8051 MCU IP Cores: the Smart Choice for Low-Power, High-Performance, and Easy Development
8- and 16-bit MCS®51-compatible IP Cores can be the best MCU solution for applications requiring very low energy consumption; rapid development, low risk, and inexpensive deployment; and good processing performance with small silicon area.
They’re not your father’s 8051s.
Unlike the original chips introduced in 1980, today’s 8051 intellectual property (IP) cores use the latest processor design techniques to run tremendously faster, up to nearly 70x. They also incorporate hardware debug aids, come pre-integrated with most of the peripherals you’re likely to need, and benefit from state-of-the-art IP reusability in their coding and packaging.
Yet these modern 8051 IP cores retain full MCS®251 & MCS®51 code compatibility. Development tools, reference designs, evaluation boards, and more are readily available in the rich and proven 8051 ecosystem. Many hardware designers can program 8051s in their sleep, and tutorials, tips, code snippets, full IP subsystems, and more abound for those who need to learn.
For applications with relatively modest computing requirements—such as many Internet of Things (IoT) devices—today’s 8051s thus offer several distinct technical advantages over many alternatives, especially popular 32-bit processors. Cost can be another significant advantage, as their licensing is likely to be both simpler (e.g., royalty-free) and have a lower purchase or reuse fee.
One robust and attractive example of such a line of 8051 IP cores is that available from CAST, Inc.
The 8051 IP Line from CAST
An 8051 IP pioneer going back to 1997, CAST today works with technology partner Silesia Devices to provide our 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 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.
|CEITEC chooses 8051 IP from CAST for Embedded Security Controller Platform
One of the most advanced semi-conductor design and manufactur-ing firms in Latin America, CEITEC S.A., has chosen a CAST 8051-compatible microcontroller IP core for its new embedded security con-troller platform.
“Our unique mission is to develop innovative microelectronic solutions meeting the needs of Brazil and the overall market, while also contrib-uting to national development,” said Marcus Kindel, ASIC design engi-neer and project manager for CEITEC. “This 8051 IP provides key features like an efficient power management unit, on-chip debug, and user-configurable peripherals, and combined with its high perfor-mance and ease of use satisfies our specific design requirements. Moreover, CAST’s long 8051 track record and effective support give us great confidence in this choice.”
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, and executes instructions 9.41 to 26.85 times faster than the original 8051 at the same fre-quency, without requiring an external arithmetic acceleration unit such as an MDU.
Representative 65nm LP ASIC results have reached 500 MHz, for an effective speed-up of 1,000 times over 80C51 chips. Interrupt latency is a remarkably low two cycles.
It 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).
One of the smallest such MCUs available, this Tiny 8051 needs just 6.6K gates for its CPU and a useful set of peripherals (180nm process). It still runs at 0.1236 DMIPS/MHz, delivering 13.15x more performance per MHz than the original 8051.
High-Performance, Configurable, Mature R8051XC2
Built on 4th generation IP code and shipping in millions of customer devices, this mature 8051 core is ex-tremely configurable and easy to integrate. It executes 12.1 times faster than the original, and ASIC imple-mentations reach 430 MHz (90nm).
Legacy-Configurable Discrete Part Replacement L8051XC1
This MCU features flexible architectural timing and other features specially designed for the easiest-possible conformance to existing, sometimes very old, legacy systems. See the sidebar for details.
Fast 16-bit, 8051/80251 Compatible S80251XC3
This high-performance 16-bit microcontroller executes the MCS®251 & MCS®51 instruction sets and in-cludes a configurable range of features and integrated peripherals. One of the fastest 8051-compatible available anywhere, it runs at 0.655 DMIPs/MHz for a 69.7x speed-up over the original 8051 at the same clock frequency, or more than 1,500 times faster than the original 8051 when clocked at maximum frequency.
Tiny 16-bit, 8051/80251 Compatible T80251XC3
This MCU executes the MCS®251 & MCS®51 instruction sets and offers one of the smallest silicon foot-prints capable of handling 16- and 32-bit data. The CPU is below 13k gates on 180nm, and it has an extremely small memory footprint due to denser code for 8- and 16-bit data processing. This plus ISA addressing modes that minimize load/store operations significantly reduces power consumption compared with RISC CPUs.
Further compare these 8051-compatibles in the following table.
Develop software for your CAST 8051 with the powerful, familiar Integrated Design Environments available from IAR Systems, 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.
Trust the 8051 IP Leader
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.