Que es un microcontrolador


Un microcontrolador es un circuito integrado o chip que incluye en su interior las tres unidades funcionales de una computadora: unidad central de procesamiento, memoria y unidades de E/S (entrada/salida).


Son diseñados para reducir el costo económico y el consumo de energía de un sistema en particular. Por eso el tamaño de la unidad central deprocesamiento, la cantidad de memoria y los periféricos incluidos dependerán de la aplicación. El control de un electrodoméstico sencillo como una batidora, utilizará un procesador muy pequeño (4 u 8 bit) por que sustituirá a un autómata finito. En cambio un reproductor de música y/o vídeo digital (mp3 o mp4) requerirá de un procesador de 32 bit o de 64 bit y de uno o más Códec de señal digital(audio y/o vídeo). El control de un sistema de frenos ABS (Antilock Brake System) se basa normalmente en un microcontrolador de 16 bit, al igual que el sistema de control electrónico del motor en un automóvil.

Los microcontroladores representan la inmensa mayoría de los chips de computadoras vendidos, sobre un 50% son controladores «simples» y el restante corresponde a DSPs más especializados.Mientras se pueden tener uno o dos microprocesadores de propósito general en casa (vd. está usando uno para esto), usted tiene distribuidos seguramente entre los electrodomésticos de su hogar una o dos docenas de microcontroladores. Pueden encontrarse en casi cualquier dispositivo electrónico como automóviles, lavadoras, hornos microondas, teléfonos, etc.

Un microcontrolador difiere de una CPUnormal, debido a que es más fácil convertirla en una computadora en funcionamiento, con un mínimo de chips externos de apoyo. La idea es que el chip se coloque en el dispositivo, enganchado a la fuente de energía y de información que necesite, y eso es todo. Un microprocesador tradicional no le permitirá hacer esto, ya que espera que todas estas tareas sean manejadas por otros chips. Hay queagregarle los modulos de entrada/salida (puertos) y la memoria para almacenamiento de información.

Por ejemplo, un microcontrolador típico tendrá un generador de reloj integrado y una pequeña cantidad de memoria RAM y ROM/EPROM/EEPROM/FLASH, significando que para hacerlo funcionar, todo lo que se necesita son unos pocos programas de control y un cristal de sincronización. Los microcontroladoresdisponen generalmente también de una gran variedad de dispositivos de entrada/salida, como convertidores de analógico a digital, temporizadores, UARTs y buses de interfaz serie especializados, como I2C y CAN. Frecuentemente, estos dispositivos integrados pueden ser controlados por instrucciones de procesadores especializados. Los modernos microcontroladores frecuentemente incluyen un lenguaje deprogramación integrado, como el BASIC que se utiliza bastante con este propósito.

Los microcontroladores negocian la velocidad y la flexibilidad para facilitar su uso. Debido a que se utiliza bastante sitio en el chip para incluir funcionalidad, como los dispositivos de entrada/salida o la memoria que incluye el microcontrolador, se ha de prescindir de cualquier otra circuitería.


En esta figura, vemos al microcontrolador metido dentro de un encapsulado de circuito integrado, con su procesador (CPU), buses, memoria, periféricos y puertos de entrada salida. Fuera del encapsulado se ubican otros circuitos para completar periféricos internos y dispositivos que pueden conectarse a los pines de entrada/salida. También se conectarán a los pines delencapsulado la alimentación, masa, circuito de completamiento del oscilador y otros circuitos necesarios para que el microcontrolador pueda trabajar.


Aun cuando el microcontrolador es una computadora embebida dentro de un circuito integrado, se compone de un núcleo y un conjunto de circuitos adicionales. Dentro del núcleo se encuentran el procesador y la…

16 thoughts on “Que es un microcontrolador

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