What is Microprocessor ? | Microcontroller | Important types of processor | Microcontroller vs Microprocessor


  • What is a Microprocessor?
  • Microprocessor Definition
  • What is BIT, BYTE, Nibble and Ward?
  • Hardware of a Microprocessor
  • Block diagram
  • Important features of Microprocessor
  • Characteristics of Microprocessor
  • What is ALU?
  • Differences between ALU and CPU
  • Memory Organization in Microprocessor
  • Types of processors used in a Microprocessor
  • Applications of Microprocessor
  • What is a Microcontroller?
  • Features of Microcontroller
  • Types of Microcontroller
  • Microcontroller vs Microprocessor

What is a Microprocessor?

Microprocessor Definition:

“Microprocessor is a programmable circuit driven register based, multipurpose semiconductor, i.e., manufactured on LSI or VLSI technique. It takes binary instructions from input devices, processes the instruction & outputs the originals and can store the information”.

Microcontroller vs Microprocessor

Hardware of a Microprocessor:

  • It is the interconnection of several peripheral in such a manner, so that it can perform a particular operation.
  • Microprocessor 8085 was found in 1976 & Microprocessor 8086 was found in 1978.

What is BIT?

The possible value of a logical variable which may or not stand for numerical digit of the binary number system is called BITs.

What is BYTE?

In binary number system a group of 8 bit are called BYTE.

                          1 BYTE = 8 BIT

What is Nibble?

A group of 4 BITS are called Nibble.

                          1 Nibble = 4 BIT

What is Ward?

An array of disk which together convey an item of information is called a Ward.

                          1 Ward = 16 BIT

                          1 Long Ward = 32 BIT

                          2 BYTE = 1 Ward

What are the features of Microprocessor 8085?

Characteristics of Microprocessor:

  • It is 40 pin IC.
  • It is NMOS technology, LSI chip.
  • Clock (CLK) speed frequency 3-5 MHz.
  • 8085 has sixteen bit (16) address lines, and eight bit (8) data lines. So, the 8085 is called an 8 bit microprocessor depending upon database.

Microcontroller vs Microprocessor

What are the limitations of microprocessor 8085?

Disadvantages of 8085:

  • Low speed.
  • Low memory capacity.
  • Limited number of GPR (General Purpose Register).
  • Less powerful instruction.

Memory Organization in Microprocessor:

Microcontroller vs Microprocessor: Memory Organisation
Microcontroller vs Microprocessor Image – 1
  • Microprocessor is one of the utmost key component of modern computer. It acts as a brain of computer system. A digital computing is a programmable machine. Its main components are i/p, CPU, memory, o/p device.
  • The CPU executes the instruction. The i/p device is used to fetch programme & data to the computer.
  • The memory is the storage device that stores data programme, results etc.
  • The o/p device display programmes, data or results according to their instructions given to the computer. The CPU built on a single IC which is called the MICROPROCESSOR.
  • A digital device in which microprocessor is in case to operate as a CPU is known as MICROCONTROLLER.

Microcontroller vs Microprocessor

Microprocessor Applications:

Microprocessors are widely used in-

  • Different household devices like thermostats, high end coffee makers, washing machines etc.
  • Microprocessor has various industrial applications like cars, boats, heavy machinery, elevators etc.
  • In cell phones, VCR, televisions microprocessor is used numerously.

Types of Microprocessor:

16 BIT Microprocessors-

  • 8086 (Clk speed 4.7 MHz – 10 MHZ);
  • 8088 (Clk speed more than 5 MHz);
  • 80186,80188 (Clk speed 6 MHz);
  • 80286 (Clk speed 8 MHZ);

32 BIT Microprocessors-

  • INTEL 80386 (clk speed 16 MHZ – 33 MHz);
  • INTEL 80486 (clk speed 16 MHz – 100 MHZ);
  • PENIUM (clk speed 66 MHz);

