Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller Applications

The two words Microcontroller and Microprocessor look alike but there is a lot of difference between these two ICs. The chip on the microprocessor has the same CPU as most Intel processors, but the microcontroller includes the CPU or processor as well as RAM, ROM and other peripherals. The two ICs (Microcontroller and Microprocessor) have different applications and have their own advantages and disadvantages. They can be distinguished in terms of applications, architecture, internal parameters, power consumption and cost. Let’s look in detail at the difference between a microprocessor and a microcontroller.


Microcontroller vs Micropro

Difference between Microprocessor and Microcontroller

Applications of Microcontroller and Microprocessor:

The Microcontroller is designed for a specific task and the program is built into the MCU chip, it cannot be easily modified and you may need special tools to re-record it. The microcontroller process is fixed according to your application. So it does some processing based on the input given to the microcontroller and gives pre-defined results as output. Input can be given by the user or by sensors.

The Microcontroller used in many electronic devices such as washing machines, microwaves, and timers. On these machines, the process is pre-defined, which may require some user input to give a pre-defined output. Tell the washing machine, after the user has set the input parameters, to wash the clothes according to the input parameter. So the basic task for the washing machine is solved. You can do nothing more than wash the machine.

The Microprocessor used in applications like where the task is not pre defined by user. It is used in Electronic equipment’s like Mobiles, Computers, Video Game Consoles, Televisions, etc., where the work is not static and depends on the user. Generally, a microprocessor is used where intensive processing is required. The laptop is the best example of using a microprocessor. The laptop can be used for media streaming, emulation, image editing, web browsing, gaming, document creation and more.

Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller: Applications



  • A microprocessor is a controlling unit of a micro-computer wrapped inside a small chip.
  • A microcontroller is a chip optimized to control electronic devices.
  • Microprocessor consists of only a Central Processing Unit.
  • Micro Controller contains a CPU, Memory, I/O all integrated into one chip.
  • Microprocessor is used in Personal Computers whereas Micro Controller is used in an embedded system.
  • Micro Controller is used in an embedded system.
  • Microprocessor uses an external bus to interface to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals.
  • Microcontroller uses an internal controlling bus.
  • Microprocessor is complicated and expensive, with a large number of instructions to process.
  • Microcontroller is inexpensive and straightforward with fewer instructions to process.
  • Microprocessors are based on Von Neumann model
  • Micro controllers are based on Harvard architecture


Types of Microprocessor

types of Microprocessors are:

  • Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors
  • The Application Specific Integrated Circuit
  • Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessors
  • Digital Signal Multiprocessors (DSPs)

Types of Microcontroller

types of Microcontroller:

  • 8 bit Microcontroller
  • 16 bit Microcontroller
  • 32 bit Microcontroller
  • Embedded Microcontroller
  • External memory Microcontroller

Applications of Microprocessor

Microprocessors are mainly used in devices like:

  • Calculators
  • Accounting system
  • Games machine
  • Complex industrial controllers
  • Traffic light
  • Control data
  • Military applications
  • Defense systems
  • Computation systems

Applications of Microcontroller

Microcontrollers are mainly used in devices like:

  • Mobile phones
  • Automobiles
  • CD/DVD players
  • Washing machines
  • Cameras
  • Security alarms
  • Keyboard controllers
  • Microwave oven
  • Watches
  • Mp3 players


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