The most widely used instruction set for 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), the 8051 core has a long history and a tremendous, widely used code base. Silicon Labs’ popular 8051-based microcontroller portfolio leverages this broad installed base. But these are not your everyday 8051 microcontrollers.
Silicon Labs Pipelined 8051 Microcontrollers
Silicon Labs’ 8-bit microcontrollers are based on a patented implementation of the 8051 instruction set architecture designed to maximize instruction throughput while retaining complete object code compatibility. The result is a ‘hard wired’ implementation of the 8051 MCU CPU, as opposed to the original micro-coded version. The instruction set is mapped to a basic two-stage pipeline to increase throughput while maintaining an 8-bit program memory width. The result is a high-performance 8051 MCU architecture that executes most instructions within 1 or 2 clock cycles and delivers 20 to 25 times the performance of the original 8051 core. Delivering up to 100 MIPS peak throughput, Silicon Labs’ 8-bit 8051 MCUs can satisfy the performance needs of many embedded applications more economically than costlier 16- or 32-bit MCUs.