What is MCU vs. MPU ? What is an Embedded System vs. MEMS ?

Many people confuse Microprocessors and Microcontrollers.  A Microprocessor is a simple central processing unit (CPU) on a single chip that includes Arithmetic logic unit (ALU), control unit (CU), registers, instruction decoders, bus control circuit etc.

A Microcontroller is a complete computer (peripheral I/O devices, support circuitry and memory) and is not a single chip.

Historically speaking, Microcontrollers have been designed for embedded applications whereas microprocessors have been used general purpose applications.  MCU refers to Microcontroller Unit and MPU refers to Microprocessor Unit.

Embedded Systems represent a computer system designed for specific control functions within a larger system, often with real-time computing constraints. It is embedded as part of a complete device often including hardware and mechanical parts. By contrast, a general-purpose computer, such as a personal computer (PC), is designed to be flexible and to meet a wide range of end-user needs.

Embedded Systems are crucial in delivery and transport of data in IoT infrastructure.



Embedded Devices and IoT Infrastructure

Conventional Embedded Systems are not competent to deliver what IoT is expecting from an embedded device networked in IoT.

IoT demands a different set of microprocessors, drivers, peripherals, batteries and operating systems than conventional Embedded System used in general purpose computing systems.

Major players in embedded system hardware and software development are aiming to bring these transformations into their products to take advantage of growing The IoT market. The areas that are going to transform are Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS), microprocessors, and microcontrollers.

Embedded Internet of Things (IoT) Ecosystem: Next Gen Embedded System Hardware, Software, Tools, and Operating Systems 2016 – 2021 provides analysis of the products that will be developed to support IoT, changes in traditional RTOS required to match performance with IoT, changes in hardware required to match needs of IoT, types of peripherals, and emerging tools to support processing of embedded systems in IoT.  The report provides five year forecast for Embedded Systems in IoT for the period of 2016 – 2021. It provides regional segmentation by industry for embedded systems and components.

Related to Embedded Systems, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), represent miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements (i.e., devices and structures) that are made using the techniques of microfabrication.

MEMS are key components in a wide variety of systems, solutions and applications across virtually every industry vertical. Leading micro-electronics suppliers, such as STMicroelectronics, provide various MEMS solutions such as smart sensors and sensor hubs, UV index sensors, temperature sensors and touch sensors. High growth areas for MEMS include a few emerging high tech segments such as Virtual Reality and many Internet of Things (IoT) related areas such as Connected Vehicles, UAVs, and more.

It is important to recognize that leading experts often compare and contrast those devices/systems that provide sensor-effector type micro-computing vs. micro-devices containing gears, mirrors, valves, and other parts, which are frequently referred to as “MEMS” and “Micro-Machines” respectively.

Use cases for MEMS are many and varied as microelectromechanical systems are found in virtually every industry vertical such as MEMS used as accelerometers in automobile air-bags, motion and orientation detection in smartphones, and blood pressure measurement in IV lines and catheters.

MEMS Marketplace: Components, Devices, Products, Applications and Industry Verticals 2016 – 2021 evaluates the MEMS marketplace including ecosystem, players, products, and services. The report provides detailed forecasts of MEMS by function, device, application, and industry vertical. These forecasts are global, regional, and by country for the period 2016 to 2021.


About Mind Commerce

Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
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