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Friday, April 16, 2010

What is microcontroller and why it is used

We live in electronics age.Electronic stuffs are all around us and doing a lot of works for us every day...every moment.Many of them are quite smart and complex too.For example,let's take a look at a very familiar thing...mobile phone!They are like small computers and have so many functionalities. Of course these functions...no matter how complex... are built with many logics...to know what logic is...simply visit this link.
Now...to make this logic gates "electronically",there are many logic gate IC's available or you may make them using simple equipments like relays,transistors etc.You can do this when you are building a very simple circuit. But...what about complex ones...huh?Like your mobile phone?there you need to control the LCD,display various informations on it...that requires very complex logic operation,let alone controlling other thing such as network communication,phone book,internet ,application...bla bla bla.Well,if u want to make a phone without microcontroller, then the size would be as big as a truck(!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and to add a new function,you will have to change the entire circuit.Well...there is one thing that will stand with you to face such challenges...microcontroller. Image : Atmega16 Microcontroller (We will use it)
Microcontroller is a small computer in a single chip.I mean,it has almost everything a computer consists of...CPU,RAM,Non- Volatile memory like Hard disk(not actually like that,in a solid state form without any rotating parts).Like a computer you can program it and through it's I/O pins,you can send command or take datas for processing.And logics can be programmed,so you don't need a truck size board now(Yeppi!) .So, your circuits can now be extremely small...highly customizable...and very easy...and secure.Now where is this security stuff coming from...right?
Well...you want to sell a complex (with many logics) circuit you have built with great labour.You sell it...and someone buys it and copies it and...sells it at a lower price..because he has just copied it...so he can cut the extra cost you added for research(ohhhh)...but if that was a microcontroller based one...you could just "lock" the microcontroller code and sell it and...that copier guy cannot make your circuit because he doesn't have your code to run the circuit(Now do that...copier).So it makes your work easy and safe too.
Now...where can we find microcontrollers?Well...they are everywhere,mobile phone,washing machine,microwave oven,television,printer,photocopier,modem,toys(aaahhh)...and many other.
So,we can say that...they have become a part of our life

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