Microcontroller vs Microprocessor vs Computer
Raspberry Pi produces Single-board computers, Arduino procudes Single-board microcontrollers, what are the differences?
- Microprocessor: a single CPU consists of only Register, ALU and CU (no RAM and storage, etc).
- Microcontroller: a single chip which consists of RAM, External Hard Disk and CPU inside the Chip.
A microcontroller is a small computer with low-powered and low memory (which makes them low-cost) and programmable input/output peripherals. A microcontroller will run just one program repeatedly, not a full operating system. E.g. Arduino programs only need two functions:
Setup will run once and
loop will run indefinitely.
Usage: Internet of Things, like flipping a switch or controlling small components like a LED light.
Arduino sells Single-board microcontrollers which uses Atmel's Microcontroller (e.g. 8-bit AVR and 32-bit ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers) plus peripherals.
A single-board computer is a full computer (a board which contains CPU, RAM, Ports, and secondary storage) built on a single circuit board.
Raspberry Pi is a simple version of the same hardware in the laptop.
A single-board microcontroller differs from a single-board computer in that it lacks the general-purpose user interface and mass storage interfaces that a more general-purpose computer would have.
Raspberry Pi runs a Linux operating system. Microcontrollers can’t run an operating system. Microcontrollers also don’t have the same amount of computing power or resources as most single-board computers.