Introduction To Microprocessor - Importance and Use


What is the definition of a microprocessor? We must examine this fundamental component when our lives become more tech-centric and consequently tech-dependent. After all, microprocessors are incorporated into everything from computers, laptops, and smartphones to smart home gadgets, game consoles, and self-driving automobiles. Microprocessors are what allow these gadgets to work. 

The Intel 4004 was the first microprocessor created by INTEL in 1971. It was not very popular because the microprocessor built the Intel 4004 on a 4-bit CPU. The Intel 4004 could only execute addition and subtraction on four bits at a time. In 1974, Intel introduced the new Intel 8080 personal computer. It runs on an 8-bit CPU. Intel invented the 8085 CPU in 1976; however, it was not an innovation since it was an improved version of the 8080 microprocessor. Two Enable/Disable Instructions, three interrupt pins, and serial I/O pins are coupled for the 8085 microprocessor. 

Intel unveiled the new 8086 microprocessor in 1976. Because it is based on 16 bits, the 8086 is superior to the 8085. 

All microprocessors did not support Floating-point instructions. The term “floating point” refers to a decimal value (456.23). 

Later, Intel created a new 8087 microprocessor, the first math co-processor, integrated it into an IBM PC. 

Other new processors, such as the 8088,80286,80386,80486, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium IV, Core 2Duo, Dual Core, and Quad Core processors, have entered the market as a result of increased efforts by microprocessor firms. 

January 14, 2022
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Table of Contents

What is a microprocessor?

Firstly, A microprocessor is an integral part of a computer’s design; without it, you won’t do anything with it. Second, it’s a programmable device that takes in data, performs arithmetic and logical operations, and outputs the required results. A microprocessor, in basic terms, is a digital device on a chip that can retrieve data and instructions, decode and execute them, and return results. 

It accepts machine language instructions and executes them, informing the processor what to perform. While running the instruction, it does three things. First, it uses its Arithmetic and Logical Unit to execute certain fundamental operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and certain logical operations (ALU). Newer it can also work with floating-point numbers. What may transfer the data in the microprocessor from one area to another? The microprocessor contains a Program Counter (PC) register that holds the following instruction address depending on the value of the PC. Then, the microprocessor jumps from one place to the next and chooses. 

Microprocessor Operation 

The CPU executes the instruction in the following order: Fetch, Decode, and Execute. These instructions are first placed in the computer’s storage memory sequentially. Then, it retrieves those instructions from memory, decodes them, and executes them until the STOP instruction is received. The register stores temporary data between these procedures, and the ALU (Arithmetic and Logic Unit) performs the computations. 

A microprocessor comprises an ALU, control unit, and register array. The ALU conducts arithmetic and logical operations on the input device or memory data. Moreover, the control unit regulates the instructions and data flow inside the computer. Furthermore, the register array comprises registers designated by letters like B, C, D, E, H, L, and accumulator. 

Microprocessor and Microcontroller 


microcontroller is a semiconductor specialized in controlling electrical devices. The microcontroller is stored in a single integrated circuit that executes a specific duty and executes one unique program. It is mainly designed circuits for embedded applications and is commonly utilized in autonomously operated electrical equipment. It comprises a memory, CPU, and programmable I/O. 


A microprocessor is a microcomputer’s control unit contained on a tiny chip. It conducts Arithmetic Logical Unit (ALU) operations and interacts with the other devices. It is a single Integrated Circuit where numerous functionalities do the microprocessor merge. 

Microprocessor consists of merely a Central Processing Unit, while Micro Controller comprises a CPU, Memory, I/O all combined onto one chip. The microprocessor is utilized in Personal Computers, while Micro Controllers use embedded systems. 

A Microprocessor utilizes an external bus to connect to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals. On the other hand, the microcontroller operates an internal controlling bus. The Von Neumann paradigm underpins microprocessors. The microprocessor is sophisticated and costly, with many instructions to process, whereas the microcontroller is affordable and accessible with fewer instructions to execute. 

Key differences of Microcontroller  

The microprocessor is the brain of a computer system. Because it is merely a CPU, memory and I/O components must be attached outside. Because memory and I/O must be linked outside, the circuit grows. Therefore, it cannot be used in compact systems. 

The total cost of the system is considerable. The overall power consumption is mainly due to external components. The majority of microprocessors lack power-saving features. It is mainly found in personal computers. Because a microprocessor has fewer registers, more operations are memory-based. 

The Von Neumann paradigm underpins microprocessors. It is a single silicon-based integrated chip that houses a central processing unit. The chip has no RAM, ROM, I/O units, timers, or peripherals. It connects to RAM, ROM, and other peripherals through an external bus. Because of the technologies involved, microprocessor-based systems may operate rapidly. It is utilized for general-purpose applications that can manage large amounts of data. It is complex and costly, with many instructions to process. 


The MicroController is the core of an embedded system. The microController features a CPU combined with internal memory and I/O components. Memory and I/O are already there, and the internal circuit is modest. Therefore, they may utilize it in remote systems. 

Therefore, the cost of the overall system is modest. As external components are minimal, overall power consumption is minor. So it can be utilized with devices operating on stored power like batteries. Most of the microcontrollers feature power-saving mode. It is mainly utilized in washing machines, MP3 players, and embedded systems. 

A microcontroller has a more extensive register. Hence the programs are easy to write. Microcontrollers arc based on Harvard architecture It is a result of the evolution of microprocessors with a CPU and various peripherals. It features a CPU with RAM, ROM, and other peripherals incorporated on a single chip. It employs an internal controlling bus. Microcontroller-based systems operate up to 200MHz or more, depending on the architecture. It is utilized for application-specific systems. It is straightforward and economical, with fewer amount of instructions to process. 

