In this chapter, the reader is introduced to microcontrollers, its evolution, applications and main features. After completion of the chapter, the reader should be able to understand:

  • Functions of a microcontroller.
  • Essential peripherals for a microcontroller.
  • Difference between a microprocessor (like 8085) and a microcontroller (e.g. MCS-51).
  • The difference between Princeton and Harvard architectures.
  • Variations in MCS-51 family of microcontrollers.
  • Importance of power management in microcontrollers.
  • Different types of packaging used for microcontrollers.

1.1 | Introduction

In last 40 years or so, we have witnessed a silent but rapid revolution as far as electronic computing, communication and control are ...

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