The difference between microprocessor and microcontroller

Microprocessors and microcontrollers are specific programmable electronic chips that are used for various purposes. The important difference between them is that the microprocessor is a programmable computation engine consisting of ALU, CU, and registers, which are usually used as a processing unit (such as a CPU in a computer) that can perform computations and Can decide. On the other hand, a microcontroller is a specialized microprocessor that is considered a “computer on a chip” because it integrates components such as microprocessors, memory, and parallel digital I / O.


What are microprocessors

The microprocessor is called also known as a processor and Central Processing Unit (CPU) but that is slightly different from a normal CPU because it is slightly smaller than a normal CPU and is integrated into an integrated circuit or Attaches completely to the top of the chip.

A microcontroller is a small size, low-cost computer designed to perform a specific task like displaying the time, automatically operates the door, controls the temperature of the oven, etc.

What is microcontroller

A microcontroller is pretty much the most basic form that I could formulate is integrated circuit also known as a chip that is programmed by a human being to do a specific task. Microcontrollers are really just mini-computer.

Where are microprocessors used

Microprocessors are used in any equipment that requires some sort of processing to be done from the traffic light two remotes to computers all have microprocessors in this processors have an algorithm and they work in a previously programmed manner according to the instruction given.

Where are microcontrollers used

In the household appliances and electronic devices used in our daily life. There are various integrated circuit boards. The parts on the circuit boards enable electronic products to have multiple functions. Among the integrated circuit boards the most important parts are the microcontroller.

History of microprocessor

Microprocessors were first invented 50 years ago at a young silicon valley startup called Intel the first microprocessor was the Intel C4004 in 1971 and it was a 4-bit processor. It was soon succeeded by Intel C8008 in 1972 and since then the development of microprocessors has been huge.

History of microcontroller

  • The first microcontroller used in 1975(Intel 8048)
  • The introduction of EEPROM in 1993

Microprocessors VS microcontroller



Von Neumann architecture

The microprocessor uses von Neumann architecture where data and programs are present in the same memory module.

Harvard architecture

The microcontroller uses Harvard architecture. In the module, data and program get stored in separate memory


Computer system

A microprocessor is widely used in computer systems and act as the heart of it. For and ex. Desktop, laptops, and smartphones, etc.

Embedded system

A microcontroller is used in embedded systems and runs them. Forex. Music player, television and refrigerator, etc.


Peripherals required

A microprocessor can NOT operate without peripheral components. It only has the processing unit and memory & I/O components need to be attached to operate.

No peripherals required

A microcontroller has a small processing system along with internal memory and I/O components. So it can work independently.


Large & complex circuit

The microprocessor circuit becomes large and complex because all the components are attached externally.

Small and less complex circuit

In a microcontroller, all the components are internally connected and that’s why its circuit becomes small and less complex.

High power consumption

Due to complex circuits, microprocessors use high power and cannot be operated on batteries.

Low power consumption

Microcontrollers use lesser power comparatively and can be operated on batteries easily.

Low processing speed

The microprocessor has fewer internal registers and relies on external storage. It results in more processing time and less speed.

High processing speed

The microcontroller has many registers. Data processing requires only internal commands giving better processing speed.

Types of microprocessor

8085 Microprocessor

This microprocessor was introduced in 1977 by Intel. It is an 8-bit data bus microprocessor. Which can work up to a frequency of 5 MHz. Its chip consists of 40 pins. Which multiplexes the lower order address bus with the data bus to reduce the chip size.

8086 Microprocessor

It is one such microprocessor. To which 16 data lines are connected with 20 address lines, 16-bit microprocessors, and 1MB of storage. And the 8086 microprocessor has a powerful Instructions set, which makes it easy to perform tasks such as multiplication, division.

CISC Microprocessor (Complex Instruction Set Computing)

It is a slow microprocessor. Which is used for playing games, listening to music, adding text, and doing a lot of work. Its speed is slower than that of RISC-type processors due to higher functioning. It is mainly used in desktop, laptop computing.

Intel RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer)

It is a low instruction set microprocessor. Which makes it execute very fast due to simple and short instruction. This type of microprocessors are designed for special tasks such as databases, servers, email clients, etc., so it is mainly used in server computers.

Types of microcontroller

Microcontrollers are classified into different categories based on memory, architecture, bits, also instruction sets.

  • The 8-bit microcontroller used for small applications like temperature display, programmable time, etc.
  • 16-bit microcontroller used for control applications like industrial instruments, remote data sensing, etc.
  • 32-bit microcontroller used for high precision applications like medical/ military equipment.

Features of Microprocessor 8085

  • The function of the microprocessor performs arithmetic and logical movements.
  • This microprocessor has 74 instruction sets.
  • It is an 8-bit microprocessor.
  • In this microprocessor, the first 8 lines of the address bus and 8 lines of the data bus are multiplied by AD0-AD7. And the data bus is a group of 8 lines D0-D7.
  • This microprocessor can be used to implement a three-chip microcomputer (8085, 8155, 8355).

Features of microcontroller

  • Processor (CPU)
  • Memory (ROM or FLASH, RAM)
  • IO ports (Input/ Output Port)
  • Serial port
  • Time and Counters

Applications of microprocessor

  • Computer systems
  • Defense systems
  • Traffic light
  • Complex industrial controller
  • Gaming machine
  • Military applications

Applications of microcontroller

  • Mp3 players
  • Microwave oven
  • Security alarms
  • Automobiles
  • Mobile phones
  • Robots machine

Architecture of microcontroller

  • CISC ( Complex instruction set computer)

Example: 8051, AT89s52, AT89c2051 etc.

  • RISC ( Reduced instruction set computer)

Example: AVR Atmega 32, PIC and ARN


The microprocessor can carry out general-purpose operations for many different tasks. In contrast, the microcontroller can perform user-defined tasks where it handles a single task for the entire life cycle.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *