Controller for computers: Best PC controllers in 2023

How to use a PS4 controller on PC:

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How to use a DualShock 4 PS4 controller on PC
(Image credit: Sony)

Using the DualShock 4 on PC isn’t the trendiest choice, but if you don’t have an Xbox controller on hand or a spiffy new console, the PS4 controller is a perfect backup—or even better, depending on where you like your analog sticks.

For years the PS4 controller was one of our favorite PC gaming controllers, and it still feels great in the hand. The design maintains the classic DualShock shape and feel, but with updated joysticks and triggers better suited to modern shooters and action games than the older models. It’s a reliable gamepad, though not quite as exciting as the PS5’s DualSense controller.

Unfortunately, the DualShock 4’s use of generic DirectInput drivers—as opposed to XInput that the Xbox controllers use—means using a PS4 controller on PC isn’t quite as easy as plugging in an Xbox gamepad and pressing Start. But it’s actually not much more involved.

Getting the DualShock 4 working on PC is pretty trivial thanks to Steam, the PC gaming community, and an official (optional) Bluetooth dongle. If Steam is where you play all of your games, its native support for the DualShock 4 makes it just as plug-and-play as an Xbox gamepad. Thanks, Valve!

To start we’ll walk you through getting your PS4 controller working with Steam, which will only take a few seconds. If you want to play games that aren’t on Steam with your DualShock 4, DS4Windows is the tool for you, and we’ll help you get it set up.

Setup

What you need 

Hardware 

  • Dualshock 4 PS4 controller
  • A micro-USB cable 
  • (Optional) Dualshock 4 USB wireless Bluetooth adapter or other Bluetooth support

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Software 

  • Steam
  • Or Microsoft . NET Framework 4.5
  • DS4Windows

Working with Steam

Using a PS4 controller in Steam

  1. Open Steam
  2. Go to Settings in top left dropdown
  3. Open Controller tab
  4. Click General Controller Settings
  5. Register device to your account
  6. Change preferences
  7. Calibrate joysticks
  8. Tick PlayStation Configuration Support
  9. Remap from Settings Controller tab/in game

Thanks to official Steam support, there’s almost no setup involved in getting your PS4 controller working in Steam. Just be sure to pair or plug in your controller before opening Steam or any Steam games, or else your controller may not be recognized (click the link to jump down to the Bluetooth section of this guide).

If you run into any connection issues, closing and reopening Steam should do the trick. Otherwise, try using a USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 3.0 port. DualShock 4s are weird like that.

Once connected, navigate to Steam’s settings menu—under the top left dropdown—to get everything running smoothly. Under the Controller tab, open General Controller Settings; you should see your controller listed under Detected Controllers. From here you can register it to your account, so it will remember the settings on any PC you log into.

(Image credit: Valve)

Click Preferences to rename, or change rumble and lighting settings. You can also click Calibrate to fine-tune the joysticks and gyro if you feel the need. One important tip: click the check box next to PlayStation Configuration Support if you want to be able to do extra configuration of the controller on a per-game basis.

Back in the Controller tab of the Settings menu, you can configure your controller for Big Picture and Desktop usage, as well, and even set up Guide Button Chord Configuration.

Installing DS4Windows

How to install DS4Windows for non-steam gaming

  1. Download Microsoft . NET Framework 
  2. For Windows 7, get Xbox 360 controller driver
  3. Plug controller or Bluetooth dongle in 
  4. Download DS4Windows and extract 
  5. Open DS4Windows
  6. Check connection in the Controllers tab
  7. In Settings tab Hide DS4 Controller
  8. Set Use Xinput Ports to one
  9. Edit/Create a profile and remap 

If you’re just playing Steam games, you don’t need to install anything else!

First, Download the newest Microsoft .NET Framework. If you’re still stuck running Windows 7, install the Xbox 360 controller driver next. This driver is included with Windows 8 and 10.

Before you do anything else, plug in your PS4 controller with a micro-USB directly to your PC, or pair it through the Bluetooth menu, or with a USB wireless adapter.  

Download and extract newest DS4Windows .zip file next, and open it up. You can ignore the DS4Updater if you already have the newest version. 

Any controllers you’ve connected will be displayed under the Controllers tab. If not, close DS4Windows, reconnect your controller, then re-open the software. Don’t worry about your controller’s ID number, we won’t be needing it.

Next, open the Settings tab in DS4Windows to configure a few things. Make sure the Hide DS4 Controller box is checked. This will prevent DS4Windows from conflicting with any game’s default controller settings. For the same reason, make sure Use Xinput Ports is set to one. 

