Looking for a all rounder 8051 variant with ADC/DAC/RTC etc.

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 29, 2006
I have chosen the plain vanilla 8051(ATMEL AT89S52, to be precise) for all my projects till date. Using the plain vanilla was an excellent learning opportunity for me to get to know about interfacing many widely used peripherals.

Now, however I do feel that I should make a transition to some more advanced variants of 8051 and make use of the versatility of this excellent micro.

To this end, I would want any advice from you in choosing the best 8051 variant to fulfill my requirements, which are:

1. On chip RTC
2. On chip ADC/DAC
3. On chip temperature sensor(??)
4. On chip stepper motor controller(??)
5. Higher memory, possibly 64k on chip ROM and more RAM too.
6. On chip LCD driver
7. Or anything I might have missed to put in here.

I would be grateful if I can get any pointers from this board. And just to add, I did my homework by searching on the net, but considering the zillions of 8051 variants available today, I was literally swamped with information! So hoping you guys would be available to provide me with some pointers.

thanks in advance!

P.S. I got some Analog devices micros which have ADC/DAC on chip but wanted to know if there are better alternatives which have all of the above.


Joined Feb 24, 2006
I have never seen the following peripherals on an 8051
1. RTC -- the reason is no low frequency crystal oscillator. If anybody has one it would be Dallas/Maxim
2. D/A Converter -- the reason is that the output stage either current or voltage needs a mixed signal process.
3. On chip temerature sensor - same reason as 2.
4. Stepper motor controller.
5. You can get the 64K of code space. How much RAM do you want?
6. Never seen an on chip LCD controller either

That said you need to strart running down the manufacturers of 8051 parts. Here is a partial list:

1. Maxim/Dallas
2. Atmel
3. Philips
4. Infineon

I'm sure there are more. One of the Japanese companies Oki, Mitsubishi, NEC probably has some.


Joined Jan 28, 2005
Have you taken a look at the ATMELs 8051 architecture microcontrollers? I don't know if they are too far off the beaten path for what you are looking to find.

I do believe you are going to find it hard to locate an 8051 architectured device that is "all-singing and all-dancing" with all the features that you have outlined.



Joined May 7, 2007
Take a look at the Silabs stuff:
Temp Sensor
ADC x2
plenty of timers
128K Flash

Thread Starter


Joined Jun 29, 2006
Thanks for your suggestion! I have been taking a look at the SILABS website and their products are really impressive!