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fast 8051 microcontroller

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Jan 20, 2002
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8051 dma

i'm searching for a fast microcontroller, i need for about 100ns or less cycle instruccion time, i know 8051 family microcontrolle's very well, so i need such a fast uC or uC with DMA capacity, i have been wondering if an ARM based uC it's good for my proyect, since it's 32 bits, have DMA, and they are fast 50 MIPS about. But i would prefear 8051 based uC because i know them very well and i have development tools for them. Recently i have nottice that Cygnal is producing fast 8051 uC's up to 100MIPS !!, so anybody knows if this is really trully?. Could be my solution!

i don't know what decition have to make ...

anyhelp will be apreciated

scenix sx48 processor clock

Take a look at the site Microcontroller-Section.


DS89C420 - High-speed architecture
1 clock-per-machine cycle
DC to 33MHz operation
Single-cycle instruction in 30ns



what about DS89C420 33MIPS

""The DS89C420 offers the highest performance available in 8051-compatible microcontrollers. It features a redesigned processor core which executes every 8051 instruction up to 12 times faster than the original for the same crystal speed, thus allowing very significant improvements using the same code and crystal. The DS89C420 offers a maximum crystal speed of 33MHz, achieving execution rates up to 33 million instructions per second (MIPS).""

check here ""

DS89C420 from Dallas(now Maxim semiconductor) is a Network Microcontroller with 8051 core architecture and meant for Ethernet interfacing.

For Cygnal CPUs look:
**broken link removed**

And other fastestest CPUs is Ubicom (Scenix)

**broken link removed**
SX18/20/28 75Mips
SX48/52 75Mips

**broken link removed**
IP2021 120Mips
IP2022 120 and 160 Mips


You mean DS89C400, this mirco has int. MAC.

Hi algilsan,

You wrote:
Recently i have nottice that Cygnal is producing fast 8051 uC's up to 100MIPS !!, so anybody knows if this is really trully?.

Don't be too excited with the power of microcontroller shown in MIPS. It's at least 10% advertising and brand name.
All what I'm going to tell you bellow are only concerned to this power.
I'll not talk about how big is the memory, internal RAM, what kind of features and peripheral has been implemented on Dallas and Cygnal products, which among these features emphasizes one or another micro.
And last but not the least the price of micro.

As far as I know (up to 26 april 2003), the Cygnal didn't succeed yet to cross beyond 50MIPS.
Maybe in the lab, but not enough for mass release.
Thus, the 100MIPS it's only a target.
If you dig a little inside data sheet you can easily notice that access time of FLASH memory is 40ns and the minimum instruction time is 10ns (for 100MIPS) and 20ns (for 100MIPS).
In order to solve the difference, it was implemented a branch target cache and prefetch engine fitted between the FLASH program memory and the 51 core.
Even if the designers provides options to exclude caching of certain types of data, as well as the ability to pre-load and lock time-critical branch locations to optimize execution speed, things are far from perfect.
I mean the 50MIPS are not quite 50. Read the data sheet and especialy about cache miss penalty threshold and you'll figure out what I mean. However, it worths the designers effort and should be greeted with applause.
If they didn't overcame the problems that comes up when core is running at 100MIPS, i have no doubt, will succeed soon.
The cygnal products are great. Besides that, they provides and cheap development boards.

In Maxim / Dallas garden, thing don't look the same. If they plans the 89C420 running at 50MIPS, now they give up and stated clearly 33MIPS. And I have serious doubt that will be ever increased to 50.
However we don't have to forget that 89C420 is working at +5v and cygnal at 2,7 - 3,6V.

What's your overkill application that needs such resources (> 50 MIPS, DMA .....) ?


Anybody has a IP for turbo51 (fast pipelined 8051)?

Zerox100 said:
Anybody has a IP for turbo51 (fast pipelined 8051)?

8051 IP Core
The 8051 IP Core was developed in cooperation with the Arbeitsgruppe CAD / TU-Wien. This processor core is binary compatible to the well known 8051 processor from Intel. Our 8051 IP core is available as a synthetizeable circuit description (VHDL).

Our 8051 IP core offers faster program execution compared to the original 8051 devices since we have optimized the processor's architecture. Additonally the 8051 IP core offers some sort of parametrizeability.

The 8051 IP Core source code is available for free under the LGPL (Lesser General Public License).

Look, a 51 is for controlling not for big computing or even float point operations.
First decide whitch amount of speed U need and what kind of peripherals, than pick your best fitting uC.
An ARM has much more power (compared at same clock rate) as an 51. But there are many more derivatives of 51 than ARM.

I recommend that if U only want some more speed of your 51 chosse an x2-Type from Atmel or Philips. They need only 6 clocks instead of 12 for one cycle.


hi, and thanks to all,

My main apllication is to manage 9MBytes/s stream of video information, so i need as fast as i could to store data in a memory, so to have a full frame grabbed on memory.

i thought in a fast uC, to manage this ratio, or to ues a more slow uC but with the power of DMA controller, since many ARM based uC have it integrated

Anybody can help me?

Hi algilsan,

9MBytes/s, either sent serial or parallel, overwhelms easily 8051, whatever derivative you will find, with or without DMA.
As a matter of fact, direct memory access is quite slow for 8051 compared with your requirement.
Did you ever notice the maximum I/O space provided by 8051 manufacturers in order to properly fit your full video frame on memory ?
Forget about 8051 !


Hi Silvio,

Do you have any suggestion for my projetc?, i'm a bit confused.
if i have to manage this amount of bytes what can i do?.

I have a codec that provides compressed video in MJPEG format, so this chip takes a real time video signal with ITU 656 4:2:2 standard compress to an jpeg frame with M-JPEG codec, then it's transfers to "external word" at 9MBytes/s, since this chip don't have a memory, like DRAM, to store the compressed frame in, i have to take this frame at this ratio to store in a main memory to have a captured image.

any suggestion?

Hi algilsan,

Your application is beyond my skills and knowledeges.
However, how the data is pushed out to "external world" ?
Parallel, serial, it's some proprietary protocol that must be followed, any special requirements ?
If you can give me some links to read about it, maybe I can give you some hints, at least the ones covered by my background knowledges.
At first glance, all I can tell you is that 8051 it's definitely not the proper choise.

However, any advices from forum members, are highly welcome.

Oops..... First step is to start a new thread and give him a sugestive name.
In this forum are peoples involved in such kind of projects (codecs, video signal and captured image storage on memory), but maybe they don't click on subject like "fast 8051 microcontroller".
Thus rename it and you can get better answers and straight to the point.


ok Silvio,

i'm going to create a new topic named

how to transmit still images over internet using a microcontroller?

i'm going to explain all of my proyect on it

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