microcontroller is a term for a package...., capacitor

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by PG1995, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. PG1995

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 15, 2011

    1: Is microcontroller a term which is used to a package of a 'simple' microprocessor, RAM, ROM (which could be sometimes programmable), etc.? I would like a simple answer. Thanks.

    2: Can I think of a capacitor as battery which stores charge or electrical energy for a brief period of time (or, until the potential of the circuit to which it is connected is higher), and capacitance as nothing more than 'amount' of electrical charge stored?

    Thank you for your reply.

  2. debjit625

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    If you want to keep it simple,then yes you can say like that...

    They are always programmable, some you can program for many times (normally they are called Flash memory) and some are only one time programmable known as OTP(one time programmable) used mainly in commercial products.

    Microcontrollers are designed for specific task rather for multi task operations like Microprocessors.

    Capacitance of a capacitor is the ability to store energy in its electric field.

    Good Luck
  3. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    A capacitor really is not a battery. Capacitors store energy in electrostatic fields: the voltage across a capacitor is proportional to the stored charge ( Q=CV, so V=Q/C ) This is an inconvenient characteristic for energy storage, as the voltage is so far from constant.

    Batteries store energy chemically, and generally provide a more nearly constant voltage, with only a modest fall as the battery is discharged, although this is more true for some types than others. For storing larger amounts of energy a relatively constant voltage is generally an advantage, but for other functions a capacitor may be a better choice.

    While a battery can only operate at its own inherent voltage, a capacitor can work at any voltage from zero up to some rated maximum. Certain capacitors (polarised electrolytics) are restricted to one polarity, but other types can go from the rated maximum positive, through zero to the rated max negative. This lets us use capacitors in various ways where a battery would not work, for example as timing elements with circuits like the 555.
  4. PG1995

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 15, 2011
    Thank you, debjit, Adjuster. Very kind of you, both.

    Perhaps, I wanted to write that instead; I mean "programmable many times".

    Best wishes
  5. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    A microcontroller contains memory that is programmable.
    If it can be programmed only once, it is called "one-time programmable" or OTP for short.
    Some microcontrollers use ROM, (read only memory) which are programmed once only at the factory.
    On other types the user may be able to erase and reprogram the memory many times.