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As the digital control field incorporates new technology (e.g., bubble memory, very large scale integration (VLSI), fiber optics, Josephsen junctions, etc.), the development of new control tools is advancing at a rapid pace. The board-level microcomputer (MC) and the programmable controller (PC) are two types of controller spinoffs from today's technology. The similarity in the architecture and functions of these units makes proper selection difficult. Guidelines for the selection of MC or PC in industrial control applications are provided.