Who could have thought that the world of the 8051 microcontroller could be so exciting? Today, there were two independent press releases that I saw with news about this ancient piece of technology. First introduced in 1980 it should have been a dinosaur long ago, but it remains one of the most popular small processors. According to Wikipedia “The original Intel 8051 ran at 12 clock cycles per machine cycle, and most instructions executed in one or two machine cycles. A typical maximum clock frequency of 12 MHz meant these old 8051s could execute one million single-cycle instructions, or 500,000 two-cycle instructions, per second. In contrast, enhanced 8051 silicon IP cores now run at one clock cycle per machine cycle, and have clock frequencies of up to 450 MHz. That means an 8051-compatible processor can now execute 450 million instructions per second.”
So, the first piece of news came from Microchip Technology who have announced that it will continue to manufacture legacy 8051/80C51 MCUs that provide pin-for-pin-compatible replacements for most of those recently placed under “End-of-Life” (EOL) notification by NXP. Included are drop-in replacements for NXP’s P89LV51RB2/C2/D2 and P89V51RB2/C2/D2 EOL series of 80C51 8-bit microcontrollers.
In the IP world, Digital Core Design, a design house from Poland has introduced what they claim to be the world’s most advanced 80C51 architecture. They say they have achieved results which are more than 56 times better than the standard 8051 and more than 70% more efficient, than the nearest competition. Unfortunately, they did not provide any specific performance numbers.
– keeping you covered
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