The purpose of this text, “Microcontrollers Fundamentals for Engineers and Scientists,” is to provide practicing scientists and engineers a tutorial on the fundamental concepts and use of microcontrollers. Today, microcontrollers, or single integrated circuit (chip) computers, play critical roles in almost all instrumentation and control systems. There are a number of books that explore the fascinating world of microcontroller theory and applications. However, most of these are geared toward undergraduate and graduate students taking an electrical and/or computer engineering course. Furthermore, these texts have been written with a particular model of microcontroller as the target discussion. These textbooks also require a requisite knowledge of digital design fundamentals.
In this textbook we present the fundamental concepts common to all microcontrollers. Our goals for writing this book are to present the over-arching theory of microcontroller operation and to provide a detailed discussion on constituent subsystems available in most microcontrollers. With such goals, we envision that the theory discussed in this book can be readily applied to a wide variety of microcontroller technologies, allowing practicing scientists and engineers to become acquainted with basic concepts prior to beginning a design involving a specific microcontroller. Each of us have used a wide variety of microcontrollers from various manufacturers. We have found that the fundamental principles of a given microcontroller are easily transferred to other controllers. Although this is a relatively small textbook, it is packed with useful information in quickly coming up to speed on microcontroller concepts.