What Type of Computer is Used in Microwave?

Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Mosabbir

Microwaves are altering human life since the 1970s when they came into existence and started reheating our food items simply by making a humming sound.

This appliance overshadowed the traditional oven and made the cooking and reheating process faster than ever.

Hence, such a kitchen instrument saves your time so that you can focus on other daily activities.

The microwave is somewhat magical. Its turntable spins and cooks or reheats your meal without using a flame.

Do Microwaves Have a Computer in Them?

Microwaves do not use anything as complex as a computer or processor. Instead, these kitchen appliances come with a ripped off microprocessor that contains a single circuit to regulate all the functions.

The Microprocessor

A bare microprocessor chip controls the heating or cooking time by taking commands from the console and sensors. The microwave microprocessor is not complex as a modern processor.

The processors used in the microwaves are built around a single circuit. This circuit receives all the inputs from the panel and does the needful.

It’s simple to read and understand unlike computer processors.


The microprocessor is the mind and soul of a microwave oven. It controls the timer, all the sensors and keeps the memory of previous cycles.

Whenever the microprocessor detects a change in the input console, it changes the functionality of the microwave and activates the required sensors to work.

Also read: How Many Watts Does a Microwave Oven Use?


A microprocessor occupies minimal space, which you can understand from its name. So, such an electrical component is perfect for microwaves.

It’s not fruitful to install a powerful and complex processor in kitchen appliances because such a component needs high power to operate.

On the other hand, a microprocessor provides all the functionalities to the microwaves without consuming a significant amount of electrical energy.

How Do Microwaves Cook Food?

But, have you ever wondered to know how this appliance works? What’s the secret behind a 30-sec reheating process?

Let’s discuss the process here.

A microwave transmits radiations to heat your food. But, what exactly is the process? Well, it goes like this.

  1. Inside the microwave, an electrical component called a magnetron is responsible for generating the microwaves. When you power on the appliance and press its start button, the magnetron draws electricity from the power outlet and converts it into high powered radio waves.
  2. The magnetron releases microwaves into the chamber using a waveguide. The turntable rotates your meal, which helps the microwaves to cook or reheat it evenly.
  3. All these microwaves reflect all over the metallic surface, similar to sunrays bounces off mirrors. But, when these waves reach your meal, they don’t recall or bounce. Instead, the waves penetrate the food item and make water molecules vibrate.
  4. Vibrating water molecules results in heat. Fast vibrations mean the food will be hotter. So, microwaves transfer their energy to the food molecules, which heats them.

Also read: How Do You Know If A Plastic Container Is Microwavable?


Is it correct that the microwave is an example of an embedded computer?

Embedded computers are integrated into other devices instead of a standalone unit. A microwave is an example of the embedded computer because it generally has a display, keyboard, and some sensors to perform according to your requirements.

Sensors are responsible for maintaining the temperature levels, detects when the cooking time is over, lets you know if the microwave’s door is open, and some other similar functions.

Do microwaves have software?

As we discussed, the microwave comprises an integrated computer that executes all the required functions using a single program. So, microwaves do not have a software or operating system.

Also read: What is Microwave Oven Used For?

Final talk – is a microwave a computer?

A computer is built around a motherboard and processor, and it needs a hard drive, memory, and a few input and output devices to function.

The microwaves lack all these components, and hence, these kitchen appliances cannot be categorized as computers.

Instead, a microwave contains an integrated microprocessor that performs all the required functions as per your input.