What is Microcontroller Unit (MCU)?

An electrical device's microcontroller is a tiny integrated chip. It is comparable to a CPU but has embedded memory and other parts.

Typical microprocessor components include the following:

  • CPU - ranging from a simple 4-bit processor to a full-blown 64-bit processor
  • Flash memory - a type of non-volatile memory used to store data with or without electrical power
  • RAM - high-speed volatile memory used to store data temporarily
  • Wireless communications - transmitters or receivers for sending and receiving wireless signals
  • I/O interface - serial ports or other connectors for peripheral devices

The length and width of some MCUs are several centimeters. Others are incredibly tiny, measuring less than one millimeter in both length and breadth. The majority of microcontrollers are reasonably smooth because they are integrated circuits. Various kinds of microcontrollers are illustrated below:

  • a temperature sensor in a washing machine or dryer
  • an image processor on a digital camera
  • a motion tracker in a smartwatch
  • a Wi-Fi transmitter in a smart appliance
  • a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in a powered speaker

Microcontrollers are found in almost all electrical products. Many have numerous MCUs that work together. Numerous microcontrollers may be found in a car, for example, used for human interaction, transmission, and sensing functions.

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