Microcomputer

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What Does Microcomputer Mean?

A microcomputer is a computer with a central processing unit (CPU) as a microprocessor. Designed for individual use, a microcomputer is smaller than a mainframe or a minicomputer.

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The term microcomputer is not as commonly used as it was during the 1970s-1980s. We now refer to microcomputers as, simply, computers, or personal computers (PC).

Techopedia Explains Microcomputer

A microcomputer’s CPU includes random access memory (RAM), read-only memory (ROM) memory, input/output (I/O) ports, interconnecting wires and a motherboard.

In 1970, Hewlett-Packard (HP) manufactured and released a microcomputer as a calculator with varying levels of programmability, although the Datapoint 2200 by Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC) is credited as the first microcomputer. Intel’s x86 processor family can also be traced back to CTC’s release.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.