Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

What is Microprocessor?

microprocessor is an electronic component that is used by a computer to do its work. It is a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit chip containing millions of very small components including transistors, resistors, and diodes that work together.

Which is capable of performing arithmetic as well as logical operations according to a predefined set of instructions.

What is a Microcontroller?

A microcontroller is a small computer on a single integrated circuit. In modern terminology, it is similar to but less sophisticated than, a system on a chip or SoC; an SoC may include a microcontroller as one of its components.

The integrated chip contains a CPU, RAM, Register Arrays, ROM/Flash memory for program storage, timer etc…

Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller


  • A microprocessor is a multipurpose, Programmable clock-driven, a register-based electronic device that reads binary instruction from a storage device and accepts binary data as input and processes that and gives the desired output.
  • A microprocessor is manufactured by using LSI and VLSI techniques.
  • The microprocessor is widely used as a re-programmable system and embedded system.
  • The microprocessor is used in microcomputers and the microprocessor is used for computing and data processing.
  • It is dependent on the other unit. This chip requires the use of other chips such as timers, program and data memory chips, interrupt controllers, etc…
  • Microprocessors are usually designed and operated as general-purpose devices.


  • In simple terms, Microcomputers are also known as Microcontrollers.
  • Microcontrollers are used to perform some dedicated functions or as slaves in a distributed processing system.
  • Generally, they include all the essential elements of a computer on a single chip. MPU, R/W memory, ROM, and I/O Lines.
  • It is a self-contained unit and it doesn’t require an external interrupt controller, timer, etc…
  • Microcontrollers are mostly application-oriented or domain-specific.
  • Most of the processors contain multiple built-in I/O ports which can be operated as a single 8, 16 & 32 bit.

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