Microcontroller vs microprocessors: what is the difference?

microprocessor vs microcontrollers
microprocessor vs microcontrollers

The term microprocessor and microcontroller have consistently been mistaken for one another. These two have been intended for constant applications. They share numerous normal highlights/features and simultaneously they have huge contrasts. Both the integrated chip and microcontroller – can’t be recognized by taking a gander at them. Basically, there are several features that differentiate between microcontroller and processor. Both the microcontroller and microprocessor are computing devices designed for different purposes/computations.But, the key feature is microprocessors are designed for general purpose and microcontroller are designed for specific purposes.

Why microprocessor and Microcontrollers seem Similar?

On the surface, these two gadgets microcontrollers and microprocessors have many things in common. Both of these are instances of single-chip processors that have quickened the multiplication of registering innovation by expanding steadfast quality and lessening handling power costs. Both are single chip integrated circuits that perform computer logic, and both types of processors are found in millions of electronic devices in the world

Diferrence between microprocessors and microcontrollers:

Choosing the correct gadget on which to base your new structure can be overwhelming. The need to make the correct parity of cost, performance and power utilization has numerous ramifications. In the first place, there will be the prompt innovation contemplations for the structure you can leave on. Be that as it may, if microcontroller (MCU) or chip (MPU), turns into the premise of a stage approach, the choice can have durable results. Distinction among chip and microcontroller turns into a significant discussion then.

Raspberry PI vs Arduino: Check by comparison table

Microchips and microcontrollers perform generally comparable capacities, however on the off chance that we take a look at the design of each kind of chip, we’ll see exactly how dissimilar they are.

Below in table, I will show some key differences between these two devices

Microprocessor is a purpose computing device. It is considered heart of computerMicrocontroller is a specific purpose computing device. It is considered heart of embedded systems and iot based systems.
These are used when the relation between input and output is not necessary.These are used when relation between and output is necessary (Sensors to actuators ).
Microprocessor doesn’t have ram, rom, timer separately on chip. Designer fix the ram, rom, i/o pins on processor.On the other hand, microcontroller have ram, rom and i/o pins separately on board
Microprocessors are costlyMicrocontrollers are cheaper
These are designed for general purpose computationThese are designed for specific purpose computation
These require high time for accessing data in memory. so, these are slower.These require low time for accessing data/components in memory
Mostly microprocessors consume very high power as these don’t have power saving featureMicrocontrollers have many power saving features such as idle mode or power saving mode. So, it consumes lesser power.
Microprocessor functional unit generally containing ALU (arithmetic and logic unit), register, timers and control unitsMicrocontroller generally include microprocessors along with ram, rom, EEPROM,    ADC (analogue to digital converter) and DAC (Digital to analogue converter)
Memory and I/O devices are externally connected which makes it slowerAll the components are externally connected which makes it fast.
These are designed on Von-Neuman architecture where data and program are stored in same memoryThese are designed on Harvard architecture where there are separate memory for data and instructions (i-e program)
These are difficult to program as these have lesser number of registers and most operations are memory based. These are less difficult to program as these have greater number of registers and manipulation in data can be done easily through these registers
These can run operating system(such as Linux or window) on them mostly as OS required 300-400 DMIPS (million instructions executed per second) and generally processor have this powerThey cannot run operating system on it as they don’t have 300-400 DMIPS


Image showing how memory and other peripherals are intagrated on chip in microcontrollers
Image showing how memory and other peripherals are intagrated on chip in microcontrollers


A microprocessor is an integrated circuit consisting of only processors, i.e.,only processing powers such as Intel Pentium 1,2,3,4, Duo Core 2, I3, I5,etc. . These microprocessors do not have RAM, ROM and other peripherals on the chip. The system designer must add them externally to make them work. The microprocessor has a CPU and several auxiliary chips that provide memory, serial interfaces, input and output, timers, and other compulsory components.Several sources suggest that the terms “microprocessor” and “CPU” are essentially synonymous, but you can also come across microprocessor architectural diagrams that show CPU’s as components of a microprocessor. You can think of a microprocessors as a single integrated circuit chip that has a CPU. That chip can connect to other external circuits such as a control bus or a data bus that provides binary data input and receives output from a microprocessor (also in binary).

7 trends of internet of things in industry in 2020

A microcontroller has a central processing unit as well as a fixed amount of RAM, ROM, and other peripherals integrated into a chip. It is sometimes also called a minicomputer or a single chip computer. Microcontrollers are designed to perform certain tasks. Specific refers to the application in which the relationship between input and output is determined. Depending on the input, some processing is required and the output is distributed. Because applications are very specific, they require less resources, such as RAM, ROM, I / O ports, and so can be embedded into a single chip. It reduces size and cost.


mirocontroller parts
Microcontroller parts


The comparison of a microcontroller (such as Arduino and raspberry pi) and a microprocessor in terms of cost is not justified. Without a doubt, a microcontroller is much cheaper than a microprocessor. However, a microcontroller cannot be used in place of a microprocessor, and using a microprocessor in place of a microcontroller is not recommended, as it makes the application quite expensive. The microprocessor cannot be used alone. They need other peripherals like RAM, ROM, buffer memory, I/O ports, etc., and therefore a CPU system is quite expensive.

What do you think?

Written by Ghost

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comparison between raspberry pi and arduino

Raspberry PI vs arduino: Choose by comparison

Is Raspberry PI an IoT device?