The digits 8051 in orange on a blue background.

About the Original 8051 Core

The 8051 core is a processor architecture originally introduced by INTEL in 1980. The original 8051 is now obsolete, and has been improved by many manufacturers in hundreds of variants (derivatives). The original 8051 was a mask programmable microcontroller. There was also a ROM-less version called 8031. At least 12 pulses were required to process a command in the original 8051 cores. This is a clear indicator of a CISC instruction set.

Modern 8051 versions have been improved to such an extent that a traditional command can be processed in only one pulse cycle. Program and data memories are logically separated in this core. By default, only code from the program memory and not from the data memory can be processed, but ways have been found to work around this. The architecture tends to be less suitable for C-compilers. At that time, programming was still done mainly in assembler. C had been invented, but was not yet something a developer would concentrate on. Nevertheless, today there are of course several C-compilers for easier programming.

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8051 Is Still Used in Many Applications

The original 8051 core has proven itself over many years and is still used in many applications today and will continue to be so, because there are many programmers who have access to an extensive software library. In the past, almost every semiconductor manufacturer had a microcontroller with an 8051 core in their program, but this is no longer the case. Many have already left the market or simply increased their prices.

However, there are a few exceptions, and they still have state-of-the-art 8051 products on their line card, at very aggressive prices. The included peripheral elements are of the very latest format, and thanks to the portfolio of different manufacturers it is possible to meet almost any requirement.

Manufacturers & Contacts

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NUVOTON Technology was founded to bring customers new solutions inspired by innovation. NUVOTON is a digital / analog / mixed signal semiconductor manufacturer.

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Johannes Kornfehl +43 186 305-149 E-MAIL


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