From the Settings tab, you can also set DS4Windows to run at startup, or remain active in the background. You can also update DS4Windows directly from this tab by clicking Check for Update Now at the bottom left. Above that, you’ll see Controller/Driver Setup. If you run into any issues, open this setup and follow the prompts to install any missing drivers.  

DS4Windows works by reading your DualShock 4 as though it were an Xbox 360 controller. That means you won’t get the correct Square/X/Triangle/Circle button icons by default in most games. Some games will give you the option to change, but either way, it’ll now work with any game that has Xinput support—i.e. most every modern PC game that supports gamepads.

You don’t have to remap anything, but if you want to change some buttons or adjust sensitivity outside of in-game menus, just open the Profiles tab in DS4Windows. If you’re feeling confident, click New to start a new profile, though this is easier said than done. Otherwise, select the DualShock 4 profile and click Edit.

Let’s say you want to swap your bumpers and triggers. First, find L1/R1 and L2/R2 in the scroll wheel in the Controls section, or just click them on the virtual controller. You want to swap L1 with L2 and R1 with R2, so start by clicking L2.

Then, just click the button you want L2 to act as—in this case, L1. Voila, your left trigger will now act as your left bumper. Repeat this process with the other triggers and bumpers to complete the change and prevent redundancy. You can save this button setup as a separate profile and swap between profiles in the Controllers tab.

Connect via Bluetooth

(Image credit: Sony)

How to connect your PS4 controller via Bluetooth  

  1. Hold controller’s Share and PS button until it flashes
  2. Make sure your PC’s Bluetooth is enabled
  3. Add your controller in your PC’s Bluetooth menu
  4. Pairing should happen automatically

CONTROLLER SETUP GUIDES

To connect your PS4 controller via Bluetooth, simply hold the small Share button and the central circular button simultaneously until the controller’s backlight starts flashing. If you own the now-discontinued official PlayStation adapter, press the button on it until it starts flashing. Once both are flashing, they will automatically pair after a few seconds.

Don’t have the official Sony adapter? That’s okay—another Bluetooth adapter should work, too. For a PC with Bluetooth built-in (or if you have a generic USB dongle), just press the Windows key and type “Bluetooth” to open the Bluetooth & devices settings menu. Click “Add device” and look for the controller. Once it’s flashing, you should see it listed here.

Luckily, you don’t have to pair your controller every time you want to use it with the official adapter. As long as you don’t unplug the adapter, it will save its last connection, so you can just tap your controller’s central PlayStation button to reconnect it. Windows should also remember the controller, so if yo don’t use it on a console in the interim, it should be quick to re-pair with your PC.

The official Sony DualShock 4 USB wireless adapter is the simplest Bluetooth option. You may have to hunt for it or spend a little more than you would on a standard Bluetooth dongle, but it’s worth it for its out-of-the-box functionality if you find one on the cheap. Otherwise, roll with regular Bluetooth or pick the simplest route: a cable.

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Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She’s been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.

Best PC Controller 2023 – IGN

These gaming controllers have an edge while playing on a gaming PC.

By Kevin Lee, Danielle Abraham

Updated: May 17, 2023 1:15 am

Posted: May 16, 2023 5:26 pm

For all around performance, the Xbox Core Controller is our choice for the best PC controller of 2023. But there are tons of other great options, from budget to high-end, to fit your PC gaming needs. Click here to jump to detailed looks at our picks for best PC controllers, or check the list below:

TL;DR – These are the Best PC Controllers:

  • Xbox Core Controller
  • PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller
  • Logitech F310
  • Turtle Beach Recon Controller
  • Sony DualSense Controller
  • Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller
  • SteelSeries Stratus+
  • 8Bitdo Pro 2
  • Switch Pro Controller
  • Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma
  • Hori Fighting Stick Alpha
  • Gran Turismo DD Pro

From poorly ported console games to action adventures and racing simulators, there are more than a few cases where a gaming keyboard and gaming mouse aren’t the best input options for PC games. It’s easy to swear by a keyboard and mouse where twitchy response and pixel-perfect aim are concerned, but there’s a huge arena where different gaming controllers can have an edge while playing on a gaming PC.

If you’re playing a fighting game, you may get more satisfaction out of the buttons on a controller or fight stick, which you can frantically mash. When flying through space in an intense dogfight, holding a thumbstick down to perform a series of loops and turns can be a lot easier than hurriedly throwing your mouse around your desk in an attempt to maneuver smoothly. And, let’s not forget that analog inputs have some advantages over the all-or-nothing, binary controls all over mice and keyboards—just try slowly accelerating in a racing game with a keyboard.

