Silicon Labs Pipelined 8051 Microcontroller Devices

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 MCU portfolio leverages this broad installed base. But these are not your everyday 8051 microcontroller devices.
Silicon Labs’ 8-bit MCUs 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 microcontroller 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 microcontroller 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 MCUs.

Learn More

  • 8051 Microcontroller Instruction Set

    This course examines the 8051 architecture and associated instruction set. Included is a comprehensive look at the addressing modes and instruction operation.
  • C8051 Microcontroller Interrupt Architecture

    This module provides a basic understanding of interrupts and their operation. It illustrates how the microcontroller performs asynchronous code execution as a result of internal or external events and highlights the programming requirements to implement interrupts in the MCU.

Design Resources

  • Virtual Com Port (VCP) Driver Download

    Download the CP210x USB to UART Bridge VCP drivers.
  • CAD/CAE Schematic Footprints and Symbols

    Reliably create consistent CAD entities to an established standard with minimal effort and significant time savings.
  • 8-bit Longevity Commitment

    Silicon Labs' C8051 longevity commitment is to manufacture all devices as long as customers continue to buy them, and for as long as the relevant silicon technology is available.
  • Design Consultants

    Find a third-party design consultant to help you with your design.
  • Programming Options

    In-house and third party programming options for Silicon Labs devices.
  • Microcontroller Die Sales Program

    Get 8-bit and 32-bit microcontroller products in die form for added flexibility. All wafers are fully tested to the same levels as packaged products.
  • MCUniversity Program

    A complete course on mixed-signal microcontroller devices that includes lecture materials, development tools, tutorial questions, lab exercises and required solutions.