microcontroller

(redirected from Microcontroller unit)
Also found in: Acronyms.

microcontroller

[¦mī·krō·kən′trōl·ər]
(electronics)
A microcomputer, microprocessor, or other equipment used for precise process control in data handling, communication, and manufacturing.

microcontroller

(processor)
A microprocessor on a single integrated circuit intended to operate as an embedded system. As well as a CPU, a microcontroller typically includes small amounts of RAM and PROM and timers and I/O ports.

An example is the Intel 8751.

microcontroller

A single chip that contains the processor (CPU), non-volatile memory (flash memory or ROM) for the program, volatile memory (RAM) for processing the data, a clock and an I/O control unit. Microcontroller units (MCUs) are available in numerous sizes and architectures. See CPU, flash memory, ROM, RAM and clock.

They Don't Get the Publicity
Because MCUs contain only 8-, 16- or 32-bit CPUs and cost just a few dollars or even less than one dollar, they do not get the mainstream attention as do the latest 64-bit chips in a PC or graphics card, which cost several hundred dollars. MCUs also do not require the state-of-the-art chip technology (see process technology).

However, MCUs are everywhere, and billions of these "computers on a chip" are embedded in products from toys to appliances to just about anything. New cars can employ a couple hundred of them. For example, an entire MCU might be dedicated to a simple task such as waiting for the driver to close the car door or press a particular button on the dashboard. See embedded system and automotive systems.


Motorola 6801 - One of the First
Introduced in 1978, the 6801 was one of the first semiconductor products to claim the "computer on a chip" moniker. These magnified images show the entire chip (top), about three quarters of the 256 bytes of RAM (left) and only a few bytes at 400x.


Motorola 6801 - One of the First
Introduced in 1978, the 6801 was one of the first semiconductor products to claim the "computer on a chip" moniker. These magnified images show the entire chip (top), about three quarters of the 256 bytes of RAM (left) and only a few bytes at 400x.







They Don't Get Much Smaller
These 8-bit PIC brand microcontrollers from Microchip are used in myriad applications, cost less than 50 cents each and are much more powerful than the 6801. We're not great technology predictors. In 1949, Popular Mechanics speculated that future computers would only weigh "one and a half tons!"







A Microcontroller Behind Everything
Today's cars can have more than a hundred MCUs, each one controlling the simplest function from pressing a button to more complicated systems like the ones in the Honda above.
References in periodicals archive ?
WiseGuyReports has announced the addition of a new intelligence report, titled "Global Microcontroller Unit (MCU) Market Report 2019 - Market Size, Share, Price, Trend and Forecast".
Seiko Epson Corporation has begun shipping samples of the S1C17M20, a low-power 16-bit microcontroller unit (MCU) with on-chip flash memory.
The major components used in the hardware designing of digital stethoscope are a low noise preamplifier, sensor, monitor, flash memory, and microcontroller unit.
The CCS811 is an ultra-low power digital gas sensor solution which integrates an industry leading gas sensor solution with a microcontroller unit (MCU), along with an Analog-to-Digital converter (ADC) to monitor the local environment, and provides an indoor air quality indication over a standard digital interface.
Cogo provides integrated solutions that include an MCU (microcontroller unit), memory and wireless access (3G or Wi-Fi) from several of its semiconductor partners.
Texas Instruments has combined an industry-standard ultra-low-power Flash MCU with an integrated high-performance analog front-end (AFE) on a single-chip to create an SoC microcontroller unit for e-metering.
The Processors are further sub-segmented into microcontroller unit (MCU), and generic digital signal processor (DSP).
This will further consolidate the company's leadership in the booming MCU (Microcontroller Unit) market and lay a solid foundation for the company to expand its existing 0.18CE platform to the field of mixed signal IC and power management IC (PMIC).
According to SpringSoft its software allows engineers in Fujitsu Semiconductor's Automotive Business Unit to raise the quality of verification environments and intellectual property (IP) design components required to develop microcontroller unit (MCU) solutions for a range of automotive electronics applications.
An AFE IC is a measurement device of which the results are forwarded to a MCU (microcontroller unit).
In addition toits primary function as main microcontroller unit, the new MB95430H series is also suitable as a sub-controller when current system configuration functions are insufficient, due to the availability of high current protection and various composite timer communication functions.
Integrating a baseband, a host microcontroller unit (MCU), and a secure MCU, the chipset employs V2X communication technologies that leverage GPS data and Wi-Fi (801.11p), contributing to the creation of automated-driving solutions for analyzing nearby vehicles and road conditions.