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A microcontroller specifically tailored to the processing needs and energy budget of battery-powered sensor-based microsystems is described. The microsystem controller contains both a microprocessor core and a data computation engine to support the operation control and data processing needs common to sensor systems. The RISC microprocessor is capable of general-purpose control and data handling but also includes hardware blocks and instructions to facilitate sensor network communications. The configurable computation engine provides energy-efficient hardware for digital calibration and compensation of sensor data and supports general signal processing algorithms. The methodology, features and functionality, of the microsystem controller, are presented.