Courses » Microprocessors and Microcontrollers

Microprocessors and Microcontrollers

Microprocessors are used extensively in the design of any computing facility. It contains units to carry out arithmetic and logic calculations, fast storage in terms of registers and associated control logic to get instructions from memory and execute them. A number of devices can be interfaced with them to develop a complete system application. On the other hand, microcontrollers are single chip computers, integrating processor, memory and other peripheral modules into a single System-on-Chip (SoC). Apart from input-output ports, the peripherals often include timers, data converters, communication modules, and so on. The single chip solution makes the footprint of the computational element small in the overall system package, eliminating the necessity of additional chips on board. However, there exists a large range of such products. While the simpler microcontrollers are cheap, their capabilities (in terms of program size and analog and digital peripherals) are also limited. Such processors may be suitable for small applications. Microcontrollers like 8051, PIC belong to this category. On the other hand, advanced microcontrollers are often much more powerful, comparable to the very advanced microprocessors. The AVR and ARM processors are of this category.

This course will start with a discussion on a simple microprocessor, 8085. Understanding this architecture is the basis to follow any other complex CPU architecture. It will be followed by a complete overview of a range of microcontrollers covering 8051, PIC, AVR and ARM. The hardware intricacies of these processors and their programming will be covered. Different system design examples built around these processors will also be elaborated.

  • CSE
  • ECE
  • EE
  • Digital Design 
  • Digital Logic



  • Companies involved in development of microprocessor and microcontroller based products  


Santanu Chattopadhyay received his PhD from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur in 1996. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. His research interests include Embedded Systems, System-on-Chip (SoC) and Network-on-Chip (NoC) Design and Test, Power- and Thermal-aware Testing of VLSI Circuits and Systems. He has published more than 150 papers in reputed international journals and conferences. He has published several text and reference books in the related areas. He is a senior member of IEEE and an editorial board member of IET Circuits Devices and Systems.

Week 1: Introduction: General processor architecture, Microprocessors, Microcontrollers

Week 2: 8085 – Part I
Week 3: 8085 – Part II

Week 4: 8085 – Part III

Week 5: 8085 – Part IV

Week 6: 8051 – Part I

Week 7: 8051 – Part II

Week 8: PIC, AVR

Week 9: ARM – Part I

Week 10:ARM – Part II

Week 11:Interfacing examples – Part I

Week 12: Interfacing examples – Part II


1. R. Gaonkar, “Microprocessor Architecture, Programming and Applications with the 8085”, Prentice Hall, 2014.
2. M.A. Mazidi, R.D. McKinlay, J.G. Mazidi, “The 8051 Microcontroller: A Systems Approach”, Pearson, 2013.
3. M.Bates, “PIC Microcontrollers”, Newnes, 2011.
4. M.A. Mazidi, S. Naimi, S. Naimi, “The AVR Microcontroller and Embedded Systems: Using Assembly and C”, Prentice Hall, 2011.
5. W.A. Smith, “ARM Microcontroller Interfacing: Hardware and Software, Eketor, 2010.

  • The exam is optional for a fee. · 
  • Date and Time of Exams: April 28 (Saturday) and April 29 (Sunday) :
    Afternoon session: 2pm to 5pm.
  • Exam for this course will be available in one session on both 28 and 29 April.  
  • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.  
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. 

  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score  
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 12 weeks course: Best 8 out of 12 assignments  
  • E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.