So, when you’re ready to give your mouse and keyboard a well-earned break, we’ve rounded up the best controllers in a variety of categories. Take a look below – and click here to find them in the UK.

The Best PC Controllers

Xbox Core Controller

Best PC Controller

Xbox Core Controller

  • See it on Best Buy

If you’re searching for a controller with a quality design and ample flexibility in how you use it to game on your PC, the Xbox Core Controller is a solid place to start. Microsoft has created an ergonomic controller that’s easy to hold onto thanks to added grip on the side, rear, and triggers. Of course, it has a familiar Xbox layout, while the majority of its buttons are remappable, and the D-Pad is even more tactile than the Xbox One iteration.

There’s plenty of versatility in connecting the Xbox Core Controller to your PC with a wired USB-C to eliminate input lag and Bluetooth as a wireless alternative. There’s also a low-latency wireless option available if you have an Xbox Wireless adapter for PC. The controller even includes a 3.5mm jack for your headset, limiting the number of wires running between you and your PC. However, it’s powered by AA batteries, which seems a bit archaic for 2023.

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller

Best Budget PC Controller

PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller

The PowerA Enhanced wired controller is a strong option, ditching wireless connectivity in order to hit a low price point under $40—and it’s often on sale for much less. Sure, you won’t get Bluetooth to get in some action on your gaming phone, but the removable Micro USB works great with your PC right out of the box. And since you’re tethered to your computer, you’ll never need to worry about finding batteries in your junk drawer every few months.

The controller itself doesn’t stray too far from the shape and feel of Microsoft’s own Xbox controller, though it’s slightly lighter, lacks those rubberized grips, and is a tad bit flimsier. However, you get two vibration motors to feel the action and all the buttons you need for your games. It even takes a page out of the Xbox Elite Controller’s book: on the underside of the PowerA Enhanced controller, you’ll find two small buttons that can serve as shortcuts to face buttons.

Logitech F310

Best Ultra Cheap PC Controller

Logitech F310

  • See it on Dell
  • See it on Best Buy
  • See it on Newegg

Are you a devout keyboard and mouse gamer who imagines yourself rarely using a gamepad? The Logitech F310 is the perfect option for you, as it only costs around $15, but it includes everything you need for your occasional cravings to use a controller. This option delivers dual joysticks, bumpers and triggers, four standard face buttons, and an eight-directional D-Pad, while ten buttons are programmable to customize the gamepad to your needs.

Now, is the Logitech F310 something you’ll want to be using all the time? Probably not, as its short, nubby grips don’t make for excellent ergonomics, and the joysticks aren’t 100 percent accurate. But that shouldn’t matter for short bursts, and the controller will make your life significantly easier when driving vehicles in games like Grand Theft Auto V or Battlefield 2042. It’s also strictly wired, connecting via USB, though it’s plug-and-play and delivers low input lag for the fastest possible actions.

Turtle Beach Recon Controller

Best Wired PC Controller

Turtle Beach Recon Controller

The plug-and-play nature of the Turtle Beach Recon Controller is perfect for anyone looking to add a wired controller to their PC. It connects via a detachable USB-A cord, and there’s even a headset port on the controller, helping to limit the wires cluttering your PC setup. Turtle Beach takes it further by including their Super Human Hearing to enhance subtle audio cues and audio controls for volume, game and chat mix, and mic monitoring, all on the gamepad itself.

You’ll get quickly up to speed in games with the familiar X-box style layout of the Turtle Beach Recon Controller, so you’re all set for Xbox Game Pass games and the wide assortment of titles available on Steam. Two back paddles are on the gamepad for quick actions, while on-the-fly button remapping is also available with four different profiles preloaded on the Recon, which you can reconfigure to your liking. Finally, the textured finishes on most controls and rubberized grips make for a secure handhold.

Sony DualSense Controller

Best Bluetooth PC Controller

Sony DualSense Controller

  • See it on Best Buy

The Sony DualSense Controller makes it simple to connect to your PC using Bluetooth, which means it’ll also be a solid option for mobile gaming. However, if you’re looking for a more stable connection with less latency, you can always plug it in via a USB-C for a wired option. And unlike the Xbox Core, when you use it wirelessly, you get a rechargeable battery, though the battery life leaves much to be desired.

