Types and Applications
of Microcontrollers

Introduction to Microcontroller:
A microcontroller (μC or uC) is a solitary chip microcomputer fabricated from VLSI fabrication. A micro controller is also known as embedded controller. Today various types of microcontrollers are available in market with different word lengths such as 4bit, 8bit,
64bit and 128bit microcontrollers.
Microcontroller is a compressed micro
computer manufactured to control the
functions of embedded systems in office
machines, robots, home appliances, motor vehicles, and a number of other gadgets. A microcontroller is comprises components like- memory, peripherals and most importantly a processor. Microcontrollers are basically employed in devices that need a degree of control to be applied by the user of the device.

Microcontroller Basics:
Any electric appliance that stores, measures, displays information or calculates comprise of a microcontroller chip inside it. The basic structure of a microcontroller comprise of:-

1. CPU-
Microcontrollers brain is named
as CPU. CPU is the device which is
employed to fetch data, decode it and
at the end complete the assigned task
successfully. With the help of CPU all
the components of microcontroller is
connected into a single system.
Instruction fetched by the
programmable memory is decoded by
the CPU.

2. Memory –
In a microcontroller memory
chip works same as microprocessor .
Memory chip stores all programs &
data. Microcontrollers are built with
certain amount of ROM or RAM
(EPROM, EEPROM, etc) or flash
memory for the storage of program
source codes.

3. Input/output ports –
I/O ports are basically employed to interface or drive different appliances such as- printers, LCD’s, LED’s, etc.

4. Serial Ports –
These ports give serial
interfaces amid microcontroller &
various other peripherals such as
parallel port.

5. Timers –
A microcontroller may be in-
built with one or more timer or
counters. The timers & counters control
all counting & timing operations within
a microcontroller. Timers are employed
to count external pulses. The main
operations performed by timers’ are-
pulse generations, clock functions,
frequency measuring, modulations,
making oscillations, etc.

6. ADC (Analog to digital converter) –
ADC is employed to convert analog
signals to digital ones. The input
signals need to be analog for ADC. The
digital signal production can be
employed for different digital
applications (such as- measurement

7. DAC (digital to analog converter) –
this converter executes opposite functions that ADC perform. This device is generally employed to supervise analog appliances like- DC motors, etc.

8. Interpret Control-
This controller is
employed for giving delayed control for
a working program. The interpret can
be internal or external.

9. Special Functioning Block –
Some special microcontrollers manufactured for special appliances like- space systems, robots, etc, comprise of this special function block. This special block has additional ports so as to carry out some special operations.

Types of Microcontroller:
Microcontrollers are divided into categories
according to their memory, architecture, bits
and instruction sets. So let’s discuss types of

* 8 bits microcontroller executes logic &
arithmetic operations. Examples of 8
bits micro controller is Intel
* 16 bits microcontroller executes with
greater accuracy and performance in
contrast to 8-bit. Example of 16 bit
microcontroller is Intel 8096.
* 32 bits microcontroller is employed
mainly in automatically controlled
appliances such as office machines,
implantable medical appliances, etc. It
requires 32-bit instructions to carry
out any logical or arithmetic function.

* External Memory Microcontroller –
When an embedded structure is built
with a microcontroller which does not
comprise of all the functioning blocks
existing on a chip it is named as
external memory microcontroller. For
illustration- 8031 microcontroller does
not have program memory on the chip.
* Embedded Memory Microcontroller –
When an embedded structure is built
with a microcontroller which comprise
of all the functioning blocks existing on
a chip it is named as embedded
memory microcontroller. For
illustration- 8051 microcontroller has
all program & data memory, counters &
timers, interrupts, I/O ports and
therefore its embedded memory

Instruction Set:
* CISC- CISC means complex instruction
set computer, it allows the user to
apply 1 instruction as an alternative to
many simple instructions.
* RISC- RISC means Reduced Instruction
Set Computers. RISC reduces the
operation time by shortening the clock
cycle per instruction.

Memory Architecture:
Harvard Memory Architecture

Princeton Memory Architecture

8051 microcontroller:
The most universally employed set of
microcontrollers come from the 8051 family. 8051 Microcontrollers persist to be an ideal choice for a huge group of hobbyists and experts. In the course of 8051 , the humankind became eyewitness to the most ground-breaking set of microcontrollers. The original 8051 microcontroller was initially
invented by Intel. The two other members of this 8051 family are-

* 8052- This microcontroller has 3 timers
& 256 bytes of RAM. Additionally it has
all the features of the traditional 8051
microcontroller. 8051 microcontroller is
a subset of 8052 microcontroller.

* 8031- This microcontroller is ROM less,
other than that it has all the features of
a traditional 8051 microcontroller. For
execution an external ROM of size 64K
bytes can be added to its chip.

8051 microcontroller brings into play 2
different sorts of memory such as- NV-RAM,
UV-EPROM and Flash.

8051 Microcontroller

8051 microcontroller is an eight bit
microcontroller launched in the year 1981 by
Intel Corporation. It is available in 40 pin DIP
(dual inline package). It has 4kb of ROM (on-
chip programmable space) and 128 bytes of
RAM space which is inbuilt, if desired 64KB of
external memory can be interfaced with the
microcontroller. There are four parallel 8 bits
ports which are easily programmable as well
as addressable. An on-chip crystal oscillator
is integrated in the microcontroller which has
crystal frequency of 12MHz. In the
microcontroller there is a serial input/output
port which has 2 pins. Two timers of 16 bits
are also incorporated in it; these timers can
be employed as timer for internal functioning
as well as counter for external functioning.
The microcontroller comprise of 5 interrupt
sources namely- Serial Port Interrupt, Timer
Interrupt 1, External Interrupt 0, Timer
Interrupt 0, External Interrupt 1. The
programming mode of this micro-controller
includes GPRs (general purpose registers),
SFRs (special function registers) and SPRs
(special purpose registers).

