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Microcontroller

Definition - What does Microcontroller mean?

A microcontroller is a computer present in a single integrated circuit which is dedicated to perform one task and execute one specific application.

It contains memory, programmable input/output peripherals as well a processor. Microcontrollers are mostly designed for embedded applications and are heavily used in automatically controlled electronic devices such as cellphones, cameras, microwave ovens, washing machines, etc.

Techopedia explains Microcontroller

Features of a microcontroller:

  • Far more economical to control electronic devices and processes as the size and cost involved is comparatively less than other methods.
  • Operating at a low clock rate frequency, usually use four bit words and are designed for low power consumption.
  • Architecture varies greatly with respect to purpose from general to specific, and with respect to microprocessor, ROM, RAM or I/O functions.
  • Has a dedicated input device and often has a display for output.
  • Usually embedded in other equipment and are used to control features or actions of the equipment.
  • Program used by microcontroller is stored in ROM.
  • Used in situations where limited computing functions are needed
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