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Microcontrollers in Embedded Systems

Microcontrollers have on chip peripherals so reducing power consumption, size, and cost. Numerous devices have been developed by many different manufactures using a varrety of architectures, with most still using 8/16 bit word lengths. This use of general purpose microprocessors is less typical in embedded aplications because they require more support circuitry than microcontrollers. Generally the software to control the microprocessor is written in a high level computer language such as C or C++.

Since the embedded system is dedicated to a specific task, it can be optimised to reduce size and cost.

The DS89C430 shown on the right hand side is an Ultra High Speed Flash 8 bit microcontroller, which utilises a high speed 8051 architecture, offering one clock per machine cycle performance up to 33MHz. This device has 16KB on chip Flash memory, which is both In-Application Programmable, and In-System Programmable (its sister device the DS89C450 has 64KB of Flash memory).

The DS89C430 and DS89C450 are manufactured by Maxim Integrated.