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- Created 2012-02-15
) is a small computer on a single
, memory, and programmable
peripherals. Program memory in the form of
is also often included on chip, as well as a typically small amount of
. Microcontrollers are designed for embedded applications, in contrast to the
s used in
s or other general purpose applications.
Microcontrollers are used in automatically controlled products and devices, such as automobile engine control systems, implantable medical devices, remote controls, office machines, appliances, power tools, toys and other
s. By reducing the size and cost compared to a design that uses a separate microprocessor, memory, and input/output devices, microcontrollers make it economical to digitally control even more devices and processes.
microcontrollers are common, integrating analog components needed to control non-digital electronic systems.
Some microcontrollers may use
and operate at
frequencies as low as 4
, for low power consumption (single-digit milliwatts or microwatts). They will generally have the ability to retain functionality while waiting for an event such as a button press or other interrupt; power consumption while sleeping (CPU clock and most peripherals off) may be just nanowatts, making many of them well suited for long lasting battery applications. Other microcontrollers may serve performance-critical roles, where they may need to act more like a
digital signal processor
(DSP), with higher clock speeds and power consumption.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 12 December), licensed under
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Programmable logic controller
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