PIC Microcontroller:
Peripheral Interface Controller (PIC) provided
by Micro-chip Technology to categorize its
solitary chip microcontrollers. These
appliances have been extremely successful in
8 bit micro-controllers. The foremost cause
behind it is that Micro-chip Technology has
been constantly upgrading the appliance
architecture and included much required
peripherals to the micro-controller to go well
with clientele necessities. PIC
microcontrollers are very popular amid
hobbyists and industrialists; this is only
cause of wide availability, low cost, large user
base & serial programming capability.

PIC Microcontroller

The architecture of the 8 bit PIC
microcontrollers can be categorized as below

1. Base Line Architecture – In the base-
line architecture PIC microcontrollers of
PIC10F family is included, other than
that a fraction of PIC12 & PIC16
families are also included. These
gadgets make use of 12 bit program
word architecture with six to twenty-
eight pin package alternatives. Briefly
defined attribute set of baseline
architecture allows the most lucrative
product solutions. This architecture is
perfect for battery enabled gadgets.
The PIC10F200 series is another
reasonably priced 8 bit flash micro-
controller with a 6 pin package.

2. Mid Range Architecture – In this
midline member of PIC12 & PIC16
families are added that attribute 14 bit
program word architecture. The
midrange PIC16 gadgets proffer a
broad variety of package alternatives
(from 8 to 64 package), with low to
high levels of peripheral incorporation.
This PIC16 appliance attributes a
variety of analog, digital & serial
peripherals, like- SPI, USART, I2C, USB,
LCD & A/D converters. The mid-range
PIC16 micro-controllers have
suspended controlling ability with an
eight level hardware load.

3. High Performance Architecture – The
high performance architecture included
the PIC18 family of appliances. These
micro-controllers make use of 16 bit
program word architecture along with
18 to 100 pin package alternatives. The
PIC18 appliances are high performance
micro-controllers with incorporated
Analog to Digital converters. All PIC18
micro-controllers integrate a highly
developed RISC architecture that
supports flash appliances. The PIC18
has improved foundation attributes, 32
level deep load and several inner and
exterior interrupts.

Note: List of Top PIC
Microcontroller Projects
for Engineering Students

AVR Microcontroller:
AVR also known as Advanced Virtual RISC, is
a customized Harvard architecture 8 bit RISC
solitary chip micro-controller. It was invented
in the year 1966 by Atmel. Harvard
architecture signifies that program & data are
amassed in different spaces and are used
simultaneously. It was one of the foremost
micro-controller families to employ on-chip
flash memory basically for storing program,
as contrasting to one time programmable
EPROM, EEPROM or ROM, utilized by other
micro-controllers at the same time. Flash
memory is a non-volatile (constant on power
down) programmable memory.

AVR Microcontroller

AVR microcontrollers’ architecture was
developed by Alf-Egil Bogen and Vegard
Wollan. The name AVR is derived from the
names of the architecture developers of the
microcontroller. The AT90S8515 was the
foremost micro-controller which was AVR
architecture based; on the other hand the
foremost micro-controller to strike the
commercial marketplace was AT90S1200
which was launched in the year 1997.

The SRAM, Flash and EEPROM all are
incorporated on a single chip, thereby
eliminating the requirement of any other
external memory in maximum devices.
Several appliances comprise of parallel
external bus alternative, so as to add extra
data memory gadgets. Approximately all
appliances, except TinyAVR chips comprise
serial interface, which is used to link large
serial Flash & EEPROMs chips.

AMR Microcontroller:
AMR is the name of a company that designs
micro-processors architecture. It is also
engaged in licensing them to the producers
who fabricate genuine chips. In actuality
AMR is a 32 bit genuine RISC architecture. It
was initially developed in the year 1980 by
Acorn Computers Ltd. This AMR base
microprocessor does not have on-board flash
memory. ARM is particularly designed for
micro-controller devices, it is simple to be
trained and make use of, however powerful
enough for the most challenging embedded

AMR Microcontroller

The AMR architecture is a 32 bit RISC
processor developed by ARM Ltd. Owing to
its power-saving attributes, ARM central
processing units are prevailing in the mobile
electronics marketplace, where less power
expenditure is a vital design aim. ARM
architecture comprise of the underneath RISC

* Maximum single cycle functioning
* Constant 16×32 bit register file.
* Load or store architecture.
* Preset instruction width of 32 bits so
as to simplify pipelining and decoding,
at minimized code density.
* For misaligned memory access there is no support.

Microcontroller Applications:
Microcontrollers are intended for embedded
devices, in comparison to the micro-
processors which are used in PCs or other
all-purpose devices. Microcontrollers are
employed in automatically managed
inventions and appliances like- power tools,
implantable medical devices, automobile
engine control systems, , office machines,
remote controls appliances, toys and many
more embedded systems. By dipping the size
and expenditure in comparison to a design
that make use of a different micro-processor,
I/O devices and memory, micro-controllers
formulate it inexpensive to digitally control
more & more appliances and operations.
Mixed signal micro-controllers are general;
putting together analog constituents required
controlling non-digital electronic structures.

Application of Microcontroller
in Day to Day Life Devices:

* Light sensing controlling devices
* Temperature sensing and controlling
* Fire detection safety devices
* Industrial instrumentation devices
* Process control devices

Application of microcontroller
in Industrial Control Devices:

Industrial instrumentation devices
Process control devices
Application of microcontroller
in Metering Measurement

* Volt Meter
* Measuring revolving objects
* Current meter
* Hand-held metering systems

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