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Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

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Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

Here is the difference between Microprocessor vs. Microcontroller

Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

Microprocessor Microcontroller
Microprocessor is the heart of Computer system. Micro Controller is the heart of an embedded system.
It is only a processor, so memory and I/O components need to be connected externally Micro Controller has a processor along with internal memory and I/O components.
Memory and I/O has to be connected externally, so the circuit becomes large. Memory and I/O are already present, and the internal circuit is small.
You can’t use it in compact systems You can use it in compact systems.
Cost of the entire system is high Cost of the entire system is low
Due to external components, the total power consumption is high. Therefore, it is not ideal for the devices running on stored power like batteries. As external components are low, total power consumption is less. So it can be used with devices running on stored power like batteries.
Most of the microprocessors do not have power saving features. Most of the microcontrollers offer power-saving mode.
It is mainly used in personal computers. It is used mainly in a washing machine, MP3 players, and embedded systems.
Microprocessor has a smaller number of registers, so more operations are memory-based. Microcontroller has more register. Hence the programs are easier to write.
Microprocessors are based on Von Neumann model Micro controllers are based on Harvard architecture
It is a central processing unit on a single silicon-based integrated chip. It is a byproduct of the development of microprocessors with a CPU along with other peripherals.
It has no RAM, ROM, Input-Output units, timers, and other peripherals on the chip. It has a CPU along with RAM, ROM, and other peripherals embedded on a single chip.
It uses an external bus to interface to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals. It uses an internal controlling bus.
Microprocessor-based systems can run at a very high speed because of the technology involved. Microcontroller based systems run up to 200MHz or more depending on the architecture.
It’s used for general purpose applications that allow you to handle loads of data. It’s used for application-specific systems.
It’s complex and expensive, with a large number of instructions to process. It’s simple and inexpensive with less number of instructions to process.

Features of Microprocessor

Here are some important features of Microprocessor:

  • Offers built-in monitor/debugger program with interrupt capability
  • Large amount of instructions each carrying out a different variation of the same operation
  • Offers Parallel I/O
  • Instruction cycle timer
  • External memory interface

Features of Microcontroller

Here are some important features of Microcontroller:

  • Processor reset
  • Program and Variable Memory (RAM) I/O pins
  • Device clocking central processor
  • Instruction cycle timers

Applications of Microprocessor

Microprocessors are mainly used in devices like:

  • Calculators
  • Accounting system
  • Games machine
  • Complex industrial controllers
  • Traffic light
  • Control data
  • Military applications
  • Defense systems
  • Computation systems

Applications of Microcontroller

Microcontrollers are mainly used in devices like:

  • Mobile phones
  • Automobiles
  • CD/DVD players
  • Washing machines
  • Cameras
  • Security alarms
  • Keyboard controllers
  • Microwave oven
  • Watches
  • Mp3 players


What is the Difference Between a Microcontroller and Microprocessor?

The key difference between a Microprocessor and a Microcontroller is the Microprocessor consists of only a Central Processing Unit, whereas the Microcontroller contains a CPU, Memory, I/O all integrated into one chip. A microcontroller is an inexpensive, straightforward, and small number of instructions to process, whereas a Microprocessor is complex and expensive, with many instructions.

Which is Better Microcontroller or Microprocessor?

Both of these processes are good. However, which one you should use depends upon your requirements. Microcontrollers are mainly used for small applications like washing machines, Cameras, Security alarms, Keyboard controllers, etc., Whereas Microprocessor is used in Personal Computers, Complex industrial controllers, Traffic light, Defense systems, etc.

Which is Faster Microprocessor or Microcontroller?

Microprocessors are much faster than microcontrollers. The clock speed of a microprocessor is above 1 GHz. While in the case of the Microcontroller, the clock speed is 200MHz or more, depending on the architecture.