Microprocessor vs. Microcomputer

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Microprocessor and Microcomputer is that the Microprocessor is a computer processor contained on an integrated-circuit chip and Microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer.

  • Microprocessor

    A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits. The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock driven, register based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory and provides results as output. Microprocessors contain both combinational logic and sequential digital logic. Microprocessors operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary number system.

    The integration of a whole CPU onto a single or a few integrated circuits greatly reduced the cost of processing power. Integrated circuit processors are produced in large numbers by highly automated processes, resulting in a low unit price. Single-chip processors increase reliability because there are many fewer electrical connections that could fail. As microprocessor designs improve, the cost of manufacturing a chip (with smaller components built on a semiconductor chip the same size) generally stays the same according to Rock’s law.

    Before microprocessors, small computers had been built using racks of circuit boards with many medium- and small-scale integrated circuits. Microprocessors combined this into one or a few large-scale ICs. Continued increases in microprocessor capacity have since rendered other forms of computers almost completely obsolete (see history of computing hardware), with one or more microprocessors used in everything from the smallest embedded systems and handheld devices to the largest mainframes and supercomputers.

  • Microcomputer

    A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer with a microprocessor as its central processing unit (CPU). It includes a microprocessor, memory, and minimal input/output (I/O) circuitry mounted on a single printed circuit board(PCB). Microcomputers became popular in the 1970s and 1980s with the advent of increasingly powerful microprocessors. The predecessors to these computers, mainframes and minicomputers, were comparatively much larger and more expensive (though indeed present-day mainframes such as the IBM System z machines use one or more custom microprocessors as their CPUs). Many microcomputers (when equipped with a keyboard and screen for input and output) are also personal computers (in the generic sense).The abbreviation micro was common during the 1970s and 1980s, but has now fallen out of common usage.

  • Microprocessor (noun)

    the entire CPU of a computer on a single integrated circuit (chip).

  • Microcomputer (noun)

    A computer designed around a microprocessor, smaller than a minicomputer or a mainframe.


Microprocessor Illustrations

Microcomputer Illustrations

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