8051s at DesignCon: Survey Insights

We're big on 8051s here at CAST, with the longest ongoing 8051 IP business track record and currently offering a brand new MCS®51-compatible 8-bit core that's the fastest in the industry.

We also know there continues to be positive press coverage about the ongoing role of 8051s, especially as the Internet of Things unfolds.


But we're curious what real designers think, and so we did a fun little contest at DesignCon in Santa Clara last month. Entering was simple: booth visitors had to answer a couple of questions about 8051s and chat with us a bit. The prize? A collectible Lego Technics set model #8051, with which one can build two different motorcycles.

We got quite a good response. First we asked about past projects in which people used 8051s. Some of the best of the very diverse answers:

  • Power management unit for a current, leading-brand GPU chipset
  • Management unit for new electronic hydraulic elevator control valves
  • 8051 controlled four FPGAs in a radar frame grabber
  • Barcode reader
  • Video game controller
  • Handheld VHF radio
  • RF Thermometers measuring and sending room temp

We also asked for opinions on the 8051's future role:

  • Real-time applications where 8-bit is enough
  • Control applications
  • Home controllers and security systems
  • Games
  • Cost-sensitive systems
  • Internet of Things
  • Low-cost, higher-speed 200-400 MHz embedded systems

The answers to our little survey—and the discussions we had with folks around them—further convinced us that the 8051 has a useful ongoing role, whether standalone in highly-targeted embedded and control systems, or as a manager for IoT sensors, or a helper in large heterogeneous systems.

Watch for continuing growth in the 8051s we carry in the coming months.

Oh, and who won the DesignCon raffle? Claus Knudsen, an excited chief R&D electronics engineer for Malema Sensors in California.  

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