Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

Microprocessor vs Microcontroller

A microprocessor and a microcontroller are both essentially processors that are designed to run computers. The type of the computer machinery that the two run is different, though essentially the main task of both the microprocessor and the microcontroller is the same. Both are generally termed as the core of any machinery that has a computerized form. One is a specialized form of processor whereas the other is found in all computers.


Microprocessors are normally called what we refer to as a Central Processing Unit, also commonly known as the heart and the brain of any computing machine. A microprocessor is required to perform an array of tasks. These are of general purpose and therefore it is said that the microprocessor is essential to perform the logical operations. The microprocessors are configured into microchips to serve their purpose of start a computer and boot commands as and when the computer is prompted to do so.


Microcontrollers are specific in nature to the task they need to perform. Usually found present in automobiles and appliances, the microcontroller has a microprocessor on its board to carry out all the logical operations of the gadget. The microcontroller once programmed, can work on its own since it has a stored set of instructions that it executes as and when required. A microcontroller can be easily said to be a small microprocessor that has a CPU, RAM, ROM and the input and output ports all embedded on the single microchip.

Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

The major difference between a microprocessor and a microcontroller are their functions. Where a microprocessor has more generalized functions, a microcontroller is more specific to its task.

A microprocessor may not also be programmed to handle real-time tasks whereas a microcontroller such as in devices that need to control temperature of water or perhaps measure the temperature of a room require real time monitoring and therefore with its inbuilt set of instructions the microcontroller works on its own.

A microprocessor requires constant input by a human such as in a personal computer so that instructions can be boot. A microprocessor is the memory of the computing machine whereas the microcontroller integrates the entire computer in a single chip. Not only does it have the memory embedded in, it also has input and output ports plus peripherals such as timers and converters. All this can be handled with a single touch.


Both microprocessors and microcontrollers have to run commands and therefore run a device on its own, however it’s the minute architectural design of the microcontroller that leaves a person interested in awe of the tasks it can perform when it is compared to a microprocessor. When a person requires running a word document or a video game on their computers they are essentially using the microprocessor, and when they have to work a microwave oven, they are working a microcontroller. Therefore, microcontrollers are more specific to the appliance they are configured for.

  • Mahi

    Explanation is very Nice..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BOH2ZXWABCDXMOFCYK3Z5HVVRQ Mashal

    thanx 4 helping us

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BOH2ZXWABCDXMOFCYK3Z5HVVRQ Mashal

    the explanation is so good or simple nd it easy to learn or understand.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BOH2ZXWABCDXMOFCYK3Z5HVVRQ Mashal