Chapter 6

How Microcomputers Work

The Brains of Every Electronic Product Today

Abstract

This chapter explains all about microcomputers. It includes a discussion of microcontrollers, embedded controllers, or microcontroller units (MCU) as they are called. First the stored program concept is introduced. Then a central processing unit (CPU) is defined as the core of most computers. The basic architecture of a computer includes the CPU, memory and input/output interfaces, and internal buses. Computer word and instruction formats are discussed, and a simple programming example is given. Popular 8- and 16-bit microcontrollers are identified. Commonly used 32- and 64-bit processors are also covered. The concept of digital signal processing in introduced. ...

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