Thursday, November 12, 2009

Microcontrollers...............

History..........

The first microcontroller was the Intel 8048, released in 1976.

The popularity of microcontrollers increased when EEPROM memory was incorporated to replace one time programmable PROM memory. With EEPROM, the development cycle of programming, testing and erasing a part could be repeated many times with the same part until the firmware was debugged and ready for production use.

Nowadays microcontrollers are low cost and readily available for hobbyists.

Brief for Microcontrollers..............
A microcontroller (also MCU or ┬ÁC) is a computer-on-a-chip. It is a type of microprocessor emphasizing high integration, low power consumption, self-sufficiency and cost-effectiveness, in contrast to a general-purpose microprocessor (the kind used in a PC). In addition to the usual arithmetic and logic elements of a general purpose microprocessor, the microcontroller typically integrates additional elements such as read-write memory for data storage, read-only memory, such as flash for code storage, EEPROM for permanent data storage, peripheral devices, and input/output interfaces. At clock speeds of as little as a few MHz or even lower, microcontrollers often operate at very low speed compared to modern day microprocessors, but this is adequate for typical applications. They consume relatively little power (milliwatts), and will generally have the ability to sleep while waiting for an interesting peripheral event such as a button press to wake them up again to do something. Power consumption while sleeping may be just nanowatts, making them ideal for low power and long lasting battery applications.

Microcontrollers are frequently used in automatically controlled products and devices, such as automobile engine control systems, remote controls, office machines, appliances, power tools, and toys. By reducing the size, cost, and power consumption compared to a design using a separate microprocessor, memory, and input/output devices, microcontrollers make it economical to electronically control many more processes.


Secure.....
Maxim's secure microcontrollers encrypt program and data memory, thus preventing unauthorized system access. This memory encryption makes them ideal for applications requiring absolute protection of code and data, such as passwords and PINs.
Battery-Backed Technology "Zeroizes" Internal SRAM Upon Tamper Event
DES/3DES Encryption Prevents External Bus Eavesdropping

Reference: My Previous Blog

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