Back in the early 1970’s, two engineers from TI produced the World’s first micro-controller, the TMS 1000. Although Intel had produced an earlier 4-bit CPU, the Intel 4004, it required external circuitry to operate and is therefore considered the first complete CPU on chip. The TMS was a true micro-controller in that it integrated all of the components necessary to function onto one chip and provided an economical embedded solution for electronic devices. Fundamentally there is little difference between the micro-controllers of today and the ones from the 1970’s. Their objective it to provide a low-power stand-alone computer for embedded applications. Each micro-controller contains a CPU, memory and input/output peripherals and range in speed from a few KHz to a few hundred MHz. This badge will explore the fundamentals of micro-controller design and use and how you might use one in your next awesome project!
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