Microprocessor Applications 

Microprocessors are primarily used in calculators, accounting systems, gaming machines, complex industrial controllers, traffic lights, control data, military applications, defence systems, and computation systems. 

Microcontroller Applications 

Microcontrollers are often found in mobile phones, automobiles, CD/DVD players, washing machines, cameras, security alarms, keyboard controllers, microwave ovens, watches, and MP3 players. 

Microprocessor Types 

Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors, Application Specific Integrated Circuits, Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessors, and Digital Signal Multiprocessors are all important forms of microprocessors (DSPs). 

Microcontroller Types 

The following are some of the most common kinds of microcontrollers: 8-bit microcontrollers, 16-bit microcontrollers, 32-bit microcontrollers, embedded microcontrollers, and external memory microcontrollers are all examples of embedded systems. 

Microprocessor architecture 

The microprocessor is a single integrated circuit (IC) that integrates and fabricates multiple important functionalities on a single silicon semiconductor chip. A central processor unit, memory modules, a system bus, and an input/output unit make up its architecture. 

The system bus links the different modules to make information transfer easier. It also has data, addresses, and control buses to ensure effective data exchange. The arithmetic logic units (ALU), registers, and a control unit make up the central processing unit. The generations of the microprocessor may also be categorized based on the registers. A microprocessor comprises general-purpose and special-purpose registers used to execute instructions and store data or addresses while the program executes. The ALU calculates all arithmetic and logic operations on data and determines the microprocessor size, such as 16 bit or 32 bit. The memory unit, separated from the processor, central, and secondary memory, stores the software and the data. The I/O peripheral devices are connected to the CPU via the input and output unit, accepting and sending data. 

Unique Purpose Designs for Microprocessors come in various special-purpose designs, including the following:

A DSP (digital signal processor) is a specialized processor used to process signals. GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) are mainly used for real-time picture rendering. Several kinds of specialized computers handle machine vision and video processing. Microcontrollers use peripheral devices to include a microprocessor in embedded systems. SOCs (Systems on Chip) often include microcontroller/microprocessor cores and other components such as radio modems. Tablets, smartphones, and other devices may use these modems.  

Electronics and Communication engineering jobs 

Consumer electronics manufacturing organizations, automotive, telecommunications & IT industries, health care equipment manufacturing, mobile communication (2G, 3G, and 4G), Internet technologies, Power Electronics, and other industries such as steel, petroleum, and chemical industries are all options for ECE students. ECE students may work in the design, production, installation, operation, and maintenance of electronics equipment and systems in government and commercial sectors. Because of the integration of electronics into numerous new industrial verticals, new possibilities and paths are opening for electronics and communication experts. Self-driving automobiles, autonomous drone logistics, robotics, industrial automation, intelligent energy systems, and other cutting-edge technology are just a few examples. However, getting to know these businesses would be difficult since they need engineers who are more hands-on with cutting-edge technology. 

You can also become a Subject Matter Expert with Chegg.

ECE engineers may work on a variety of significant technologies 

Mobile phones, Wi-Fi, and television will cease to exist without analogue and radiofrequency circuits. Various sectors have sprung up to fulfil customer expectations, creating many work prospects for electronics engineers. 

Communication and Signal Processing 

This technology is used to transmit, store, and analyze information signals. 

Computer & Digital Systems 

With computers, all industries can grow technologically quicker than before. From smartwatches to Mars rovers, digital systems are ubiquitous. 


As the internet has grown in popularity, we see 3G and 4G services that make it easier for businesses and sectors to interact with one another. Engineers who desire to work in this field have a variety of options. 

Computer vision and image processing 

These technologies aid computers in medicine, surveying, and photogrammetry. With magneto-resonance imaging technology, we now have medical gadgets that can analyze data to show pictures and diagnose ailments. 

Robotics and control systems 

As technology advances, more and more companies incorporate automation and robotics into their processes to increase efficiency. Many more sectors are likely to use these technologies in the upcoming years. 

Remote Sensing 

Radio waves communicate between mobile devices, radios, and other internet-connected equipment. Remote sensing is used in various technologies, from mapping to navigation. 


Nanotechnology is responsible for today’s more efficient solar cells, quicker transistors, tracking chips, and minuscule sensors. Several sectors use this technique to make their goods smaller and more efficient. 

Sustainable Energy & Power Systems 

Companies are now spending a lot of money and effort on more efficient solar cells, windmills, and systems that can produce electricity from the tides, among other things. Electronic engineers may work in a variety of fields because of this technology. 

Energy Storage Technology 

As the globe transitions to renewable energy sources, the need for energy storage systems is expected to expand rapidly. This transformation will need energy storage systems that are both grid-level and unit-level practical in size, cost, and energy efficiency. Materials, engineering, and other optimizations are now the subject of extensive study. 


The above article Introduction to microprocessor – definition and scope gives you a detailed view of microprocessors and microcontrollers. Chegg is an e-learning firm that leases out digital and physical textbooks. Chegg was also providing online tutoring and other resources to students. Chegg’s online tutoring connects millions of students with thousands of tutors worldwide. Furthermore, Chegg India employs Indian subject matter experts to respond to students’ questions through our Chegg Study site, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So select a topic, become an expert in that industry, answer inquiries whenever and wherever you choose and make money from home. 

Continue reading

To read more related articles, click here.