Modernized 8051 IP Cores Provide a Superior MCU Solution for Internet of Things and Similar Applications

With some of the fastest and most mature 8051 cores available, CAST today offers the best high-performance, low-energy 8051 MCUs in its 16 years of 8051 IP experience

picAn 8051 IP pioneer going back to 1997, CAST today offers its best ever family of 8- and 16-bit MCS®51-compatible IP cores and related hardware and software solutions. These MCU IP cores for ASICs or FPGAs are also some of the best you’ll find anywhere, and their royalty-free licensing and competitive pricing make them cost-effective solutions for a wide range of projects.


CAST partners with 8051 development experts Silesia Devices to bring you the proven advantages of this venerable microcontroller—compactness, reliability, easy programming—but using modern processor design techniques that enable vastly superior performance and reduced energy consumption.

These modernized 8051s offer sufficient processing power for today’s fastest growing applications—Internet of Things, wearable electronics, smart automobile systems—yet are smaller, use less power, and are more affordable than lower-end 32-bit processors.

The CAST 8051 product family includes the following.

Super-Fast, Low-Power S8051XC3

A sophisticated architecture makes this the fastest 8-bit 8051 available anywhere. It uses a single clock per machine cycle, executes instructions up to 26.85 times faster than the original, and can operate up to 500 MHz (65nm). Its interrupt latency is ultra low and nearly jitter-free.


The S8051XC3 is also very small—with a CPU size under 6,500 gates—and energy efficient, with CPU dynamic power down to 2.3µW/MHz (40nm).

High-Performance, Configurable, Mature R8051XC2

Built on 4th generation IP code and shipping in millions of customer devices, this mature 8051 core is extremely configurable and easy to integrate. It executes 12.1 times faster than the original, and ASIC imple-mentations reach 430 MHz (90nm).

Configurable Discrete Part Replacement L8051XC1

Designers often need to update an existing system whose MCU chip is out of production, or wish to consolidate discrete chips into an ASIC or FPGA SoC.

This 8051 core is an excellent solution, built with the latest processor design techniques for maximum performance yet completely configurable to exactly match the functional and timing characteristics of existing chips (coming 3Q14).

Ultra-Low Interrupt Latency in Modern 8051s

Internet of Things, smart automo-bile systems, wearable electronics; these fast-growth applications require a large number and variety of focused, inexpensive, low-energy subsystems. Their MCUs must meet real-time challenges, and this requires very low interrupt latency (the number of clock cycles be-tween an interrupt making itself known and the processor starting to execute the appropriate response). Consistent latency is also important, as large differences or jitter lead to errors in applications like motor control or sound processing.

32-bit RISC MCU providers pro-mote the interrupt latency of their processors as superior to that of 8-bit MCUs. But this turns out not to be true for modern 8051 architec-tures such as the S8051XC3 from CAST.

The ‘XC3 needs just 3 cycles to respond to an interrupt request, plus an additional 7 to 12 cycles to save and restore what the proces-sor was doing, for a best/worst-case real latency delay of 10 to 18 cycles. In contrast, the popular ARM® Cortex™-M0 needs 17 to 24 cycles. Jitter in the ‘XC3 is never worse than I cycle, but in the 32-bit MCU can be 3 to perhaps 10 cycles. (See the 8051 Interrupt Delay white paper on the CAST site for details.)

Moreover, the Cortex series re-quires a relatively complex Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller (NVIC) even to compete, and that block can be as large as an entire CAST 8051.

When low interrupt latency really matters, look to 8051s first.

16-bit, Higher Speed and Capacity S80251XC3

Projects requiring 16-bit data handling and faster performance yet still wanting the simplicity and efficiency of an 8051 can find an excellent solution in this modernized 80251-compatible design (coming 2Q14).

8051 IP Subsystems

Further reduce your development time with complete 8051 subsystems for sensor management, industrial control, machine vision, networking and more. Choose from our growing library of pre-integrated subsystems (available throughout 2014) or get exactly what you need for your system via our IP Integration Ser-vices.


Auto-configuration makes it easy to use MCU peripherals and interfaces from our large included library. Further configure the CPU and memory architecture to ideally support your particular application. Or use our available services to get the additional peripherals or features you need.


Develop software for your CAST 8051 with the powerful, familiar Integrated Design Environments available from Keil and other providers. Seamlessly integrate with these through our on-chip hardware debug block and either four-wire JTAG or our unique single-wire SWAT connection to our CAST Debug Pods. These efficient pods are designed for fast operation, speeding program uploading and practically eliminating time lag in the interactive debug loop. Insert and monitor hardware or software breakpoints, trace elements, and more.


Twenty-year-old IP provider CAST has delivered 8051 IP since 1997. We have over 200 customers, with 8051s shipping in hundreds of millions of devices around the world.

Our development, support, and sales teams are among the most experienced in the world, and we are ready to help you choose and use the ideal 8051 MCU for your next project.

Learn more by visiting, email, or call any time at +1 201.391.8300.

Contact Information

Cast, Inc.

50 Tice Blvd., Suite 340
Woodcliff Lake, NJ , 07677

tele: (201) 381-8300
fax: (201) 391-8694

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