Building IoT Projects with Microcontrollers

We live in a digital world. Almost every house and building on planet Earth has different devices installed, making life easier for mankind. Most of these devices have one electronic component in common: a microcontroller integrated circuit, or IC. This is exactly why the IoT, or “Internet of Things” projects, are also on the rise in the 21st century, with the number of IoT devices expected to reach a staggering 22 billion by 2025. 

However, a couple of questions – rather, more than a couple of questions – arise here. First, what are microcontroller ICs? What is IoT, or the Internet of Things? And how important are microcontroller ICs with respect to building new IoT projects? 

Let’s look at these questions one by one 

Microcontroller ICs

In an electronic system, a microcontroller IC can be defined as an integrated circuit device that is used to control the system. 

A microcontroller is able to control other components of an electronic system through the following, usually: 

  • Microprocessor Unit (MPU)
  • Memory
  • Peripherals

Internet of Things (IoT) 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a network of physical things attached to several sensors, software, and other technology-related items to send and receive data from other devices. This data exchange happens over the internet, and the devices may be normal household items or industrial tools. 

Importance of IoT 

As mentioned at the start, the world we live in is hyperconnected. And a busy one, too. People do not have time to manually and individually control each device in their homes or offices. This warrants an integrated system of devices that can share data with each other and accordingly adjust their responses to various conditions. The Internet of Things will become more important as the world and technology progress. 

Microcontrollers in IoT Projects 

Internet of Things, or IoT, projects cannot be produced with microcontroller ICs. This is because all the connectivity and communication between devices and systems in an IoT project can be done only with the help of microcontroller ICs. 

The microchips receive the data through sensors, process this data, and send it to the relevant device(s) or system(s), mostly through the internet. Similarly, if some other device sends the microcontroller information, these circuits can also receive and interpret that information. This information is then used to control the devices in which the microcontroller ICs themselves are embedded. 

Choosing the Best Microcontroller for your IoT Application 

Someone new to the world of microcontroller ICs or IoT projects might face difficulties when selecting a suitable microcontroller IC for their IoT project. A number of different factors must be kept in mind when you are choosing a microcontroller for your IoT applications. These include: 

  • Requirements of the Application – The first and foremost thing to do is to define the requirements of your application. These requirements include the decision on the kind of sensors and actuators that will be used, the memory and processing power of the application, the communication protocols, and physical conditions of operations like temperature, humidity, etc.
  • MCU Architecture – Microcontroller units, or MCUs, come in different architecture variants, such as 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit. It is important to choose the right MCU depending on the complexity of your project and the power it will need.
  • Comparison of the Available MCUs – Once you know what your IoT application requires, you will be better positioned to find the right MCU for your project. While choosing an MCU, it is important to verify that it meets the requirements of your IoT application.
  • Consideration of Connectivity Protocols – As discussed earlier, IoT applications frequently share data with other devices and systems. This communication can be done in a number of ways, such as via the Internet, Bluetooth, cellular networks, etc. You must always ensure that the MCU you have selected for your IoT project is compatible with the communication protocols.
  • Development Tools and Support – A microcontroller unit, or MCU, is useless if it does not have the necessary development tools and support. It is better to choose an MCU with both a proper ecosystem of development tools and adequate support to resolve any problems that may arise.
  • Testing and Evaluation – The job of selecting the best possible MCU for your IoT project is not complete until you have tested the microcontroller units that you are considering for your IoT project. Testing the shortlisted MCUs and their evaluation will eliminate any possibility of a wrong selection, enabling you to choose the best option for your IoT project.

Future of Microcontrollers in IoT Projects 

The world is moving at an unparalleled pace with advancements in technology. Every house and office has an ecosystem of interconnected devices that communicate with each other by sharing data. This idea of the Internet of Things, or IoT, has been possible because of an electronic component called a microcontroller IC. 

These circuits are programmed in such a way that they can receive and interpret information. This information can be from either the sensors or other devices or systems. After the information is received and interpreted, the microcontroller ICs, as their name suggests, control the device they are embedded in. 

Similarly, the microcontroller ICs can also send information to other devices and systems. This is done through various connectivity mechanisms like Bluetooth, the internet, or cellular networks. 


People are often not well-informed when choosing electronic parts. For example, if a person is to buy semiconductors, he or she might not know where to make the purchase. 

This is because the electronic parts market is relatively hidden as compared to other markets. Partstack is the go-to place for purchasing and selling any electronic part because of its reliability. This is because it is the fastest-growing marketplace for buying, selling, and discovering new electronic parts such as resistors, capacitors, connectors, transistors, logic ICs, and semiconductors.

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