Advancement in technology is serving mankind in best possible manner. Compactness and integration of several features into smaller chips is a miracle of technological advancement. The true examples of such compactness and integration are microprocessor, microcontroller, microcomputer and CPU. Many people still feel confusion about these technical terms and the solution of their confusion is provided given below in the form of differences between them.
Microprocessor is a single integrated circuit that has ability to perform all the functions of central processing unit in a single microchip. A microchip is only called microprocessor at that time, when it has capability to perform all CPU functions like control unit, arithmetic logic unit, register, bus control circuit and instruction decoders in a single integrated unit.
Microcontroller is a modified and developed form of Microcomputer, in which all the necessary components like programmable input/output peripherals, processor core and memory are present in a single microchip. This technology is mostly used in embedded applications.
Microcomputer is simply a personal computer; in you can see the association of microprocessor, I/O peripherals, data and programmable memory as well as other supporting circuits at one place, but not in single chip.
CPU or central processing unit is the brain of computer that executes all the instructions of different computer programs to perform system operations like logical, arithmetic. I/O etc.
Microprocessor vs Microcontroller vs Microcomputer vs CPU
CPU or central processing unit is responsible for execution of all computer operations by following instructions of computer programs that we apply, but it could be a microprocessor or not depends upon its construction. Moreover, a microprocessor is just a microchip that can perform all the operations of CPU. On the other hand, a microcomputer is the association of different computer parts in micro form including microprocessor, circuits, memories and I/O peripherals, but not in the form of single chip that is specialty of only microcontroller having all these computer parts just in the form of a microchip.
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