The Sony DualSense changes the aesthetics of the DualShock, making for a sleeker, easier-to-grip gamepad that still offers a similar control scheme and symmetrical analog sticks. Steam support is on the controller, while advanced haptics and adaptive triggers work on PC using a wired connection. With more PlayStation-exclusive games ending up not so exclusive thanks to PC ports, full DualSense functionality on PC makes for the best way to play those games.

Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller

Best High-End PC Controller

Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller

  • See it on Amazon
  • See it on Newegg

If you’re after a controller that offers the familiar Xbox design but amps up its capability, you can’t go wrong with the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. This model features four rear paddles that can have their own actions or change the function of the face buttons, while all of the buttons on the gamepad are remappable. The D-pad, back paddles, and analog sticks are also all magnetically swappable, and you still get the tunable triggers we loved on the original Elite.

The Elite Series 2 controller adds the rechargeable battery that the Xbox Core controller lacks and lasts an impressive 40 hours on each charge. In addition to Xbox Wireless, if you’ve got an adapter, there’s Bluetooth, making it easy to pair with your PC or smartphone. You’re good to go when you’d rather have a low-latency wired connection, too, with a USB-C available.

SteelSeries Stratus+

Best PC Controller for Chromebooks

SteelSeries Stratus+

Chromebooks are often overlooked as a gaming device option since Chrome OS is not the best for gaming, but these machines are particularly capable where cloud gaming is concerned. And when you’re ready to get your game on, your perfect partner is the SteelSeries Stratus+ designed for Andriod and Chromebook devices, ensuring fuss-free support. You get a Bluetooth LE connection to enjoy 90 hours of wireless play on each charge or a USB-C for a wired option.

This upgraded version of SteelSeries Stratus Duo offers a familiar layout blending the stylings of Xbox controllers and Sony’s DualShock, so you’ll quickly get the hang of the Stratus+. The Hall effect magnetic sensors provide a great feel on the triggers to ensure precision and consistency, giving you an advantage in shooters, while the ALPS thumbsticks offer maximum control. And perhaps best of all, you can snag it for only $60, but it’s often on sale for less.

8Bitdo Pro 2

Best PC Controller for Retro Game

8Bitdo Pro 2

With retro looks and modern functionality, the 8BitDo Pro 2 is an awesome option for playing classic games on PC — and new games, too. The face of the 8BitDo Pro 2 gives you the sense of using a classic SNES controller, but the experience should be exponentially better thanks to a modern ergonomic design, quality buttons, and vibration. It also supports a range of platforms and can connect to your PC over a wired USB-C or Bluetooth for 20 hours.

On the 8BitDo Pro 2, you’ll find standard Nintendo-style controls, though you can remap the buttons to match in-game controls. Meanwhile, you get PlayStation-style symmetrical analog sticks and two back paddles that let you keep your thumbs on the sticks. Customization also allows you to do any necessary button remapping, swap sticks behavior and axes, or adjust the trigger actuation depth, and there are even motion controls.

Switch Pro Controller

Let’s a Go with Nintendo’s Controller

Switch Pro Controller

  • See it on Newegg

The Switch Pro Controller is one of the best controllers out there, and you can bring that greatness to the PC. It’s ergonomically designed and ready to rest comfortably in your hand for hours, while the layout is similar to that of Xbox controllers, so it’s easy to get the hang of playing on it. You get big face buttons, tactile triggers and joysticks, and a D-pad for some retro gaming, and all these components are super responsive, making it a great alternative to the Xbox Core controller.

The Switch Pro easily connects to your PC via a wired connection, but going wireless requires jumping through a few hoops. The good news is once you’ve paired it over Bluetooth, Steam will automatically recognize it as an Xbox One controller with all the button mapping done for you. However, if you’re playing games outside of Steam, you’ll need the 8BitDo Wireless USB Adapter to make the Switch Pro Controller act like an Xbox One gamepad.

Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma

Best RGB PC Controller

Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma

  • See it on Best Buy

The Razer Wolverine V2 Chroma is a slick wired controller with exceptional capabilities, and you can take advantage of that consistent power supply. That’s because this gamepad offers Razer’s signature RGB lighting subtly along the edge of the gamepad, letting you add some flair to your gameplay without becoming overly distracting. Those lights can even respond to information coming in from certain games, or you have plenty of other effects to really express yourself.

