Mechatronics & Robotics : Microprocessor and Microcontroller

By Apoorbo Roy|Updated : July 8th, 2022

Introduction TO Microprocessor


The most important technological invention of modern times is the “microprocessor”. A
microprocessor is a multiple purpose programmable clock-driven, register-based electronic
device that reads binary instructions from memory accepts binary data as input and processing
this data according to the instructions written in the memory. The microprocessor is capable of
performing computing functions and making decisions to change the sequence of program
execution. The microprocessor can be embedded in a larger system, and can function as the
CPU of a computer called a microcomputer.

                                                                       

 

Introduction TO Microprocessor


The most important technological invention of modern times is the “microprocessor”. A
microprocessor is a multiple purpose programmable clock-driven, register-based electronic
device that reads binary instructions from memory accepts binary data as input and processing
this data according to the instructions written in the memory. The microprocessor is capable of
performing computing functions and making decisions to change the sequence of program
execution. The microprocessor can be embedded in a larger system, and can function as the
CPU of a computer called a microcomputer.

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The figure shows the basic block diagram of a microcomputer which processes binary data
and traditionally represented by four blocks i.e. CPU, memory, input device and output device.
Here, input devices that transfers information from outside world to the computer for example:
keyboard, mouse, webcam, microphone scanner, electronic white boards, etc. The output
device transfers information from computer to the outside world like monitor, printers (all
types), speakers, headphones, projector, plotter, braille embosser, LCD projection panel,
computer output microfilm (COM) etc. Memory is an electronic medium that stores binary
information.


Central Processing unit (CPU) is the heart of computer system. The microprocessor in any
microcomputer act as a CPU. The CPU can be made up with ALU+CU+Registers. Where ALU is
the group of circuits that performs arithmetic and logical operations. Control unit (CU)is a group
of circuits that provide timings and signals to all the operations in the computer and controls
the data flow.

Microcontroller is a programmable device that includes microprocessor, memory and
Input/Output signal lines on a single chip, fabricated using VLSI technology Microcontrollers
are also known as single chip microcomputers. They are mostly used to perform dedicated
functions such as automatic control of equipment, machines and Process m industries and
consumer appliances.

System Bus
A bus is a group of wires/lines used to transfer data (hits) between component', inside a
computer, or between computers. In most simple form, they are communication path
used to carry the signals between microprocessor and peripherals.
The system bus of a microprocessor is of three types:
(i). Address Bus
(a) It is a group of lines that are used to send a memory address or a device address
from the: Microprocessor Unit (MPU) to the memory or the peripheral
(b) The address bus is always uni-directional i.e. address always goes out of the
microprocessor.
(c) If the address line are ‘n' for a MPU then its addressing capacity is 2n.
(ii). Data Bus
(a) It is group of lines used to transfer data between the microprocessor and peripherals
and/or memory.
(b) Data bus is always bi-directional.
(iii). Control Bus
Control bus provides signals to control the flow of data.

A brief review of certain microprocessors

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Computer Language
(a) Scale of integration:
(i) SSI (Small Scale Integration): The term refers to the technology used to fabricate
discrete logic gates on a chip.
(ii) MSI (Medium Scale Integration): The process of designing few tens of gates on a
single chip.
(iii) LSI (Large Scale Integration): The process of designing hundreds of gates on a single
chip similarly terms VLSI (very large scale integration),ULSI (ultra large scale integration)
are used to indicate the scale of integration.
(b) Digital computer:
A programmable machine that process binary data. It is
traditionally represented by five components: CPU, ALU, CU, memory, input and output.
(c) Instruction:
A command in binary that is recognized and executed by the computer in order to
accomplish a task. Some instructions are designed with one word, and some require
multiple words.
(d) Mnemonic:
A combination of letters to suggest the operation of an instruction.

(e) Program:
A set of instructions written in a specific sequence for the computer to accomplish a given
task.
(f) Machine Language:
The binary medium of communication with a computer through a designed set of
instructions specific to each computer.
(g) Assembly Language:
A medium of communication with a computer in which programs are written in
mnemonics. An assembly language is specific to a given computer.
(h) Low-Level Language:
A medium of communication that is machine-dependent or specific to a given computer.
The machine and the assembly languages of a computer are considered low-level
languages. Programs written in these languages are not transferrable to different types
of machines.
(i) High-Level Language:
A medium of communication that is independent of a given computer. Programs are
written in English-like words, and they can be executed on a machine using a written
translator (a compiler or an interpreter).
(j) Compiler:
A program that translates English-like words of a high-level language into the machine
language of a computer.
(k) Interpreter:
A program that translates the English-like statements of a high-level language into the
machine language of a computer. An interpreter translates one statement at a time from
a source code to an object code. (Ex. BASIC)
(l) Assembler:
A computer program that translates an assembly language program from mnemonics to
the binary machine code of a computer and these machine codes are called object
programme.
Bit: a binary digit, 0 or 1.
Byte: a group of eight bits.
Nibble: a group of four bits.
Word: a group of byte the computer recognizes and processes at a time.

MICROCONTROLLERS FOR EMBEDDED SYSTEMS
Microprocessors and microcontrollers are widely used in embedded system products. An
embedded product uses a microprocessor (or microcontroller) to do one task and one task
only. For example, inside every mouse there is a microcontroller that performs the task of
finding the mouse position and sending it to the PC.

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