8051 Microcontroller – Programming Tutorials, Simulators, Compilers and Programmers


8051 is not just a random number, it’s the name of one of the most advanced microcontroller used in robotics. This single chip microcontroller is a box where are stored many functions like CPU, RAM, ROM, Timer, Serial Communication Interface, I/O ports, etc. The first version appeared in 1980s, and since then the microcontroller has been embedded in a large variety of projects from robotics.

The 8051 microcontroller is a small computer based on an architecture with support for embedded applications. This is the biggest difference between a microcontroller and microprocessor. A microprocessor is used in personal computers while a microcontroller is used for embedded systems, especially in robotics.

8051 Microcontroller

8051 Microcontroller

Since 8051 is the most common microcontroller designed especially for robots, I decide to write an article with resources for beginners and advanced users. In this article, I include resources for programming, simulation, compile, programmable kits and especially tutorials to learn how the 8051 microcontroller is programmed or simulated.

8051 Microcontroller Programming Tutorials

Beginners or advanced users can read these tutorials for educational purposes to learn how to program an 8051 microcontroller or used for inspiration in case of advanced users.


Useful tools compatible with the 8051 microcontroller in the development process.

  • Raisonance – application simulator for 8051 microcontrollers;
  • JSIM51 – one of the most popular simulators with comprehensive documentation to learn how to use the 8051 microcontroller;
  • Micro C 8051 – C de programare Embedded – seria de articole pentru 8051 microcontroler;
  • C51 Software – a simulator tool for classic and extended 8051 microcontrollers;
  • Proteus VSM for 8051 – complete tools to develop and test programming line for all series of 8051 microcontrollers;
  • Crossware 8051 – a simulation tool that creates a virtual clone of 8051 microcontrollers that runs on computers;
  • EdSim51 – one of the most popular simulator tool for 8051 series with interface for virtual peripherals and keyboard, ADC, or DAC;
  • Tiny 8051 Microcontroller Simulator 0.6.1 – designed for educational purposes, Tiny is a simulator written in C# language to simulate and debug the 8051 microcontroller;


The list with C or C++ compilers that support the 8051 microcontroller series.

  • SDCC – a C language compiler for a wide series of microcontrollers including the 8051 models;
  • mikroC PRO for 8051 – a C compiler with friendly interface and support for Atmel and Silicon Labs microcontrollers;
  • Keil – a powerful and efficient C simulator for 8051;
  • TASKING – the compiler compatible with 8, 16 and 32-bit microcontrollers;
  • IAR Embedded Workbench for 8051 – a C and C++ compiler for 8051;
  • 8051 C Compiler – based on ANSI standard, the Crossware 8051 C compiler is designed for 8051 microcontroller series;
  • 8051 C++ Compiler – a C++ simulator with support for object oriented programs;
  • Ceibo 8051 C++ – a C++ compiler with support for Object Oriented Programming and used to debug and maintain the code;
  • 8051 C-Compiler uC51 – a friendly interface tool based on ANSI C standard;


In this section, I made a list of hardware devices called programmer and used to write in the 8051 microcontroller memory the machine language code.

8051 Microcontroller Instructions Set

For a precise control, the microcontrollers may operate under instructions. These instructions are commands written for microcontroller and divided into various categories including arithmetic, logic, data transfer, Boolean variables, and machine control instructions.

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