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Difference Between MMU and MPU


Memory is one important component in modern computing. As such, it is necessary that its contents are not corrupted by any errant application. This function can be done by an MMU (Memory Management Unit) or by an MPU (Memory Protection Unit). Although they both do the same basic function, there are a number of differences between an MMU and an MPU. An MMU is considered to be a more advanced device than an MPU. An MMU is capable of doing the job of an MPU along with other more advanced features that are absent in the latter.

The features that are present in an MMU and not in the MPU include cache control, bus arbitration, and bank switching. All these features are necessary in more complex computers as they allow the flow of information to be smoother and without any problem. By using an MMU, you can also optimize the performance of your computer as it would off-load the said tasks from the microprocessor.

But if you are dealing with a very simple computer that does not do multi-tasking and other related processes, using an MMU may not be the best thing to do. The primary consideration would be price and complexity as employing the more advanced MMU would be more costly and more complex. It may also tax the system unnecessarily as MMU units utilize more overhead compared to the far simpler MPUs. If the main processor used is not fast enough, using an MMU may cause problems.

Choosing between an MMU and MPU is largely dependent on the scale and complexity of the system being built. An MMU is recommended if your system is large enough to benefit from its capabilities. If you are building a relatively simply system, using an MMU is not advisable. An MPU would provide the necessary capabilities while keeping complexity and cost down.


  1. An MMU is more advanced than an MPU
  2. An MMU is able to do the job of an MPU
  3. An MMU is capable of cache control while an MPU is not
  4. An MMU is capable of bus arbitration while an MPU is not
  5. An MMU is capable of bank switching while an MPU is not
  6. An MPU is simpler and uses less overhead than an MMU

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  1. Thank you for nice and simple explanation

  2. MMU is better, but what is MPU ?

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