EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands -- Philips Semiconductors today announced it has extended the 80C51microcontroller architecture to support more than 64 kilobytes of program and data memory.
The 80C51MX is fully code-compatible with the industry-standard 80C51, and has been optimized for C language programming. Philips said this will enable design engineers to develop complex applications at a lower price and provide a migration path to move beyond the 80C51's 64-Kbyte barrier.
"This architectural extension broadens the 80C51 market," said Geoff Lees, director of marketing for the Microcontroller Business Line at Philips Semiconductors. "While the 80C51MX has the capability to address up to 16 megabytes of internal and external memory, design engineers can initially expect pin-compatible OTP one-time programmable and flash devices from 64 Kbytes through 256 Kbytes. This will enable many new applications at a lower cost with a decreased time-to-market -- two key success factors in the evolving consumer and telecommunications markets."
By extending the 80C51 architecture to 64 Kbytes while retaining object code compatibility, design engineers will be able to re-use existing 80C51-based source code, eliminating the need to move to a new, unfamiliar architecture, said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research in Phoenix. "The current median memory requirement for 8-bit microcontrollers is approaching 32 Kbytes, and in order to maintain the use of 80C51, an extension such as this was required."
The extended architecture allows designers to achieve greater functionality for embedded as well as off-chip memory solutions, according to Philips, and eliminates the need for additional hardware and software required for current memory extension techniques. The first product based on this extended architecture will begin shipping in the third quarter, with volume production to follow in the fourth quarter.
Keil Software Inc. of Addison, Texas, will provide a software tool chain for the new architecture toinclude a C compiler, de-bugger, simulator and linker. Keil Software's tool chain will also be available in the third quarter.
"Keil Software recognizes the market demand for an extension beyond the current 80C51 barrier of 64 Kbytes," said Reinhard Keil, president of Keil Software. "This architecture, combined with our development tools, will enable design engineers to produce next generation applications without the uncertainty and expense of working with a new architecture."