L8051XC1: Legacy-Configurable 8051-Compatible Microcontroller IP Core

Block Diagram

Solution Type: IP Core

End Market: Consumer, Industrial, Military, Test & Measurement

Evaluation Method: OpenCore, OpenCore Plus

Technology: Processors and Peripherals: Embedded Processors

Arria Series: Intel® Arria® 10, Arria® V, Intel® Arria® 10 SoC, Arria® V SoC

Cyclone Series: Cyclone® IV, Cyclone® V, Cyclone® V SoC

MAX Series: Intel® MAX® 10

Stratix Series: Stratix® IV, Stratix® V


The L8051XC1 megafunction implements an MCS 51-compatible microcontroller that is specially designed to match the timing and peripherals of legacy 8051 MCU based systems.The megafunction can be configured to execute an instruction every 12, 6, or 4 clock cycles. Architectural extensions are user-selectable, including multiple data-pointers, a multiply-division unit, and a power management unit. Furthermore, the 8051 CPU can be coupled with a wide range of peripherals matching the behavior and timing of peripherals found in legacy architectures from Intel, Phillips/NXP, Siemens/Infineon, Maxim/Dallas, Texas instruments and others. Several pre-configured versions are offered; custom variations are also available.


  • Fully compatible with the MCS 51 instruction set
  • Configurable CPU architecture: 12, 6, or 4 clock cycles per machine cycle
  • Extensive set of optional features and peripherals
  • JTAG-based On-Chip Debug Support
  • Integration with IAR Embedded Workbench & Keil uVision IDEs

Device Utilization and Performance

L8051XC1 designs have been evaluated in a variety of technologies. The megafunction optimized for speed, while assuming that all megafunction I/Os are routed off-chip, and configured with 2 times, 1 serial & 4 parallel ports used 2,684 LEs and reaches 75 MHz.

Getting Started

Contact CAST at info@cast-inc.com to arrange for a core evaluation

IP Quality Metrics

Year IP was first released2015
Latest version of Quartus supported15.1
Altera Customer Use
IP has been successfully implemented in production with at least one customerY

Customer deliverables include the following:

  • Design file (encrypted source code or post-synthesis netlist)
  • Simulation model for ModelSim Altera edition
  • Timing and/or layout constraints
  • Testbench or design example
  • Documentation with revision control
  • Readme file
Parameterization GUI allowing end user to configure IPN
IP core is enabled for OpenCore Plus SupportY
Source language
Verilog; VHDL
Testbench languageVerilog; VHDL
Software drivers providedN
Driver OS supportN/A
User InterfaceOther: Native
IP-XACT Metadata includedN
Simulators supportedModelSim, Questa, NC-SIM
Hardware validated N. Altera Board Name NULL
Industry standard compliance testing performed
If No, is it planned?N
IP has undergone interoperability testing
Interoperability reports available  N

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