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Microcontroller Viva Questions and Answers

What are the various criteria to choose the microcontroller?
The important criteria to be considered in choosing micro controllers are:
(1) Availability of software development tools like compilers, debuggers,
(2) Meeting the computing needs of the task at hand efficiently at lowcost.
(3) Wide availability
(4) Reliable sources/manufacturers
(5) The amount of RAM and ROM on chip
(6) The number of I/O pins and the timer on the chip
(7) Power consumption
(8) Speed of the device
(9) Packaging
(10) Cost per unit.

What is meant by micro controller?
Microcontroller is a small chip that has in-build Micro processor, memory,
ports, timers and converter. Micro controllers are designed for specific
use. For instance, micro controller in TV remote is mainly designed for
controlling TV.

What is an interrupt?
Hardware or software can communicate to micro controller through
interrupts. Interrupts are external signal that controls the micro processor.
Interrupt signals are generated by sources like software programs or
hardware controls.

What is an Interrupt service routine?
When micro controller is under sudden interrupt, it will call ISR (Interrupt
service routine) that will store the address of current memory address and
takes the control to new interrupt memory address. After the interrupt,
the control will transfer back to its previous address.

[4] List out some of the features of the 8051? ROM – 4K bytes RAM – 128 bytes Timer – 2 no I/O Pins – 32 Serial Port – 1 Interrupt sources – 6 [5] What are the various types of memories used in microcontroller/microprocessor? ROM – Read Only Memory .What is meant by Register? Registers are temporary storage area in micro controller. because it saves all arithmetic and logical values. List some of the 8051 microcontroller manufacturers? Intel Philips Infineon Maxim/Dellas semiconductor Atmel [3] What is difference between microprocessor and microcontroller? The microprocessor has no ROM.byte memory space. What is an Accumulator? Accumulator has another name called Register 'A'. It can hold a value of 1.ROM. Whereas the microcontroller has a CPU in addition to a fixed amount of RAM. I/O ports and a timer all on a single chip. Accumulator is an important register in 8051. RAM and no I/O ports on the chip itself.

Nible: Group of 4 bits is called a nible. Bit: The binary digits 0 and 1 are called bits. It means it has two stable states.The lenth of the word may varies from four bits to 32 bits. ALU. memory unit. input and output devices. PROM or EPROM is called firmware. It has four component – microprocessor. Byte: Group of 8 bits is called a byte. Collection of such programs is called software. Also collection of two nibles is called a byte. Word: A group of bits that the computer recognises and processes at a time is called a word. Register arrays and control circuits of a computer. It has one or more inputs and two complement outputs. Firmware: The software that is stored permanently in ROM. Here the 4 bits are used for small microprocessors and 32 bits are used for large computers like IBM 370. Various definitions used in microprocessor/microcontrollers: Microprocessor: A semiconductor device manufactured using the LSI or VLSI technology. Hardware : The physical components of the computer are called hardware. It has all the functions of Central Processing Unit (CPU). Instructions: A command formed using binary digits that are recognised and executed . ie.RAM – Random Access Memory PROM – Programmable Read Only Memory EPROM – Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory EEROM – Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory [6] What is meant by Flipflop? A Flip-flop is a basic electronic circuit used for storing information in a digital machine. It is a bistable device. Microcomputer: It is designed using microprocessor as its CPU. Software: Set of instructions written for the computer to perform a task is called a program.

1) are transmitted. For a single bit to transmit. .by the computer to perform as task. It is a communication path over which electrical signals representing binary digits ( 0. Address Bus:  Group of lines used by the microprocessor to send the address of the device or the memory location which the microprocessor needs to access.  The width of the address bus determines the maximum number of memory locations that the microprocessor can access. Program: Sequence of instructions that are written for the computer to perform a particular task is called as program. Data Bus:  Group of lines that transmit data in and out of the microprocessor is called the data bus.  Hence the data bus is bidirectional. The width of the data bus depends on the architecture of the microprocessor.  Here the data can flow in both directions between the microprocessor and the peripheral devices. Multiplexing:  Using a single bus for two different functions is called multiplexing. Peripherals: The input or output devices that are connected to a microprocessor are called as peripherals. The width of the bus is number of lines that are used to constitute that bus. one line is used.  The address bits flow in one direction. In some cases. Bus: Group of lines connecting the microprocessor with other components of a computer system is called a bus. an 8 bit processor can operate on 8 bits of data at a time and has a 8 bit wide data bus. Group of one or more words forms an instruction. ie.  Hence the address bus is unidirectional. memory is also considered as a peripheral.  For an example. from the microprocessor to the peripheral devices.

 These lines are also used as low order address bus during execution of instructions.AD0 lines.  This is called as multiplexing. For an example.  These lines are called as multiplexed address/data bus. in 8085 microprocessor the low order 8 bits of the address and data are transmitted using AD7. .  Thus the same lines are used for transmitting address and data.