RGB lighting aside, the Wolverine V2 Chroma is one beast of a gamepad, featuring Razer’s mecha-tactile switches for the action buttons and D-Pad, so you won’t get a squishy feel from the controls. The responsive sticks come with swappable caps, while four buttons on the underside, a pair of extra shoulder buttons, and hair-trigger locks provide ample flexibility in how you play. And the controller is built for Xbox, so most will appreciate its familiar layout.

Hori Fighting Stick Alpha

Best PC Fight Stick

Hori Fighting Stick Alpha

The Xbox layout of this option, which has eight well-spaced buttons and a sensitive joystick that can be modded out, makes it ideal for Xbox or PC.

If you play a good deal of arcade or fighting games, you’ve got a case to pick up a fight stick for their large precise joystick and quickly actuating buttons. And for PC, the Hori Fighting Stick Alpha is a standout option, offering all the same buttons as an Xbox controller and a simple wired connection. If you’re worried about cable clutter from your PC to its components, the fight stick even lets you connect a gaming headset with controls on board to mute your mic and turn audio on.

The Hori Fighting Stick Alpha is also ready to take to tournaments without the worry of accidentally getting disqualified, thanks to a Key Lock mode. Modders also get a lot from this stick, as the case and faceplate can both be easily opened to swap out components or artwork. Of course, if you don’t want to mod, you’ll enjoy the high-quality Hori Hayabusa eight-direction joystick, eight well-spaced buttons, and top-notch switches and levers that come stock.

Gran Turismo DD Pro

Best PC Racing Wheel

Gran Turismo DD Pro

PCs are the place to experience simulation racing games, letting play some very serious—and sometimes seriously obscure—racing games, and you can also connect multiple displays and ultrawide screens. For an even more immersive experience, you need a racing wheel, and Fanatec’s Gran Turismo DD Pro is what professional racers and enthusiast sim racers use. As the name might suggest, the direct drive wheels connect a large motor directly to the steering wheel for much better control and force feedback.

If you’re looking for performance, the Gran Turismo DD Pro delivers, giving you a whopping 5Nm of torque from the Gran Turismo DD Pro, but it can go up to 8Nm with the separate 180 Boost Kit. You’re bound to feel the pull of every turn and the shock of every bump, making your wrists hurt after a short circuit. The wheel features an easy-to-use interface with familiar controls, unique 5-way directional sticks, and RevLED, while a steel two-pedal set completes this epic PC racing wheel.

Where to Get the Best PC Controller in the UK

It is unsurprising that the Xbox controller tops the list here, but you’ve actually got a couple of options depending on whether your laptop or PC is Bluetooth enabled. If you’ve got Bluetooth to use, you won’t need the PC adapter USB, and can simply pick up an Xbox One controller, or even a PlayStation DualShock 4 to avoid the extra cost. But, if you want to consider all your options, here are the best PC controllers available in the UK. Don’t see the controllers below? Click here.

Microsoft

Xbox Core Controller

Best PC Controller

PowerA

Enhanced Wired Controller

Best Budget PC Controller

Logitech

F310 Gamepad (Blue)

Best Budget PC Controller

Sony

PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller

Best Bluetooth PC Controller

Microsoft

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

Best High-End PC Controller

Razer

Wolverine Ultimate

Best PC Controller for FPS Games

SteelSeries

Stratus Duo

Ready to Go Out of the Box

8Bitdo

Sn30 Pro

Best PC Controller for Retro Games

Nintendo

Switch Pro Controller

Let’s a Go with Nintendo’s Controller

PowerA

Spectra Enhanced

Best RGB Controller

Hori

Fighting Stick Alpha

Best PC Fight Stick

Thrustmaster

TS-PC Racer

Best PC Racing Wheel

Best PC Controller FAQ

Can You Use Console Controllers on PC?

The short answer to this question is yes. Most of the best PC controllers are just console controllers that you connect you your PC. Figuring out how to connect them to your computer is where it starts to get a little tricky. Take a look at our guides to connecting a PS5 controller to PC and pairing an Xbox controller to PC for help getting started.

Are Controllers Better Than a Mouse and Keyboard for PC Gaming?

In short, not necessarily. While playing PC games with a controller might seem sacrilege against everything that is right in the church of keyboard and mouse, you shouldn’t care about what other people think about the way you play PC games.

After all, PC gaming is just as much about playing games that their best possible quality, experience games at ultrawide and super-wide aspect ratios unobtainable on the consoles, or just having the highest, silkiest frame rate possible.

