This is a system that has all the elements of any computer namely CPU, Memory, Input/Output, but it is all on one (small) circuit card or even a single chip.

In earlier days a microcomputer used to refer to a personal computer. For example the BBC Micro in the 1980's. But this term now tends to be used to describe even more compact computers than the PC.

Sometimes 'micro-computers' are also called 'micro-controllers' as many of them are especially designed to control something rather than run general purpose applications. For example you could have a micro-computer (or micro-controller) running your washing machine, or controlling a lift and so on.

The difference between a micro-computer and a microprocessor is that a micro-computer tends to have a complete set of input-output channels ready for use by the equipment to which it is connected, whereas a microprocessor chip will need other electronics to support it.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Microcomputer


back to glossaryback to glossary