Fastest-Running 8051 Microcontroller IP Core Now Available from CAST

An 8051-compatible microcontroller core with 26.85 times the performance per MHz of the original 8051 chip is now available from semiconductor intellectual property provider CAST, Inc.

Modern 8051 implementations like this new S8051XC3 Super-Fast 8051 MCU Core offer energy, area, and easy development advantages that make them smart choices for offloading application processors in complex systems; managing analog sensors or radios in Internet of Things and wearable electronics devices; or running deeply embedded systems. The benefits of the S8051XC3 now available from CAST are especially competitive:

  • A Dhrystone 2.1 performance rating of 0.252 DMIPS/MHz yields an unmatched 26.85 times speed up over the original 80C51 chip operating at the same frequency.
  • Maximum CPU frequency exceeds 500 MHz for a class-leading effective increase of more than 1,000 times over 80C51 chips (40nm G process).
  • Real-world performance is boosted thanks to an ultra-fast interrupt response—as low as three cycles—without the need for additional silicon- and power-consuming interrupt controllers.
  • Silicon area usage starts at a low 6.2K gates (65nm LP) for the CPU, and remains highly competitive through all options and configurations.
  • Dynamic power consumption as low as 2.4μW/MHz rivals that of low-power 32-bit processors and is lower than other 8051s. Efficiency further benefits from energy-saving Dynamic Frequency Scaling, low-power mode support, and the ability to process more while running at a lower-than-maximum clock frequency.
  • Inexpensive single-wire hardware debug pods, 100% compatibility with standard 80C51 code, and support by Keil and other popular debug environments facilitate smooth development.
  • Cost-effective licensing with no royalties helps satisfy the most demanding economic requirements.

The S8051XC3 achieves these competitive advantages by incorporating processor innovations rarely applied to 8-bit microcontrollers, including branch prediction, multiple instructions issued in one clock cycle, single-cycle multiplication and division, and even a separate, Harvard-like, data-bus.

“Who could have imagined that an 8051 could one day challenge embedded 32-bit RISC processors? Well, the S8051XC3 does it, while still preserving its energy efficiency and small silicon footprint,” said Nikos Zervas, chief operating officer for CAST. “We’ve had the 8051 vision since 1999, have already seen it work for hundreds of different customer applications, and are excited to now offer this state-of-the-art new version that continues to solve designer’s problems both elegantly and cost-effectively.”

The new core joins the mature R8051XC2 MCU sold and supported by CAST for many years. Like the R8051XC2, the new S8051XC3 is available in multiple versions, and also offers extensive configurability so designers can easily fine-tune the MCU and peripherals set to optimally match their specific design requirements. The development roadmap calls for additional targeted 8051 variations and an even faster 80251 core to join CAST’s product line over the next year.

Sourced from technology partner Silesia Devices, these new 8051-compatible cores are all developed by experts who have more experience designing and supporting reusable 8051 IP than any other engineering team.

CAST will be premiering the new S8051XC3 core at DesignCon 2014 (Santa Clara, California, January 29–30, booth 639). To schedule a private demo and discussion at the show or to learn more, email or call +1 201.391.8300.

Silesia Devices Sp. z o.o. is a microcontroller and processor IP development firm founded in 2013 by a team of long-time IP developers. (CAST is an investor and exclusive sales partner.) Located in Upper Silesia, the company is helping transform this former home of heavy industry in southern Poland into an emerging new high-tech business center. Learn more at

CAST, Inc. is a 20-year-old developer, integrator, and aggregator of IP cores and subsystems. The company’s royalty-free product line features 8- and 32-bit controllers and processors with peripherals; video and image compression codecs; and graphics, encryption, interconnect, and interface IP for quickly building complete systems. See for product details.

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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