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Microcontroller or Microprocessor

There is not a really clear line between these two very different devices, and from an academic point of view we can say that a CPU has an MMU and external memory, an MCU does not.

Price of the two devices might be similar, even though there exists MCUs that could cost several time a CPU. The overall price of the complete CPU based solution you are going to develop will also change significantly increasing the cost of CPU based system, because a CPU always needs external memory and a PMIC that could cost several times more than the simple cheap CPU.

At the end of the game, if you think that a small MCU board will be cheaper you might be right, but not for sure.


If you need to do a low level job more than one requiring real intelligence, an MCU might be the best choice.

But if you need to work with high end busses like Bluetooth, TCP, Wi-Fi, using an MCU could be hell because of the lack of the OS protocol stack, unreasonable to attempt to develop in C-C++.

This is why a Novasom Industries board based on an MCU has not been developed as a standard offering.
At the end of the game, The MCU based solution is not cheap and has a lot of limitations…. But, for a low level targeted function, has its place in the world.

You might think that there is a huge difference in the real time capability of the two kinds of solutions. This is true, but it’s another story...

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