How to differentiate between different types of microcontrollers?

microcontroller Vs microprocessor


How to differentiate between different types of microcontrollers? A microcontroller is a machine that is very similar to computers. It has an input, output, memory, and processor. Although it’s not fast as compared to latest processors as it is all in one package yet, it is still used widely.


From the above diagram we can see all components that are used to form a single microcontroller.

Its block diagram is given as:

microcontroller block diagram
microcontroller block diagram

It has a circuit that used to govern a designated embedded system. They look like normal chips, as you can see in the following figure:

types of microcontrollers
types of microcontrollers

Types of Microcontrollers

Types of microcontrollers are stated as follows:

  • PIC Microcontroller
  • ARM Microcontroller
  • 8051 Microcontroller
  • AVR Microcontroller
  • MSP Microcontroller

PIC Microcontroller:

PIC Stands for Peripheral Interface Controller is a kind of microcontroller components was used in the development of electronics, computer robotics, and similar devices. Even though the PIC was produced by Microchip technology and based on hardware computing architecture, here the code and data are placed in separate registers to increase the input and output. Pic has a built-in data memory, data bus and dedicated microprocessor for preparing all I/O purposes and methods.

ARM Microcontroller:

ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machine. It’s the most popular Microcontrollers Programming in the digital embedded system world, and most of the industries prefer only ARM microcontrollers since it consists of significant features to implement products with an excellent appearance. It is cost sensitive and high-performance device which has been used in a wide range of application such as Industrial Instrument control systems, wireless networking and sensors, and automotive body systems, etc.

8051 Microcontroller:

Intel created 8051 microcontrollers in 1981. It is an 8bit microcontroller. It’s made with 40 pins DIP (Dual inline package), 4kb if ROM storage and 128 bytes of RAM storage, 2 16-bit timer. It consists of are four parallel 8-bit ports, which are programmable as well as addressable as per the specification.

AVR Microcontroller:

AVR stands for Alf and Vegard’s RISC Processor. It was the modified Harvard architecture machine, where program and data were stored in the separate physical memory system that appears in different address spaces but having the ability to browse information things from program memory victimization particular directions. AVR isn’t associate degree signifier and doesn’t symbolize something specially.

MSP Microcontroller:

MSP stands for Mixed Signal Processor. It’s the family from Texas Instruments. Built around a 16 -bit CPU, the MSP is designed for low cost and respectively, low power dissipation embedded statements. It’s the controller’s appearance is directly related to the 16-bit data bus, and seven addressing modes and the decreased instructions set, which allows a shorter, denser programming code for fast performance.

Now the question arises which is preferable to use as a microcontroller?

Among these types of microcontrollers 8051 series, PIC series, AVR series are the most popular ones. They are used globally on a large scale.


Like CPUs, this is also a processing unit that is mainly used to perform arithmetic logic unit operations. Its design is based on single integrated circuit that’s why it’s really congested. That also gives its negatives.

Bottleneck is caused more often as load on circuit is great.


They follow the regular procedure of CPUs that includes following steps:

  • Fetch
  • Decode
  • Execute
microprocessor with input and output devices
microprocessor with input and output devices

The block diagram of microprocessor is given as:

block diagram of microprocessor
block diagram of microprocessor

Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontrollers

Let’s talk about ups and downs of both micro-units.

It is used where intensive programing is used. It is used in personal computers, mobiles, laptops etc. It is used where the task is fixed and predefined It is used in. washing machine and alarm.
It has only the CPU in the chip other devices like I 10 Port memory, timer is connected. externally. Its structure is flexible. users can decide the amount of memory and other Peripheral devices CPU, Memory 10. Port and all other devices are connected by a single chip. The structure is fixed-Once fixing the users cannot change the Peripheral devices
the clock speed of microprocessor is high It is measured in tams of GHz. It ranges from 6hz to 406hz the clock speed of microcontroller is less. It is measured in terms of mHz

It ranges from 1mHz to 300Hz

The volatile memory (RAM) of microprocessor ranges from 512MB-32GB The volatile memory (RAM) of micro-controller ranges from 2KB to 256 KB
The hard disk (ROM) of microprocessor ranges from 128GB to 2 TB. The Hard drive or flash memory of microcontroller ranges from 32KB to 2MB
The common Peripheral

interface of the micro

Processor 28 USB, UART

and high speed

The common. Peripheral interface from the micro controller is 12C, SPI and VART.


the Program for the microprocessor can be changed for different applications The Programming of the microprocessor is difficult to compare with micro-controller The Program for microcontroller is fixed once it is designed.

Also read here

What is the difference between Von Neumann and Harvard Architecture?

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