Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

Friends, welcome to all of you in my new column. Today we will read the difference between microprocessor and microcontroller. So let’s get started. Both these terms Microprocessor and Microcontroller always create confusion in our mind.

Both of these are designed for real time application. There are many common features in both of them but there are also some significant differences. By just looking at the IC of both, we cannot find out which is the microprocessor or which is the microcontroller?

Come let’s know everything you want to know about microcontrollers?

Friends, we all see that all the electronics gadgets or devices etc that come these days are very smart, because such devices come with digital control and auto operated technology.

In devices like washing machine, induction cook top, air conditioner, refrigerator, etc., we all see that many options are given, that too with remote control. But do you know that the most important role in making all these devices so smart is the “micro controller”, which works like a small computer.

By the way, there will be many people who will know about the micro controller, what is the micro controller, but there will be many people who want to know about the micro controller, if you are also one of them and about the micro controller If you have come here to know, then you are at the right place, because today we are going to discuss only about microcontrollers in this article, so you are requested to read the whole article carefully.

What is microcontroller?

In general, a microcontroller is an IC (Integrated Chip) that contains all the functional components of a small computer, hence it is also called SOC (System On Chip). Inside a Microcontroller, all the main components of the computer such as RAM, ROM, CPU, IO Port are embedded, due to which it does not just do the processing work like a microprocessor, but like a small computer, from input to output. Completes all processes.

Microcontrollers are widely used in the world of digital electronics. Microcontroller is installed in any electronics device to perform a specific task and it works on the basis of the program (software) inserted inside it.

Types Of Microcontroller

Talking about the type of microcontroller, the microcontroller has been classified on the basis of Bus Width (Bit), Memory, Instruction Set and Architecture like-

According to Bit: –

Talking about the classification of microcontroller on the basis of bit, it directly means Data Transfer Width i.e. Data Length, that is, how many bits of data it can simultaneously deal with (Fetch-Decode-Execute) at a time. The higher the Data Transfer Width of the microcontroller, the faster and more it will be able to access the data. On the basis of bit, three types of microcontrollers are described here: –

8Bit Microcontroller:-

This microcontroller can deal with 8Bit data ie it can Fetch – Decode – Execute only 8Bit data at a time. This micro controller is used in simple application.

16Bit Microcontroller:-

This microcontroller can deal with 16Bit data which is a bigger number than 8Bit. It can access data with more accuracy than 8Bit, so this micro controller is used in higher application.

32Bit Microcontroller:-

This microcontroller can deal with 32Bit data which is a huge number. That’s why this micro controller is used in such a machine which needs to execute more and faster data.

Based on Memory:-

Before knowing the type of micro controller on the basis of memory, we must first know that there are two types of memory inside the micro controller – first Program Memory (ROM) and second Data Memory (RAM). Programs are stored in Program Memory and Data are stored in Data Memory. On the basis of memory, the microcontroller is divided into two parts-

  • Embedded Memory Microcontroller – In this micro controller, along with all the functional components of a computer, the program memory is also embedded inside it, due to which this type of micro controller is called Embedded Memory Microcontroller.
  • External Memory Microcontroller- In this micro controller, Program Memory is not embedded inside it. In whatever device this micro controller is installed, separate program memory is installed in that device, due to which this type of micro controller is called External Memory Microcontroller.

According to Instructions Set:-

Micro controllers are divided into two parts on the basis of instruction set-

  • CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) – This type of microcontroller is designed so that it requires less instruction than work in the program to perform a task and instead of writing a lot of instructions, the same type of instruction multiple Can get the task completed. That’s why it is called CISC microcontroller. Examples of CISC Microcontroller are – Intel 8080
  • RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) – This type of instruction set requires a separate instruction for the micro controller to perform each task and it reduces the clock cycle and completes the total operation in less time, so it is called RISC is called microcontroller.

Based on Memory Architecture: –

Talking about microcontrollers based on Memory Architecture, basically only two types of memory architecture are used for any processor – first Von-Neumann Architecture and second Harvard Architecture… First Von-Neumann Architecture was developed. After that Harvard Architecture developed.

Both these architectures are classified on the basis of Memory Uses.

Talking about the memory use of Von-Neumann Architecture, it used the same memory to store both program and data and also used the same Buses (Data Lane) to transfer both. Therefore, two clock cycles were required to complete an instruction, the instruction was fetched by the first clock cycle and the data was fetched by the second clock cycle. Due to which the performance of the system used to work. After that Harvard Architecture was developed.

In Harvard Architecture, separate different memory concepts were used for Program and Data, and separate Buses (Data Lane) were also used to transfer Instruction and Data, due to which it took more time to complete any instruction. For this, only one clock cycle was used, due to which the operation time was reduced and the performance of the system was also enhanced.

Work Of Microcontroller

Microcontroller can act as a manager along with completing a specific task in an electronics machine, which works to control and manage the entire device on the basis of Pre Loaded Program. Its functions can be different in different devices and different types of programs are written for different types of devices. Microcontroller mainly works to get the output according to the pre loaded program based on the input received.

For example, if a timer is set in a machine to turn off after 10 minutes, then that machine shuts down exactly after 10 minutes.

When the signal to lower the temperature is sent to the AC through the remote, then at a time the temperature is further reduced. All such tasks are managed by Microcontroller.

Try to understand its working with another example, if a machine has the logic of turning off the machine at temperature above 70 degree centigrade, then it may happen that there is a temperature sensor installed in it and this temperature sensor is monitored by the microcontroller.

You give temperature input to the computer and the program is written in such a way that as soon as the input of 70+ degrees comes, the machine should be turned off. In such a situation, when the temperature is above 70 degree centigrade, a signal to turn off the machine will be sent through the micro controller and the machine will turn off.

Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller


Microprocessor is an IC which has only CPU inside means only processing power like- Intel’s pentium 1,2,3,4, core 2 duo, i3, i5, i7 etc. These microprocessors do not have RAM, ROM and other peripherals on the chip.

A system designer has to add all these components externally so that it can be functional. Application of Microprocessor – Desktop PC’s, Laptops, notepads etc. Microprocessor is not made for any specific task, but it is used where the task is complex and tricky, such as the development of software games and other applications where high memory is required and input and output are not defined. This is the heart of the computer system. It can be easily seen from the image of the architecture of the above microprocessor that it has registers and ALU processing unit but it does not have RAM, ROM.


It is like a small computer which is present on a single IC. Microcontroller consists of processor core, ROM, RAM and I/O pins which are dedicated to perform different tasks. Microcontrollers are generally used where the project and application require direct control of the user. As all the components are present in this single chip, no external circuit is required to perform the task. That’s why it is mostly used in embedded systems. A microcontroller is the heart of any embedded system.

Some examples- 8051, AVR, PIC series of microcontrollers. RAM ROM are fixed. The above architecture is of 8051 microcontroller. All of you can see that all the required components are present on a single chip. The key difference between the two is the presence or absence of external peripherals, where microcontrollers have embedded RAM, ROM, EEPROM while microprocessors use external circuits.

Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

As all the peripherals are on a single chip in the microcontroller, it is compact while the microprocessor is bulky. Microcontrollers are made using complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology, so they are slightly cheaper microprocessors. And the applications which are made from microcontroller are also cheap because they require less external components. While the overall cost of a system made of microprocessor is high because external components are more for that type of system. The processing speed of Microcontroller is about 8 Mhz to 50 MHz while the processing speed of general microprocessor is above 1 GHz.

That’s why it is faster than microcontrollers. Microcontroller has power saving system like idle mode or power saving mode so that overall less power is used and external components are also less so power consumption is less. While there is no power saving system in microprocessor and many external components are used, hence power consumption is also high.

Microcontrollers are compact, so they are considered favorable and efficient systems for small products and applications, while microprocessors are preferred for larger applications. Most of the task is unspecific like l etc.

Different Between Microprocessor & Microcontroller

Talking about the difference between Microcontroller and Microprocessor, the biggest difference between these two is that….

  • Microprocessor is only a dedicated CPU (Central Processing Unit) chip, due to which it only works to manage data processing work, while all the main components of a computer system such as CPU, RAM, ROM, IO Port are embedded inside the Microcontroller. Due to which it manages the work from data input to output.
  • Even though the Microprocessor only completes the processing work, it has the ability to manage complex to complex tasks ie large tasks, while the Microcontroller is able to complete only small tasks. By the way, in this era of changing technology day by day, micro controllers are also being made very advanced.
  • For Microprocessor RAM, ROM, IO Port etc. are all dedicated separately and their capacity can also be selected according to the need, while in the case of Microcontroller mostly all these are embedded inside the microcontroller instead of separately. Due to which we cannot change it as per our wish.
  • Microprocessor is used in large computerized machines while Microcontroller is also used in small to large electronics machines.
  • Any electronics gadget cannot be controlled by applying Microprocessor only because it needs to be applied separately to other components whereas Microcontroller has its own all component package due to which any electronics gadget can be controlled by applying it. May go.
  • Microprocessor is capable of doing Multi Tasking while Microcontroller can be capable of doing only a specific Task.
  • Microprocessor is expensive technology while Microcontroller is a cheap technology.

Application Of Microcontroller

By the way, in general, micro-controllers are being used nowadays in almost every electronics device like TV, AC, Refrigerator, Microwave Oven, Induction Cook Top, Fire Alarm, Washing Machine, Remote Control etc. Microcontroller is used in any electronics device which has the concept of programming. In such devices, we get to see features like remote control, touch based control, timing control as well as visible display etc. due to which these types of devices are very user friendly and logically working.

Advantage Of Microcontroller

Talking about the features of Microcontroller, its biggest feature is that….

  • The size of the microcontroller is small and it is cheap, due to which it is easy to use it in small machines as well.
  • Small computerized work can be done very easily through microcontroller.
  • Microcontroller consumes a lot of power.
  • In the case of microcontroller, there is no need to make a very big circuit.
  • Any electronics device can be made a smart device by using a microcontroller.
  • The functionality of the electronics device in which the Microcontroller is used can be changed only with the help of software.
  • For many such simple tasks where a normal computer is required, that task can be completed with the help of only one Microcontroller.


Friends, we hope that through this article written by us about microcontrollers, you must have got to know a lot, still if there is any confusion, then you can ask through comments.

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