Components of Microcontroller
Prerequisites: Microcontroller and its Types
The microcontroller is essentially a simple mini-computer embedded on a single integrated chip, it requires many of the same basic components as a larger and more complex computer. The following are essential microcontroller components:
The CPU is the main component of the controller. It contains the arithmetic logic unit and the registers, stack pointer, program counter, accumulator register, register file, etc.
Microcontrollers/Microprocessors are manufactured with three types of memories:
- Flash memory
- RAM Memory
- EEPROM memory
The memory is divided into program memory and data memory. DMA controller handles data transfers between peripherals components and the memory.
By setting the relevant bits in the interrupt controller registers, an interrupt controller offers a programmable governing policy that enables software to choose which peripheral or device can interrupt the processor at any given time.
Timer / Counter:
Most controllers have at least one and more Timers / Counters. A timer is a type of clock that is used to measure time intervals. A counter is a device that records the number of times a specific event or process occurred about a clock signal.
This is one of the main features of the microcontroller. A digital I/O board is an interface board that allows a computer to input and output digital signals in parallel. I/O pins vary from 3-4 to over 90.
Most Of Microcontrollers Have Integrated Analog / Digital Converters.
The serial interface can be used to download the program and for general communication with the development PC. Serial interfaces can also communicate with external peripheral devices. Most controllers include a variety of interfaces such as SPI, SCI, PCI, USB, and Ethernet.
The process of debugging involves finding and fixing current and potential flaws commonly known as “bugs” in software code that may cause it to act erratically or crash. Some controllers include additional hardware that enables remote debugging of the chip from a PC.