Lime Lingo: Microprocessors

What Is A Microprocessor

A microprocessor is a tiny electronic chip found inside electronic devices. Its basic function is to take input, process it and then provide appropriate output. On the surface, its job may seem like an easy task, but modern microprocessors perform trillions of instructions per second. In the beginning, systems were not very effective. Systems used things called “vacuum tubes” that could carry out only a few arithmetic operations. It was not an easy task operating and maintaining them. However, as time went on these machines started becoming more organized, efficient and intelligent. Nowadays we have evolved from the vacuum tubes to small chips which can handle the work that 50,000 vacuum tubes would do in a fraction of the time. These small chips are called “microprocessors” and most electronics that you own have some type of microprocessor in them.

Why does your prototype need a microprocessor?

Now more than ever design companies are incorporating some sort of electronic component in their products design. Many times you will need a microprocessor to carry out the functions of that design. Several products that use microprocessors includes: DVD Players, Cell Phones, Household Appliances, Car Equipment, Toys, Light Switches and Dimmers, Battery Packs.

How to pick the right microprocessor for your prototype

There are many different types of microprocessors to choose from. When looking for the right microprocessor for your prototype try to keep these characteristics in mind.

  • Simple architecture and easy to learn.
  • Currently being used in modern designs
  • The availability of an evaluation module or an applications board
  • Inexpensive.
  • Free or cheap software.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us to find out if a microprocessor is the right fit for your product.

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