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differences between microcontrollers and microprocessors
To understand this difference we have to go back in time . There was a time when all the micros were very similar rockwell 6502, intel 8085 , motorola 6200 etc , To put together a WORKING SYSTEM you needed
EPROM + PORTS + SRAM + UART + TIMER.. So a FUNCTIONAL BOARD was BIG and demanded a lot of POWER .. Intel had AS ALWAYS the great idea of integrating all this components in a a single PIECE of SILICON .The MICROCONTROLLER WAS BORN . The first MICROCONTROLLER was the 8031 it came in several flavors and evolved in today's well known 51 .Other manufacturers got quickly the message and also produced their equivalent PRODUCTS ,On the other side microprocessors evolved toward high end architectures .The intel 8085 evolved into the 8086 and fuel the PC revolution . The motorola 6200 into the 68000 a also as the 8086 a 16 bits cpu . And from there they became 32,64 bits and 16mhz ,66,133, 500,
1ghz,2,and now 3gigahz CPUS ..
on the other side the effort was to INTEGRATE as much functionality as POSSIBLE .More timers ,More UARTS , more MEMORY, LCD drivers ,ETC ,more POWER efficient ,POWER saving MODES with NEW CMOS technologies .And they also became RISC , but with very little exceptions( MSP430 & i196) never went 16 bits . Almos all stayed 8 bits
This SPLIT happened 16 to 17 years ago !
I might not be well informed but let me propose that a microprocessor does many of the same things as a microcontroller except that it must be connected to other components, presumably on a board, in order to be of much use. Certainly many microprocessors are very powerful as compared to microcontrollers but they won't "stand alone" so to speak. I think a microcontroller is more of a stand-alone device - though I am sure there is not an absolutely clear distinction. There is probably a much better definition than this.