How you get to play that experience is up to you, and if you’re like us, sometimes you rather just sit back with a controller than constantly lean over your desk’s keyboard and mouse. This can be especially true if you happen to be playing games on a big-screen gaming TV on your couch. While there are lapboards to bring the true PC gaming experience to your living room, controllers are great for keeping things casual and comfortable.

How to Choose the Best PC Controller

Choosing the best PC controller is a lot like choosing the best console controller for you. It all depends on preference. If you like the configuration of Xbox controllers over the best PS5 controllers, then you’re going to want to a classic Xbox controller. If you’re looking for something more customizable, you’ll want to go with a custom controller like the Xbox Elite Series. And, if you just really like the feel of the Switch Pro controller, you can go with that too. There are plenty of options available!

Can You Use a PC Controller on a Steam Deck?

Though the Steam Deck comes with its own set of full-size buttons, rear paddles, and analog sticks, there’s still a case to be made for using a PC controller, such as if the device is hooked up to a gaming monitor or you’re taking advantage of multiplayer mode. Luckily, the gaming handheld supports a variety of controllers and makes them simple to pair.

The Steam Deck offers Bluetooth, so almost any controller with that connectivity option should work well with the device. Most Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo controllers are even automatically recognized by Steam, and on PlayStation controllers, the user interface on Steam defaults to match the PlayStation controls. You don’t need to worry about this with Xbox controllers, as they have the same button arrangement as the Steam Deck. It’s also possible to have a wired controller connected to the Steam Deck via a USB-C. So, maybe a controller should be the next Steam Deck accessory you pick up.

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Controllers | Informatics office

In the office menu |

controllers peripherals (see also “ Functional unit ” and “ Buses and interfaces ”).

The term “controller” is very close in meaning to another term – “ adapter “. The purpose of both is the same, but the controller is somewhat more complicated: “it implies some activity – the ability to act independently after receiving commands from the program serving it. A complex controller may also include its own processor” 11 . At the level of an ordinary user, these concepts are practically indistinguishable and can be considered synonyms.

And another similar device is coprocessor . Coprocessors “help” the main ( central ) processor, which executes the program, to implement complex specific functions. An example is a graphics coprocessor that performs geometric construction and processing of graphic images – it can be considered a graphics controller. A mathematical coprocessor stands somewhat apart, which performs its functions “alone”, without controlling any external devices.

All of the above devices serve to reduce the load on the CPU and increase the overall performance of the system. The meaning of controllers is that they free the processor from the slowest input/output functions. The ideas of using specialized intelligent circuits to unload the central processor were laid down in the third generation of computers in large shared-use machines IBM-360 (in the USSR, this family of machines is known as an “analogue” under the name ES computers). In the fourth generation, a technological opportunity arose to assemble control circuits in a single crystal, and microcontrollers .

As an example, the photo shows a view of the microcontroller located inside the keyboard. We emphasize that there is another controller for servicing the keyboard in the computer itself. In addition, all I/O devices and external memory also have their own controllers.

The controller, as a rule, includes: its own microprocessor, RAM, ROM, registers of external devices (through which the controller interacts with the central processor), buffer (matching) circuits. In a certain sense, a complex controller is a simplified specialized computer.

In order for readers to get some idea of ​​the functions and capabilities of modern controllers, we will give a description of the floppy disk drive controller, which is given in E. Tanenbaum’s fundamental work on operating systems 12 . “The basic commands are the read and write commands (reading and writing). Each of them requires 13 parameters packed into 9 bytes. These parameters determine such elements as the address of the block on the disk to be read, the number of sectors per track, the physical recording mode, and the spacing between sectors. They also tell you what to do with the address label of data that has been deleted. If you can’t immediately comprehend it, don’t worry – only the initiated understand it completely. When the operation is completed, the controller chip returns 23 parameters packed into 7 bytes, reflecting the presence and types of errors.

The controller of a modern hard drive has even more intelligence. For example, it “remembers” all poor-quality sectors on the magnetic surface (which cannot be avoided with modern recording density!) and is able to replace them with backup ones, creating the appearance of a disk that is completely free from defects. Or one more example. Modern hard drives use S.M.A.R.T. ( S elf M onitoring A nalysis and R eport T echnology – literally “technology for self-monitoring, analysis and reporting”; in addition, the English word “smart” means “reasonable”, “intellectual”). A hard drive equipped with this feature keeps statistics of its parameters from the very first start, saving its results in some hidden area of ​​the disk. The accumulated data can help specialists in analyzing the condition of the hard drive and its operating conditions.

