8051-compatible MCU samples from Microchip

Posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 in components, parts by the machinegeek

For those of you who like the 8051 chip, we notice that Microchip has 8051 compatible MCUs available in 40-pin PDIP, part number SST89E516RD-40-C-PIE, available as samples.
According to the datasheet:

The SST89E516RDx and SST89V516RDx are members of the FlashFlex family of 8-bit microcontroller products designed and manufactured with SST’s patented and proprietary SuperFlash CMOS semiconductor process technology. The splitgate cell design and thick-oxide tunneling injector offer significant cost and reliability benefits for SST’s customers. The devices use the 8051 instruction set and are pin-for-pin compatible with standard 8051 microcontroller devices.

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19 Responses to “8051-compatible MCU samples from Microchip”

  1. Does anyone have any good resources on getting these hooked up and setting up the tool chain for it? I’ve got a couple Maxim 8051s kicking around, but have never been able to get it started.

    • bronson says:

      sdcc was a great tool when I used it back in 2004. You have to dip to assembly sometimes to check up on the compiler (mapping C to the 8051 instruction set is not so easy) but it’s still way better than going straight asm.

  2. James Bailey says:

    Apparently they do not ship samples to the US?

  3. Joe Desbonnet says:

    This is a platform that won’t die. I notice that Texas Instruments are basing their latest 802.15.4/ZigBee SoCs on 8051 (eg CC2530).

  4. “For those of you who like the 8051 chip” can also be read as “For those of you who have never used the 8051 chip”.

    I appreciate it’s price, and ubiquity, and simplicity… but yeegads, ‘like’ is a bit strong, isn’t it?

    • Perry says:

      I’ve used plenty of 8051’s and the slightly more horrid 8031’s, and I’d definately say I ‘like’ them. That going much more so for the newer offerings from STM and such with multiple on-die peripherals. It’s probably one of the easiest CISC assembly languages to learn, and I find it pretty effective doing entire projects in it without too much frustration.

      If they had said ‘love’ though, I’d be right there with you.

  5. WestfW says:

    SST had a bunch of 8051 chips back before being acquired, according to Keil. It’s interesting how vendors are acquiring “legacy technology” somewhat in conflict with their own offerings, through acquisitions. TI got the CC chips, Atmel got Temic (though they already had their own 8051). Microchip got SST, and etc…

    I wouldn’t mind seeing an cheap and easy-to-use 8051 “play” board. Something assuming that there’s significant flash on-chip, using modern SMT RAM, and maybe an FTDI-cable-style serial port, instead of the ancient EPROM+RAM+RS232 you usually see on 8051 boards (from the “good old days.”)

  6. tbutuza says:

    What could be the reason to use these old fashioned chips?
    Now we have strong competitors: Arm cortex M0, and even some PICs are more attractive and cheap.
    For provide replacement CPUs for old legacy devices?

    • Perry says:

      Legacy hardware support is one reason. I’ve had numerous occasions where I’ve been glad to have a few on hand. More so though, I like the older hardware for teaching purposes, and the 8051 being as prolific as it is has many simulators and other tools to help get a feel for what it’s actually doing.

      I know many people will contend that newer on chip debugging and things make such simulations obsolete, but do you really want to explain to a student how a chip is doing it’s regular work and telling you all about it their first go around? Wait until after they know how interrupts work before you do that and save hours of childish “But how/whys?”

    • Try not to forget that the IC market isn’t targeting the hobbyist. A few dollars here and there is meaningless for a one-off prototype, but even pennies matter when you’re a big company on a production run.

      An 8051 is cheap, and at volume, it’s even cheaper. Compared to a similar PIC or MSP430, you’re looking at a few dollars in savings per unit. And an ARM would be another $10+ on top of that, that’s certainly overkill.

      If you’re Samsung, and you’re producing a new TV remote control that just needs to do a little IR work, and you’re building 5 million of them… considering that an 8051 is physically capable of handling remote control work, they’re always going to pick the $1 chip over the $3 chip.

      • asdf says:

        Cortex-M0’s go for 50 cents or so nowadays (eg. NXP’s LPC1100 line). All other things being equal there’s no real reasons to pick 8051s for new projects anymore.

      • Joe Desbonnet says:

        Do you know where I can source a few Cortex M0 in DIP packages? Last I looked my usual suppliers (Farnell, Mouser) didn’t carry it.

      • asdf says:

        NXP will have one out later this year (LPC1114FN28/102), I’m not aware of any currently available.

      • You don’t need to convince me that there are other better and cheap micros out there. I don’t ever pick 8051s, and especially not for prototyping.

        But when talking about massive quantities, they can be *so* cheap. Every company I have worked with that shipped 8051s did so because the large quantity price break is great. When you’re talking quantities where 10 cents is enormous, 8051s often still pull ahead of the competition on price.

        One of our customers bought a stock of 10 million of so 8051s. Just to have on hand, because they figured they would use them all eventually. At that quantity, you’re talking about microprocessors that rival passive components in price.

  7. Joe Desbonnet says:

    My current problem with 8051 is that I really want to evaluate the CC253x radio chips from TI, but it seems that right now, the only supported (or possible?) way of compiling TI’s Z-Stack (a ZigBee stack) is using IAR… which costs $$$$. Although I’ve seen some effort at getting Z-Stack on the CC253x with the SDCC compiler, but I’m not sure how far that has gone.

  8. WestfW says:

    A lot of value-added peripheral companies seem to have latched on to the 8051 as the “core of choice.”
    Thus the CCxxxx radio chips (and probably most of the bluetooth radios), assorted USB peripherals (EZ-USB from Cypress was originally 8051 based. TI’s USB/Serial bridge is 8051 based), MP3-player-on-a-chip devices are usually 8051. Advanced analog peripherals (I have some sample ADuc845s with dual 24-bit A-D converters.) Silicon Labs has a good cross section: itty bitty, advanced peripherals, SoC items, etc. The “Architecture” is surely no worse than the low end of PICs in the “elegance” department, and they’ve been sped up a great deal (lots are now 1 clock/cycle instead of 12 clocks/cycle.)

    • asdf says:

      I’m guessing you don’t have to pay any license fees for the 8051, plus everyone already have well-tested cores that can be manufactured on cheap processes.

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