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Microcontrollers, as the name suggests, are small controllers. They are like single chip
computers that are often embedded into other systems to function as
processing/controlling unit. For example, the remote control you are using probably has
microcontrollers inside that do decoding and other controlling functions. They are also
used in automobiles, washing machines, microwave ovens, toys ... etc, where automation
Microcontrollers sometimes are called single-chip computers because they have
on-chip memory and I/O circuitry and other circuitries that enable them to
function as small standalone computers without other supporting circuitry.
Microcontrollers often use EEPROM or EPROM as their storage device to allow field programmability so they are flexible to use. Once the program is tested to be correct then large quantities of microcontrollers can be programed to be used in embedded systems.
Assembly language is often used in microcontrollers and since they usually
follow a RISC architecture, the instruction set is small. The development package
of microcontrollers often includes an assembler, a simulator, a programmer to
"burn" the chip and a demonstration board. Some packages include a high level
language compiler such as a C compiler and more sophisicated libraries.
Despite it\u2019s relatively old age, the 8051 is one of the most popular microcontrollers in use
today. Many derivative microcontrollers have since been developed that are based on--
and compatible with--the 8051. Thus, the ability to program an 8051 is an important skill
for anyone who plans to develop products that will take advantage of microcontrollers.
\u20228 bit ALU, with two registers A & B
\u202211 bit Program Counter & Data Pointer
\u20228 bit Program Status Word
\u20228bit Stack Pointer
\u2022128 bytes Internal RAM
\ue0014 register banks, each containing 8 registers.
\ue00116 bytes, which may be addressed at bit level.
\ue00180 bytes of general purpose data memory.
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