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AVR Microcontroller: Getting Started from the Beginning

I am going to start a new blog series on AVR Microcontroller. This series is for those who are interested to learn microcontrollers. Before that let’s discuss what is microcontroller?

In simple words, a microcontroller is a complete computer system. This might be confusing first. but trust me this is true. Think about a computer. what are the main parts of a computer?

  • Processor
  • RAM
  • Hard disk
  • Input device like a mouse
  • Output device like a monitor
Microcontroller and PC Comparision
Microcontroller and PC Comparision

Now let’s analyze what is inside a microcontroller. A microcontroller is a small integrated chip that has

  • Processor
  • RAM
  • Memory
  • Input pin
  • Output pin
  •  A lot of peripherals

So microcontroller has everything that a conventional computer system has. You might be wondered that you can get a microcontroller within a dollar or cents. This seems impossible. But the microcontroller price is indeed very low.

Price Comparision of Microcontroller and Computer

So the price comparison image explains everything on the price issue. But it also created another concussion that a microcontroller is less powerful than a computer system.

Actually, that depends on the application. Think about your air conditioner. It is just doing one job. Maintaining room temperature according to your setpoint. So if you use a computer system for this small task the solution is not going to be economically feasible. So microcontroller is used in that application that is less computation and performs a specific task.