Document created by GUO XIAOLI Employee on Jul 12, 2012Last modified by GUO XIAOLI Employee on Jul 13, 2012
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A microcontroller includes a microprocessor (CPU) as well as a number of other components like RAM, flash and EEPROM to store your programs and constants. While a microprocessor requires external devices to control things like input/output, or timers to implement periodic tasks, and digital to analog converters, a microcontroller is all inclusive. Contrast this all-in-one approach with a typical personal computer which contains an INTEL or AMD CPU, as well as separate chips for RAM, a separate video card, a dedicated hard drive, silicon chips or PCI circuit boards to enable the processor to access USB, serial and video card signals

Microcontroller pins are general purpose, whereas CPU pins are specific. This means that each pin is tied to a multiplexer which you must set to choose the particular use for the pin.

For example, in a microcontroller, one pin pin might be re-purposed for the following tasks

1. The output of a timer
2. Send a signal to a motor
3. Receive an input from a sensor or analog device

Basic Concepts Covered Thus far:

  • Blink an LED - overview of GPIO and setting up the microcontroller
  • Drive a Motor - using the Timer and PWM modules of the microcontroller
  • Turn a Servo - More details on using timer modules and PWM to control a servo
  • Obtain Data from the Line Scan Camera - ADC Setup and GPIO Bit Blasting to create clock and pulse signals controlling the line scan camera
  • I2C tutorial - Using I2C to communicate with various sensors using the K40
  • Button - An overview of how to implement a simple button

Additional Concepts we would like to add to the Wiki: