "interrupt handler" which will perform any processing required based on the source of the interrupt, before returning to the original instruction sequence.

Possible interrupt sources are device dependent, and often include events such as an internal timer overflow, completing an analog to digital conversion, a logic level change on an input such as from a button being pressed, and data received on a communication link. Where power consumption is important as in battery devices, interrupts may also wake a microcontroller from a low-power sleep state where the processor is halted until required to do something by a peripheral event.

Typically micro-controller programs must fit in the available on-chip memory, since it would be costly to provide a system with external, expandable memory. 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. Depending on the device, the program memory may be permanent, read-only memory that can only be programmed at the factory, or it may be field-alterable flash or erasable read-only memory.

Manufacturers have often produced special versions of their micro-controllers in order to help the hardware and software development of the target system. Originally these included EPROM versions that have a "window" on the top of the device through which program memory can be erased by ultraviolet light, ready for reprogramming after a programming "burn" and test cycle. Other versions may be available where the ROM is accessed as an external device rather than as internal memory, however these are becoming rare due to the widespread availability of cheap microcontroller programmers.

The use of field-programmable devices on a micro controller may allow field update of the firmware or permit late factory revisions to products that have been assembled but not yet shipped. Programmable memory also reduces the lead time required for deployment of a new product.

Where hundreds of thousands of identical devices are required, using parts programmed at the time of manufacture can be economical. These " mask programmed " parts have the program laid down in the same way as the logic of the chip, at the same time.

A customized micro-controller incorporates a block of digital logic that can be personalized for additional processing capability, peripherals and interfaces that are adapted to the requirements of the application. GPIO pins are software configurable to either an input or an output state. When GPIO pins are configured to an input state, they are often used to read sensors or external signals.

Configured to the output state, GPIO pins can drive external devices such as LEDs or motors, often indirectly, through external power electronics. Many embedded systems need to read sensors that produce analog signals. This is the purpose of the analog-to-digital converter ADC. Since processors are built to interpret and process digital data, i. So the analog to digital converter is used to convert the incoming data into a form that the processor can recognize. A less common feature on some microcontrollers is a digital-to-analog converter DAC that allows the processor to output analog signals or voltage levels.

In addition to the converters, many embedded microprocessors include a variety of timers as well. One of the most common types of timers is the programmable interval timer PIT. A PIT may either count down from some value to zero, or up to the capacity of the count register, overflowing to zero. Once it reaches zero, it sends an interrupt to the processor indicating that it has finished counting. This is useful for devices such as thermostats, which periodically test the temperature around them to see if they need to turn the air conditioner on, the heater on, etc.

A dedicated pulse-width modulation PWM block makes it possible for the CPU to control power converters , resistive loads, motors , etc. Micro-controllers may not implement an external address or data bus as they integrate RAM and non-volatile memory on the same chip as the CPU. Using fewer pins, the chip can be placed in a much smaller, cheaper package. Integrating the memory and other peripherals on a single chip and testing them as a unit increases the cost of that chip, but often results in decreased net cost of the embedded system as a whole.

Even if the cost of a CPU that has integrated peripherals is slightly more than the cost of a CPU and external peripherals, having fewer chips typically allows a smaller and cheaper circuit board, and reduces the labor required to assemble and test the circuit board, in addition to tending to decrease the defect rate for the finished assembly.

A micro-controller is a single integrated circuit , commonly with the following features:. This integration drastically reduces the number of chips and the amount of wiring and circuit board space that would be needed to produce equivalent systems using separate chips. Furthermore, on low pin count devices in particular, each pin may interface to several internal peripherals, with the pin function selected by software. This allows a part to be used in a wider variety of applications than if pins had dedicated functions.

Micro-controllers have proved to be highly popular in embedded systems since their introduction in the s. Some microcontrollers use a Harvard architecture : separate memory buses for instructions and data, allowing accesses to take place concurrently. Where a Harvard architecture is used, instruction words for the processor may be a different bit size than the length of internal memory and registers; for example: bit instructions used with 8-bit data registers.

The decision of which peripheral to integrate is often difficult. The microcontroller vendors often trade operating frequencies and system design flexibility against time-to-market requirements from their customers and overall lower system cost.

Manufacturers have to balance the need to minimize the chip size against additional functionality. Microcontroller architectures vary widely.

Other designs are purpose built for control applications. A micro-controller instruction set usually has many instructions intended for bit manipulation bit-wise operations to make control programs more compact. Microcontrollers traditionally do not have a math coprocessor , so floating point arithmetic is performed by software. Microcontrollers were originally programmed only in assembly language , but various high-level programming languages , such as C , Python and JavaScript , are now also in common use to target microcontrollers and embedded systems.

Some microcontrollers have environments to aid developing certain types of applications. Microcontroller vendors often make tools freely available to make it easier to adopt their hardware. Microcontrollers with specialty hardware may require their own non-standard dialects of C, such as SDCC for the , which prevent using standard tools such as code libraries or static analysis tools even for code unrelated to hardware features.

Interpreters may also contain nonstandard features, such as MicroPython , although a fork, CircuitPython , has looked to move hardware dependencies to libraries and have the language adhere to a more CPython standard.

Interpreter firmware is also available for some microcontrollers. Typically these interpreters support interactive programming. Simulators are available for some microcontrollers. These allow a developer to analyze what the behavior of the microcontroller and their program should be if they were using the actual part. A simulator will show the internal processor state and also that of the outputs, as well as allowing input signals to be generated. While on the one hand most simulators will be limited from being unable to simulate much other hardware in a system, they can exercise conditions that may otherwise be hard to reproduce at will in the physical implementation, and can be the quickest way to debug and analyze problems.

Microprocessor, Microcontroller and Programming Basics Course objectives

A microcontroller is a chip optimized to control electronic devices. It is stored in a single integrated circuit which is dedicated to performing a particular task and execute one specific application. It is specially designed circuits for embedded applications and is widely used in automatically controlled electronic devices. In this Microprocessor Vs. Microcontroller tutorial, you will learn: What is Microcontroller?


Welcome to the World of Microcontrollers, a tiny yet very powerful device that changed the face of Embedded Systems. Before going in to the details of Basics of Microcontrollers, you need to know what a Microcontroller is. Microcontrollers are similar to Microprocessors, but they have few additional components on the same chip. Since the Microcontroller and its supporting circuitry are often embedded in the device it controls, a Microcontroller is also called as an Embedded Controller. Microcontrollers are omnipresent.


Introduction to Microcontroller General features and architecture of , Memory, Timers and interrupts, Pin details, Interfacing and applications.

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