Micro-controllers 101

A micro-controller is a computer! That is, it is a chip with a CPU (central processing unit), that has inputs, outputs and memory (RAM).


Micro-controllers are “special purpose computers.” They are made to primarily run just one program and perform one task (while the computer you and I are on is made to run thousands of programs). Because of this they are generally quite small and low power and low cost.

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Micro-controllers are often embedded inside another device, often a consumer product.  For example, a microwave has a micro-controller inside of it that takes input from the keypad and displays an output on the display and then runs a program that turns the power generator on and off.



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