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Is A Microwave A Computer? (Explained & Solved!)

Antonio Forde
Updated: May 1, 2024
7 min read

As I look at the features of my microwave, I was wondering how microwaves are able to set time for cooking, how they are capable of doing advanced tasks, and if they are actually considered to be computers.

Let’s see if microwaves are computers.

Here’s if a Microwave Is a Computer:

A microwave is not a computer. Most microwaves contain a small (by today’s standards) microprocessor chip that provides the “brainpower” necessary for a user to configure the appliance to do different tasks. A modern computer’s heart (or “brain”) is a microprocessor, but the microwave itself is not one.

A microwave oven is not a computer in and of itself, though it does have a computer built-in to help it with its microwaving operation. This term refers to an embedded computer, and the functionality is hard-coded to keep the cost of construction low.

A CPU chip, a memory bank, a hard drive, and some classifications of input and output devices are all included in the current definition of a computer.

Because a microwave’s microprocessor lacks several components and characteristics, you cannot say that a microwave is a computer. A microwave oven is an electric oven that uses microwave-frequency electromagnetic radiation to heat and cook food.

What Is Considered a Computer?

A computer is a machine that uses electronics to input, process, store, and output data. Data is information such as numbers, words, and lists. The inputting of data means to read information from a keyboard, a storage device like a hard drive, or a sensor.

The computer processes or changes the data by following the instructions in software programs. A computer program is a list of instructions the computer has to perform.

Programs usually perform mathematical calculations, modify data, or move it around. The data is then saved in a storage device or sent to another computer.

Computers connect to form a network such as the internet, allowing the computers to communicate.

A computer also is an electronic device used to manipulate data or information. It can store, retrieve, and process information.

It implies it can carry out a pre-programmed list of instructions and respond to fresh ones. The computer is now most commonly used to describe as the desktop and laptop computers that people use.

The term “computer” solely refers to the computer itself when referring to a desktop model, not the monitor, keyboard, or mouse. Even so, referring to everything as the computer is okay.

You may be aware that you use a computer to type documents, send an email, play games, and surf the Internet. It also allows you to edit and create spreadsheets, presentations, and movies.

A computer is a mechanism or equipment that follows instructions from a software or hardware program to perform procedures, calculations, and operations. Computers are capable of receiving data (input). Processing files and producing outputs are also their functions.

Computers can also store data in an appropriate storage device for later use and retrieve it as needed.

Modern computers are electronic devices. You use a computer for different tasks such as browsing the internet, generating documents, editing movies, developing programs, and playing video games, among others.

They combine integrated hardware and software components to process the applications and deliver various solutions.

Do Microwaves Have a Computer in Them?


A microwave oven consists of numerous fundamental components, including the magnetron, turntable, and electronic control panel.

Electronic sensors and microprocessors are used in microwave ovens to get the best cooking results.

The microprocessor chip controls the heating and timing functions of the microwave, which takes input from the control panel and other sensors.

Microwave ovens contain embedded systems, not operating systems in computer technology. An operating system is responsible for commands and operations, such as those needed by a computer with several programs.

An embedded system, on the other hand, serves a single purpose. These systems contain a single program that performs all of the needed functions. Other simple computerized machinery, such as remote controls and washing machines, have embedded systems.

A microwave oven’s embedded system serves as a command device. The system functions to receive orders from the keypad and turn them into actions.

For example, if you set a microwave oven to high for two minutes, the integrated system activates the high voltage transformer to full blast for two minutes. When the two-minute timer runs out, the embedded system instructs the transformer to shut down.

The embedded system’s programming is easy because it just does one thing: translate simple commands.

A microprocessor takes up extremely little space, making it ideal for small appliances. Because controlling a microwave uses very little computing power, it would not be cost-effective for manufacturers to install more powerful processors in a kitchen appliance.

A microwave microprocessor is perfect for the job since it offers “brainpower” at a low cost and in a small package. Microprocessors have become more powerful. Microwave ovens have become more complicated.

Modern microwaves include additional capabilities such as convection heating and sensor cooking. Microprocessors regulate the different sensors, the timer, the motor, and the memory for past cycles in modern microwaves. The microwave oven’s brain is the microprocessor.

Do Microwaves Store Information?

Microwave ovens lack the sophistication of a modern computer processor. The microprocessor controls the oven’s functions: a reduced single-circuit computer chip.

Microprocessor chips take binary commands from the control panel and translate them into commands for the oven’s components.

A microwave oven includes One-chip microprocessors with a ROM, RAM, and I/O port. The RAM, a data input device, and a display control a permanent program stored in the ROM. 3

According to the permanent program, data is coupled from the data input unit and stored in the RAM. Modern computer processor chips are significantly more powerful.

The display unit controls a permanent program that causes the data stored in the RAM to be presented on the display unit at regular intervals, allowing the heating program to be checked.

A relatively small quantity of RAM is available in a microwave. Around 100–200 MB of RAM is required. The purpose of a microwave is straightforward. Microwaves have CPUs and a small computer system because most of the microwave’s locks are electronic.

What Are the Electronic Components of a Microwave?

  • Assembly

Waveguides (and their various subcomponents), connectors, and absorbers are among the most common electronic parts used in microwave technology.

The manufacturing of these products accounts for the vast majority of the microwave market. Microwave assembly can meet the needs of a specific application due to the wide range of specifications for each component category.

  • Waveguides

A specialized class of devices is vital to control and steer the movement of electromagnetic waves. These “waveguides” are typically metal-based transmission lines tuned to microwave frequencies and used to connect antennas and receivers.

They are composed of electrically conductive materials like copper or silver plating, but they can also be made of dielectric insulators if the interior walls coat with conductors.

Alternatives to traditional waveguide systems, such as microstrips and coaxial cables, are generally less expensive, but they have a lower transmission capacity and a lower power handling rate.

waveguide is a circulator that provides a one-way channel for the signal. This attenuator regulates the signal strength, an amplifier that compensates for transmission loss, and numerous secondary components. Waveguides make up using the following processes:

Electroforming: A solid metal shape is created by transferring particles onto a substrate surface in an electrolytic bath. After that, removal of substrate happens, leaving a finished waveguide frame. Electroforming is useful for creating some of the complex geometries in waveguide design, but it is unsuitable for microwave assemblies.

EDM (Electronic Discharge Machining): EDM methods use high-voltage electrical charges to melt excess stock from a metal workpiece to form the desired waveguide shape. Wire EDM produces highly complex designs with thin linear cuts and precise waveguide specifications, whereas plunging EDM uses charged carbon particles and is even more accurate than the wire method, albeit more expensive.

Brazing is a standard method for producing aluminum waveguides. A molten bonding layer is applied to multiple metal pieces, fusing them into a solid component. Brazing is a less expensive alternative to electroforming. However, warping may occur during the hardening phase, and care must avoid melting the waveguide components during the heating process.

  • Connectors

Electrical connectors account for a sizable portion of the market for microwave technology manufacturing. They are conductive devices that serve as permanent joints between microwave components and electrical bridge circuits.

Microwave connectors form termination units in coaxial connections and support housing and circuit board. Most microwave assemblies have them set to 50 or 70 ohms.

  • Absorbers

Microwave absorbers aid in converting electromagnetic wave discharges into heat units by absorbing unwanted energy rather than reflecting it. They are from carbon-based foam, die-cut elastomers, or thermoplastic materials.

Absorbers are frequently used in microwave systems to compensate for design or manufacturing errors. However, they can also be valuable because they improve signal functions by addressing antenna pattern issues and frequency interference.


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Written by
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.
Have any questions? Write us a message.
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.