Computer Hardware Terms, Glossary and Dictionary
Microcontroller is a computer-on-a-chip optimised to control electronic devices. It is designed specifically for specific tasks such as controling a specific system, in contrast to a general-purpose microprocessor, the kind used in a PC. A typical microcontroller contains an integrated CPU, all the memory and I/O interfaces needed on the same chip, whereas a general purpose microprocessor requires additional chips to provide these necessary functions. Examples of microcontrollers are Microchip's PIC, the 8051, Intel's 80196, and Motorola's 68HCxx series.