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Small digital computers whose CPU is contained on a single integrated semiconductor chip. As large-scale and then very large-scale integration (VLSI) have progressively increased the number of transistors that can be placed on one chip, the processing capacity of microcomputers has grown immensely. The personal computer is the most common example of a microcomputer, but high-performance microcomputer systems are widely used in business, in engineering, and in smart machines in manufacturing. See alsointegrated circuit, microprocessor.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on microcomputer, visit Britannica.com.