64 BIT Microprocessor-

  • INTEL CORE-2 (clk speed 1.2 GHz – 3 GHz);
  • INTEL i7 (clk speed 3.3 GHz – 66 GHz);
  • INTEL i5 (clk speed 2.4 GHz – 3.6 GHz);
  • INTEL i3 (2.93 GHz – 3.33 GHz);
Microcontroller vs Microprocessor
Intel C8086 processor , Microcontroller vs Microprocessor, Image – 2
Photo By – Thomas NguyenIntel C8086CC BY-SA 4.0

Types of processors used in a Microprocessor:

Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) –

An advanced processor circuit consists of RISC architecture. RISC provides improved performance. A RISC has a few addressing modes only. It executes most instructions in a single clock style. Instruction executes by a hardwired implementation. Arithmetic & logic instructions access the operands in multiple register sets, windows or files. This greatly reduces dependency on the external memory accesses for the data.

Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) –

CISC has the ability to process complex instructions and complexioned data sets with the smaller number registers and simpler hardwired logic, and use of control memory. CISC be responsible for for a large number of address mode.

CISC may have the addressing modes such as indirect, auto index, index relative addressing modes for the data transfer, logic and arithmetic instructions. Some CISC have reliance on the external memory admittances for data in several addressing modes.

What is ALU?

In computing system, the ALU is a digital circuitry which can perform various mathematical operations.


Differences between ALU and CPU:

 Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Full FormALU is the Arithmetic Logic Unit.CPU is Central Processing Unit.
UseALU performs all the arithmetic operations specified to the computer.CPU carries different instructions of a computer program to compute different processes i.e., arithmetic, logical, control & input output operations.
DependenceALU depends on the central unit for the for its functionThe control unit does not depend on anything like ALU.
FunctionsALU takes instructions from control unit and gives result accordingly.Control unit provides instruction to the arithmetic unit to perform.
Microcontroller vs Microprocessor, Table -1

What is a Microcontroller?

Definition of Microcontroller:

“A microcontroller is a device which is made up of microprocessor, Random Access Memory, Read Only Memory, timer, input-output pins and several other device.”

Features of Microcontroller:

Different units of Microcontroller (8051):

  • It has a 12 MHz clock, processor instruction cycle time is 1µs.
  • Microcontroller 8051 has 8 bit arithmetic logic unit.
  • Its internal bus width is 8-bit.
  • It has CISC architecture.
  • Microcontroller 8051 also equipped with a stack pointer.
  • The 8051 equipped with two external interrupt pins, INT0 & INT1.
  • Special Function Register is present in the 8051 microcontroller family.

Block Diagram of Microcontroller:

Microcontroller vs Microprocessor
Microcontroller vs Microprocessor, Image – 3

Types of Microcontroller:

  • PIC Microcontroller;
  • ARM Microcontroller;
  • 8051 Microcontroller;
  • AVR Microcontroller;
  • MSP Microcontroller;
Microcontroller vs Microprocessor
A PIC Microcontroller, Microcontroller vs Microprocessor, Image – 4

Applications of Microcontroller:

Microcontrollers are used widely in-

  • Mobile phones
  • Automobile Industry
  • Cameras
  • Computer Systems
  • Micro Oven etc.

Comparative analysis between Microprocessor and Microcontroller:

Microcontroller vs Microprocessor

CPUIt consists of only one CPU.  It consists of a CPU along with memory, I/O all integrated into one chip.
USEMicroprocessor is used in personal computers.Microprocessors are typically used in any of the computational devices or remote controlled systems.
INTERFACEMicroprocessor interfaces are complex.Microcontrollers are straight forward with fewer instructions to execute.
COSTThey are expensiveThey are inexpensive
REGISTERIt has fewer number of register and the operation in it is mainly based on the memory.Here Registers are greater in number. That is why it is more convenient to write programs.
Microcontroller vs Microprocessor, Table – 2

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About Soumali Bhattacharya

I am currently invested in the field of Electronics and communication.
My articles are focused towards the major areas of core electronics in a very simple yet informative approach.
I am a vivid learner and try to keep myself updated with all latest technologies in the field of Electronics domains.

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