Microcontrollers and Microprocessors
I’ll be writing about microcontrollers, so this is just an introduction explaining what are microcontrollers.
Simply a Microprocessor is the CPU you find in a personal computer. RAM and other peripherels are not built-in, needs additional components to get the work done. Being highly capable of computing these are designed for general purposes (complex calculations, computer games). A Microcontroller has its RAM and other peripherals built-in, but these are less computationally capable and are designed for special purposes (used as embedded systems in car engines, washing machines, TVs, etc). In a microcontroller Input/Output is built-in in order to communicate with the environment. It uses transducers to sense the changes in environment and actuators to respond.
For example a Core i5 has 4 cores each clocked at 2.8GHz and works in 32 or 64-bit* modes (allows direct support to 64-bit type data, transfers 64 bits simultaneously), uses gigabytes of RAM, compared to a 8-bit (transfers 8 bits simultaneously) PIC16F84A microcontroller which has clock speeds of 1~20MHz, 1024 words of program memory, 68 bytes of Data RAM, 64 bytes of Data EEPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). Also microcontrollers are very cheap (PIC16F84A costs only about 1$) compared to microprocessors which costs 200$++.
This is all for today, go through the data sheet of PIC16F84A. Link is given below.
Doesnt matter even you don’t understand a thing about the data sheet, just go through it, we’ll start programming microchips soon!.
*bit- (Binary digIT) in the digital world we use only two voltages for less complexity, one for indicating 0, one for indicating 1, this is the binary data system. (think about managing about 10 voltages for a decimal data system.)
Image to the left is a microcontroller, image to the right contains microprocessors.