23 February 2023

8 bit Vs 16 bit Microcontroller | Difference | Comparison

The main difference between an 8-bit and 16-bit microcontroller is that an 8-bit microcontroller can only process 8-bit data and 8-bit program memory. A 16-bit microcontroller can manage data and program memory of the same size. This differentiates them in terms of efficiency and functionality.

Related article: Advantages and disadvantages of microcontroller


A microcontroller is a CPU-equipped semiconductor. It effectively provides something for the CPU to read from. In the absence of a microcontroller, a CPU is virtually useless. As a result, a microcontroller with 8 bits can read 8 bits of data. A 16-bit microcontroller has 16 bits, a 32-bit microcontroller has 32 bits, and so on.

8-bit microcontroller

The 8-bit microcontroller has an 8-bit data word length. word length or word size refers to the number of bits that a microprocessor can process at once. 8-bit microcontrollers are a necessary component of embedded systems. They are widely employed in industrial applications and are increasingly being used in industrial applications and are increasingly used in household appliances. 

16-bit microcontroller

A 16-bit microcontroller is one that can handle data with 16 bits, allowing it to manage a larger amount of data and computations at once. It also uses less power and operates at a quicker clock speed than an 8-bit microcontroller. It is presently the most popular microcontroller. Instructions, data, and addresses are all included. 16-bit controllers are commonly found in high-end equipment and electrical gadgets.

Related article: Advantages and disadvantages of microprocessor

8 bit Vs 16-bit microcontroller | Difference between 8-bit and 16-bit microcontroller

  • An 8-bit microcontroller can manage 8-bit data and program memory. A 16-bit microcontroller can manage data and program memory of 16 bits.
  • An 8-bit reading bus is present on an 8-bit microcontroller. A 16-bit reading bus is present on the 16-bit microcontroller.
  • 8-bit microcontrollers have slower clock speeds, but they are more reliable. 16-bit microcontroller offers to double the clock speed but is less reliable.
  • 8-bit microcontrollers are less efficient than 16-bit microcontrollers. 16-bit microcontrollers outperform 8-bit microcontrollers in terms of efficiency.
  • 8-bit microcontrollers require more ROM, and 16-bit microcontrollers require less ROM. 
  • Microcontroller with 8 bits takes up less space than microcontrollers with 16 bits. Microcontrollers with 16 bits take up more space than microcontrollers with 8 bits.
  • The 8-bit microcontroller is cheaper. A 16-bit microcontroller is more expensive than an 8-bit microcontroller.
  • Microcontroller with 8 bits takes up less space than microcontrollers with 16 bits. Micontroller with 16 bits takes up more space than microcontrollers with 8 bits.
  • Each instruction cycle has an 8-bit range of 0 to 255. Each instruction cycle has a 16-bit range of 0 to 65535.
  • A 48 MHz 8-bit microcontroller generates 12 MIPS. A 16-bit microcontroller produces 16 MIPS and runs at 32 MHz.
  • An 8-bit microcontroller consumes 20mA of power to run, which is double the current consumption of a 16-bit microcontroller. The 16-bit controller consumes 10 mA of power.
  • Input and output peripherals for 8-bit microcontrollers are less sophisticated than those for 16-bit microcontrollers. 16-bit input and output peripherals are more advanced than 8-bit microcontroller input and output peripherals.
  • Microcontroller with 8 bits has an 8-bit reading bus. Microcontroller with 16 bits has a reading bus.

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