History of Microcontroller

1947: The transistor which is building block for all electronic devices was developed in the year 1947. After the invention of transistor here comes a new era in the field of technology. Before that almost all electronic circuitry were realized the need of vacuum tube

Vacuum tube->

  1. It consumes more power
  2. Large size
  3. Low storage space
  4. Low impedance input


  1. Consumes low power
  2. Comparatively high space
  3. Small size
  4. Low impedance input


1959: This year made another impact in technology with the invention of integrated circuit(IC). A integrated circuit is that in which number of transistors and other components can be fabricated on a single silicon wafer


1965: After the invention of ic, now the demand for maximum transistor that can be accommodated in an ic is very phenomenon. The rate of progression is very fast.
In year 1965 an article was published “cramming more components onto integrated circuits” written by Moore.
In his article he predicts the future of solid state circuit in the next ten year. he said “by 1975,the number of component per integrated circuit for minimum cost will be 65,000”



  • Moore’s initial was (in 1965) that component density would double every year. Then in 1975 he found his prediction that 65,000 transistor in an ic was satisfied. In 1975 he re-modified his statement that component density would double in every 18 months.


1971: In between these years the first microprocessor based on ic was developed by Intel (4004 a 4-bit microprocessor). A microprocessor can be considered as “CPU on a chip”.



1976: again by Intel in 1976 a micro-controller (8048) had been introduced. A micro-controller can be treated as “computer on chip” that is, it not only includes CPU but also put some other components like timer, counter, i/o port etc together.

Advantage of controller over processor

  • Cost reduction
  • Smaller size
  • No need to connect ROM and ram externally to chip as controllers have both ROM and ram internally in it.
  • Low power consumption
  • Both bit and byte addressable property
  • In many applications power consumption, space it takes, price is more critical than processing power.In such field controller is preferable choice over processor. For example, in a.c remote control we don’t need processing power.



As shown below in flow chart, we can easily understand the evolution of Microprocessor.

The micro-controller is nothing but a subset of microprocessor. The two terms might be used interchangeably but both are different. After 1976, according to need these branches were derived as.

1st: It contains the family members (controller) used mainly in embedded systems.

2nd: It is the main purpose microprocessors used for task requiring high processing power.

3rd: It is used for special purposes like digital signal processing.



  • Home appliances
  • Intercom
  • Security systems
  • Answering machines
  • Fax
  • Home pc
  • TV
  • Camcorders
  • Remote controller
  • Toys
  • Microwave
  • Printers
  • Engine control
  • Air bags in automobiles
  • Cellular phones
  • Video games
  • Anti Braking Systems
  • Transmission control



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