Microprocessors regulate electron flow, whereas integrated circuits control proton flow. Other than this, a microprocessor is different in many ways from an integrated circuit.
The brain of an electrical circuit is a microprocessor. An integrated circuit is a microprocessor, however not all integrated circuits are microprocessors. So, it can be said that a microprocessor belongs to the family of integrated circuits.
How is a Microprocessor Different from an Integrated Circuit
A microprocessor is an integrated circuit that includes many transistors that create multiple gates and logic operations to serve as a processor. An integrated circuit is a collection of numerous transistors that may be configured to perform a variety of purposes besides processing.
It might be digital, analog, or a combination of the two. There might be thousands of applications within digital and analog operations. In other words, while a microprocessor is always an integrated circuit, an integrated circuit does not always have to be a microprocessor.
An integrated circuit is a semiconductor chip component that contains hundreds to billions of transistors. It is not done by decreasing hundreds of normal 3-legged NPN transistors though. The integrated circuit is constructed by assembling the fundamental structure of MOS transistors on a tiny piece of a silicon wafer.
The MOS transistors are coupled in such a way that they perform the same function as a bigger configuration. The concept of downsizing circuits to the size of a thumb was popular. This is because it saves money, space, and affects the way electronics are constructed throughout time.
Different Types of ICs
There are several varieties of ICs. Integrated Circuits are classified depending on a variety of parameters. A few types of integrated circuits (ICs) in a system are depicted in the picture below, along with their names in a tree structure. Analog ICs, digital ICs, and mixed ICs are the 3 types of integrated circuits.
Integrated circuits are widely used in industrial facilities and robotics, as well as in vehicles, aviation controls, etc. The applications of integrated circuits are written below.
- Amplifiers of power
- Amplifiers for small signals
- Amplifiers for operational use
- Microwave power amplifiers
- Amplifiers for RF and IF
- Comparators of voltage
- Receivers of radio signals
- Regulators of voltage
- Gates of logic
- Chips for calculators
- Chips for memory
- Chips for clocks
- Sensors for measuring temperature
Advantages of Integrated Circuits
- It is simple to replace
- It is appropriate for tiny signal operation.
- Increased capacity to function at high temperatures
- When there is no parasitic or capacitance impact, the operation speed increases.
- When compared to whole discrete circuits, the weight of an IC is quite little.
It serves as the brain of circuits that demand computational power. The first microprocessors contained thousands of transistors on a silicon wafer, but the number has already surpassed billions. The AMD Epyc Rome processor, which was announced in 2019, contains over 39 billion transistors.
A microprocessor, unlike other integrated circuits, serves as a computer brain. It can execute logical and arithmetic instructions that have been programmed into it. A microprocessor is made up of three parts: an arithmetic and logic unit (ALU), a control unit, and a register array.
Uses of Microprocessor
- Personal computers employ microprocessors (PCs).
- Microprocessors are utilized in LASER printers to increase speed and make automated photocopies.
- Microprocessors are utilized in modems, telephones, digital telephone sets, as well as air and train reservation systems.
- In medical instruments, microprocessors are used to assess temperature and blood pressure.
- It’s also found in cell phones and televisions.
- It’s found in calculators and video games.
- It is employed in accounting and data collecting systems.
- It has military uses.
- It is also used to regulate traffic lights.
- Microprocessors are found in household goods such as microwave ovens and washing machines.
- Microprocessor vs. Integrated Circuit in Electronics Design
Types of Microprocessor
There are three types of microprocessors namely
- CISC – Intel 386, Intel 486, Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, etc.
- RISC – IBM RS6000, DEC Alpha 21064, DEC Alpha 21164, etc.
- EPIC – IA-64 (Intel Architecture-64), etc.
Advantages of Microprocessor
- The microprocessor is a general-purpose electronic processing unit that may be configured to perform a variety of functions.
- Small in Size
- Power usage is minimal
- It is quite dependable
- Heat production is reduced
- The microprocessor is extremely adaptable
Microprocessor vs Integrated Circuit in Electronics Design
Working with a microprocessor might be a challenging prospect on occasion. Designing using a microprocessor is not the same as designing with traditional ICs. You can easily construct a great design if you’re working with common ICs like differential transceivers or logic gates.
In terms of power supply and speed, these passive ICs are often fairly durable. However, if you make the same mistakes in a design with a microprocessor, you will almost certainly encounter a slew of problems in the prototype. These are known to be power-hungry machines that often operate at hundreds of Hertz.
Integrated Circuits and Microprocessors Advanced Embedded Systems
Integrated circuits have paved the path for today’s powerful embedded systems. The semiconductor chips found in devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers are all integrated circuits that supply the system with the electronic circuitry required to accomplish its intended purpose.
Microprocessors, in particular, are key integrated circuits that embedded system designers frequently employ in their designs. The microprocessor is used to control an embedded system’s CPU functions, which conduct duties such as obtaining and decoding instructions from main memory and utilizing those instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a GPU a microprocessor?
A specialized type of microprocessor is GPU. It has been designed to show images and do extremely particular computational tasks. It operates at a lower clock speed than a CPU but has many more processing cores.
A microprocessor is sensitive to the voltage delivered to it. Ripples or a sudden voltage drop can greatly affect the stability of the microprocessor. So, experimenting with microprocessors needs a lot of caution.