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Why the Name is Micro-controller?

It is small on chip microcomputer which has processor, memory, I/O pins for input and output, etc. It is used to control the operation of machine using fixed Program that is stored in ROM/EPROM and that does not change over the life time.

It is named so because it is basically used for control actions. The name itself specifies its meaning by splitting the word micro-controller into two MICRO is derived from a Greek word Micros which means small (in size, quantity, number and dignity) and Controller is the logic circuitry that does the control action based on the program written.


It is so called because this device comprises of transistors which are small in size (micro-meter). The word micro is used in electronics and in science generally, to mean One-millionth or 10^-6. It has also used to denote something very small like a very small processor or micro controller.

In the scientific sense, the word micro controller is represented by the Greek letter (uc). The advent of low-cost computers on integrated circuits has completely transformed modern society marking the "Computer Age". General-purpose micro controllers are used for computation, mobile phones and many such applications.

What is microcontroller?

Term 8051 refers to MCS 51 family of microcontroller ICs introduced by intel corporation in 1971. A microcontroller is a computer with most of the necessary support chips on board. All computers have several things in common, namely:

  • A central processing unit (CPU) that executes programs.

  • Some random-access memory (RAM) where it can store data that is variable.

  • Some read only memory (ROM) where programs to be executed can be stored.

  • Input and output (I/O) devices that enable communication to be established with the outside world i.e. connection to devices such as keyboard, mouse, monitors and other peripherals.

  • There are a number of other common characteristics that define microcontrollers. If a computer matches a majority of these characteristics, then it can be classified as a micro controller. Micro controllers may be:

    1. Embedded inside some other device so that they can control the features or actions of the product. Another name for a micro controller is therefore an embedded controller.
    2. Dedicated to one task and run one specific program. The program is stored in ROM and generally does not change.
    3. A low-power device. A battery-operated microcontroller might consume as little as 50 mill watts.

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