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A controller is any electrical component that is used to control an electrical or electro-mechanical subsystem. They provide dedicated electronics expressly designed for working with a particular technology, which offloads the primary system computer from directly managing the process. They are divided into two main categories: signal controllers and power controllers.

Signal controllers are dedicated to implementing one or more communication protocols. As an example, almost every CPU or AP has an integrated memory controller subsystem that manages the processor's interactions with the main memory and handles many important functions such as queueing, thread access control, and address resolution so that the CPU's resources are not consumed.

Power controllers are less complex, but they contain specialized hardware with high power ratings, such as power FETs and diodes, transformers, and ferromagnetic core inductors that can manage the supply of large voltages or currents.

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