The Difference Between Single-Chip Microcomputer Vs Micro-controller Vs Microprocessor

Are you struggling with the decision of deciding to buy a single-chip microcomputer, or micro-controller, or microprocessor? Well, you’ve come to the right place for we will share the main differences that will guide your purchase.

In comparing the three technologies, we will look at them individually, thereafter, mention the main differences.

Single-Chip Microcomputer

The best way to define a microcomputer is by its size, price, and capability. In terms of size, it is relatively smaller than a microprocessor and micro-controller. It is relatively inexpensive. It is a limited capability computer.

A single-chip microcomputer has the same architectural structure found in computers. The size of the microcomputer has continuously been reduced, and nowadays you will find their size being similar to the size of a notebook.

They can be accessed easily because of their relatively cheaper price. However, they are not very powerful and have limited internal operations and instructions. One of the best examples of a microcomputer is the Commodore 64, which was the bestselling model.


Defined by size and cost, a micro-controller is small and of low cost. It has a special design for performing specific tasks such as receiving remote signals and displaying microwave information.

An ideal micro-controller should have the processor, memory (RAM, ROM, and EPROM), peripherals (timers and counters), serial ports, etc.

There are various types of micro-controllers such as Bit, Memory, and Instruction Set. These types have their subcategories, which define how they are used further.

Micro-controllers have various functions such as light sensing, temperature sensing, fire detection, and measuring devices.


The main function of a microprocessor is to process micro-instructions. The instructions are coded in the form of 0s and 1s.

Usually, the microprocessor is available as a single integrated circuit. The main components of a microprocessor are the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and the Control Unit (CU). An example of a microprocessor is Intel 8085.

A microprocessor is more effective than both the microcomputer and micro-controller because of its wide range of uses and its flexibility in configuration. It is also more expansive than the two because of their performance and complexity.

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So, if you are unsure about the differences, just remember the following:

– Microprocessors are more expensive than microcomputers and micro-controllers

– Microprocessors are faster than microcomputers and micro-controllers

– Microcomputers are for use by single users at a time

– Micro-controllers and microcomputers are less complex than microprocessors.

Now you have an idea and can make an informed purchasing decision.