Guidelines

Informatics course of basic school

Strictly speaking, the Standard and the Sample Program do not mention the term “controller”. Nevertheless, in our opinion, it is desirable to give schoolchildren a minimal idea of ​​​​controllers and their functions.

Computer science course in high school

Standards (basic and profile) of senior classes contain issues related to the architecture and organization of modern computers. Apparently, it is simply impossible to cover these issues without mentioning the terms “adapter”, “controller” and “coprocessor”. The material presented in the article can be considered as a minimum of information that should be presented to a high school student as part of a story about the structure of a modern computer.


11 Guk M. IBM PC hardware. Encyclopedia. St. Petersburg: Peter, 2003, 923.

12 E. Tanenbaum. Modern operating systems. St. Petersburg: Piter, 2004, 1040 p.

Industrial computers, special computers, controllers

  • on request

    PK-2 is intended for use as an industrial computer in conditions requiring a high degree of protection from external influences. PC-2 can be used in automated process control systems, banking systems, transport or aviation. PC-2 provides the ability to process information and exchange information with external systems via network interfaces. PC-2 is designed for continuous round-the-clock operation indoors and outdoors.

  • on request

    Fanless industrial computer PK-3 based on the new low-power Elbrus-1C+ microprocessor (LYaUI.467444.021). The computer is intended for use as a part of automated control systems as a data gateway, operator’s workstation, and the system’s computing core. The developed system of communications allows to solve the widest range of tasks. The presence of three gigabit Ethernet channels allows you to build reliable systems in a duplicated and tripled mode of operation.

  • on request

    Single-board industrial computer MP-16. 2 (LYaUI.467144.078-01) based on Elbrus-1C+ (1891VM11Ya) and KPI-2 (1991VG2Ya) microprocessors in EPIC format.
    The MP is a single-board computer, in a frameless version, for use in products that do not require protection from external influences.

  • upon request

    Single-board industrial computer MP-16.2 (LYaUI.467144.078-02) based on Elbrus-1C+ (1891VM11Ya) and KPI-2 (1991VG2Ya) microprocessors in EPIC format.
    The MP is a single-board computer, in a frameless version, for use in products that do not require protection from external influences.

  • on request

  • on request

    The module is a universal platform for the rapid construction of computing systems based on processor modules from various manufacturers. It incorporates advanced peripherals and allows implementing flexible embedded solutions.

  • on request

    The module is a universal platform for the rapid construction of computing systems based on processor modules from various manufacturers. It incorporates a developed periphery and allows software integration during the development of a specific carrier.

  • on request

    KMAV-S is designed for building distributed systems for data collection, monitoring and control in the field of automated process control systems. Made on the basis of the domestic microcontroller Milandr K1986BE1QI with a clock frequency of 144 MHz. The module is made in an aluminum case, degree of protection IP-40. Mounting method – DIN rail.

  • on request

    The MP17 processor module is designed to work as part of controlling
    points of industrial distributed monitoring and control systems that carry out
    direct interaction with sensors and actuators of the system with
    using communication modules with the object of control and management (USO).

  • on request

    MAV17 analog input module (LYuUI.468154.010) is designed to work as a part of PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller. The module has 16 channels for inputting signals such as voltage in the range of 0-5/0-10V or current in the range of 0-20mA. Channel types are selected programmatically, in groups of 4 channels.

  • on request

    Analog output module MAVv17 (LYaUI.468154.012) is designed to work as part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller and is used to generate DC voltage.

  • on request

    Module for analog input of thermocouples and resistance thermometers MAV17-TPTS (LYuUI.468154.014) is designed to work as part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller and is used to input signals from thermoelectric converters (TC) and resistance thermometers (RT).

  • on request

    Discrete input module MDV17 (LYuI. 468353.163) is designed to work as a part of PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller. The module provides input of discrete signals of the “dry contact” type on 32 channels with group galvanic isolation on 16 channels. Some of the module’s channels can be configured for counter mode.

  • on request

    Discrete output module MDVv17 (LYuI.468353.165) is designed to work as a part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller and is used to switch 32 DC and AC voltage signals.

  • on request

    MKI1 communication interface module (LYaUI.468154.017) is designed to expand the communication capabilities of the MP17 processor module.

  • on request

    The MP20 processor module (LYaUI.467144.085) is designed to work as part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller. The module can be used as a low cost expansion module for cascading additional PLC cradles. The connection is made using the Ethernet interface.

  • on request

    BCP01 is designed for use as a high-speed and low-power on-board computer. Its features include a large number of CAN interfaces, the ability to exchange via two Ethernet channels, output graphic information to an external screen, and connect storage media to USB ports.

  • on request

    ONIKS12M is a rugged tablet computer for harsh environments. The features of this product are: the operating temperature range from minus 50 to plus 60C, a powerful processor, a display with improved optical characteristics and a shock-resistant aluminum case.

  • on request

    The MCP901 processor module is made in the ETX format based on the Vortex86DX3 chip. Designed to create new and extend the life cycle of existing special computers using a full-fledged ISA bus.

  • on request

  • on request

  1. on request

    PK-2 is intended for use as an industrial computer in conditions requiring a high degree of protection against external influences. PC-2 can be used in automated process control systems, banking systems, transport or aviation. PC-2 provides the ability to process information and exchange information with external systems via network interfaces. PC-2 is designed for continuous round-the-clock operation indoors and outdoors.

  2. on request

    Fanless industrial computer PK-3 based on the new low-power Elbrus-1C+ microprocessor (LYaUI.467444.021). The computer is intended for use as a part of automated control systems as a data gateway, operator’s workstation, and the system’s computing core. The developed system of communications allows to solve the widest range of tasks. The presence of three gigabit Ethernet channels allows you to build reliable systems in a duplicated and tripled mode of operation.

  3. on request

    Single-board industrial computer MP-16. 2 (LYaUI.467144.078-01) based on Elbrus-1C+ (1891VM11Ya) and KPI-2 (1991VG2Ya) microprocessors in EPIC format.
    The MP is a single-board computer, in a frameless version, for use in products that do not require protection from external influences.

  4. upon request

    Single-board industrial computer MP-16.2 (LYaUI.467144.078-02) based on Elbrus-1C+ (1891VM11Ya) and KPI-2 (1991VG2Ya) microprocessors in EPIC format.
    The MP is a single-board computer, in a frameless version, for use in products that do not require protection from external influences.

  5. on request

  6. on request

    The module is a universal platform for the rapid construction of computing systems based on processor modules from various manufacturers. It incorporates advanced peripherals and allows implementing flexible embedded solutions.

  7. on request

    The module is a universal platform for the rapid construction of computing systems based on processor modules from various manufacturers. It incorporates a developed periphery and allows software integration during the development of a specific carrier.

  8. on request

    KMAV-S is designed for building distributed systems for data collection, monitoring and control in the field of automated process control systems. Made on the basis of the domestic microcontroller Milandr K1986BE1QI with a clock frequency of 144 MHz. The module is made in an aluminum case, degree of protection IP-40. Mounting method – DIN rail.

  9. on request

    The MP17 processor module is designed to work as part of controlling
    points of industrial distributed monitoring and control systems that carry out
    direct interaction with sensors and actuators of the system with
    using communication modules with the object of control and management (USO).

  10. on request

    MAV17 analog input module (LYuUI.468154.010) is designed to work as a part of PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller. The module has 16 channels for inputting signals such as voltage in the range of 0-5/0-10V or current in the range of 0-20mA. Channel types are selected programmatically, in groups of 4 channels.

  11. on request

    Analog output module MAVv17 (LYaUI.468154.012) is designed to work as part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller and is used to generate DC voltage.

  12. on request

    Module for analog input of thermocouples and resistance thermometers MAV17-TPTS (LYuUI.468154.014) is designed to work as part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller and is used to input signals from thermoelectric converters (TC) and resistance thermometers (RT).

  13. on request

    Discrete input module MDV17 (LYuI. 468353.163) is designed to work as a part of PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller. The module provides input of discrete signals of the “dry contact” type on 32 channels with group galvanic isolation on 16 channels. Some of the module’s channels can be configured for counter mode.

  14. on request

    Discrete output module MDVv17 (LYuI.468353.165) is designed to work as a part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller and is used to switch 32 DC and AC voltage signals.

  15. on request

    MKI1 communication interface module (LYaUI.468154.017) is designed to expand the communication capabilities of the MP17 processor module.

  16. on request

    The MP20 processor module (LYaUI.467144.085) is designed to work as part of the PLC-ELBRUS programmable logic controller. The module can be used as a low cost expansion module for cascading additional PLC cradles. The connection is made using the Ethernet interface.

  17. on request

    BCP01 is designed for use as a high-speed and low-power on-board computer. Its features include a large number of CAN interfaces, the ability to exchange via two Ethernet channels, output graphic information to an external screen, and connect storage media to USB ports.

  18. on request

    ONIKS12M is a rugged tablet computer for harsh environments.