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General Description

A microcontroller (MCU) consists of a CPU core, memory (both volatile and nonvolatile), and programmable peripheral devices fabricated as a single integrated circuit. An MCU is also known as a “computer on a chip”. MCUs are available with different word lengths, starting from 4 bits, right up to 32 bits, and with a variety of on-chip peripherals, such as timers, counters, and A/D and D/A converters. MCUs are used in almost every embedded system for their flexibility, low cost, high speeds of operation, and low power consumption. Advances in semiconductor technology have made possible the production of MCUs for deployment in every commercial and industrial segment.

The newest design, engineering, and fabrication processes are steadily increasing the number of features available on the same-sized silicon die for each MCU type. For example, MCUs with inbuilt support for LCD display screens are becoming widely popular in the one-time password, consumer, and home appliance markets across 8-, 16-, and 32-bit devices. MCUs are the default choice for designers of specific applications, such as battery-powered remote controllers, which have low power consumption as one of their principal design goals. Low-end MCUs with 8-bit cores are used as general-purpose controllers running at low frequencies, and mid-range and high-end cores are targeted at specific segments, such as high-speed, high performance, and low power applications. The highest-end 32-bit ARM-based RISC MCUs are used in several high-end applications, such as integrated industrial control, and scientific and medical equipment. A wide range of everyday home appliances in use today, such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and microwave ovens, are intelligently controlled by MCUs, which act as the “brains” for these appliances. The automotive segment is yet another sector to benefit tremendously from the rapid developments in semiconductor and MCU technology. Today’s intelligent automobiles use a vast combination of MCUs embedded in several parts of the vehicle for information monitoring and control, as well as for preventive maintenance. For example, MCUs are used to record and analyze temperature data gathered from various sensors mounted around the vehicle and alert the driver when temperatures reach abnormally high levels. Samsung is a worldwide leader in semiconductor technology, and one of the leading suppliers of the most advanced and efficient MCU solutions for deployment on any application in any industry segment. Samsung’s range of MCU products based on industry-standard platforms deliver exceptional computing power at significantly lower power consumption levels. Samsung’s extensive suite of MCU products enables designers, developers, and OEMs to bring the newest technologies to market in the shortest possible time.


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