This module provides an overview of the basic theory and operation of microprocessors and their logical and programming characteristics. It will introduce the concepts of instruction sets, machine language programming, input/output, interrupts and interfacing techniques. Hardware and software aspects of popular 8-bit and 32-bit microprocessors are studied in detail. Specific topics include microprocessor architecture (registers, memory maps, status, program counter, and stack), logic operations, assembly language programming, embedded-systems design and an introduction to control algorithms. In addition, the module also covers microcontrollers and an introduction to PC architecture.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this Module you will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between a MPU and a MCU
  • Name the four basic functions of a microprocessor
  • Differentiate between volatile and nonvolatile memory
  • Define "flash memory"
  • Describe the main purpose of an operating system in a PC
  • Name two types of programming languages used by MPUs
  • List the major features of microcontrollers
  • Explain the purpose of a memory management unit
  • Differentiate between multitasking and multiprocessing
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