8051-Based Microcontroller Third-Party Development Tools
Software Tool Vendors
All Maxim 8051 microcontrollers are compatible with traditional (16-bit) standard 8051 assemblers and compilers. Some microcontrollers, however, support extended addressing modes allowing a flat memory model up to 16 megabytes in size. Support of this addressing mode requires a dedicated compiler and is noted in the table below. Click here for information about using assemblers/compilers with Maxim microcontroller products.
1Denotes freeware product.
High-Level Language Compilers
Like assemblers, compilers must be informed of the existence and location of the Special Function Registers unique to Maxim microcontrollers. When using C, it is commonly necessary to identify the starting address for various read/write segments such as XDATA and STACK. This may be done using a start-up file. When using a device with a partitioned memory map, the default value of 0000h for such segments is not advisable. The NVRAM area will begin at the logical partition address; therefore, the segments that require RAM beyond the 128 scratch-pad locations should be located in the memory map at an address that is above the partition. For example, if the partition is located at address 4000h, this is also a suitable beginning address for the STACK.
It is additionally recommended that the large memory model be used in conjunction with C compilers. This places the stack in off-chip SRAM, of which microcontroller systems usually have an abundance compared to ROM-based systems. While off-chip stack results in slower execution time, the stack size becomes virtually unlimited.
Some Maxim microcontrollers have the ability to directly address more than the traditional 64kB of memory. Although all our microcontrollers are 100% 8051-instruction set compatible, microcontrollers operating in the extended addressing mode require a compiler specially configured to interpert the larger addresses.
Maxim microcontrollers execute the 8051 instruction set and are object-code-compatible with other 8051-based products. The special features of Maxim microcontrollers are accessed via Special Function Registers unique to our products, but the devices do not use any new instructions. These new Special Function Registers can be easily defined in the user's software with EQUATE statements or setup file. Once defined, the new Special Function Registers receive the same treatment as any of the original 8051 registers. This means that Maxim microcontrollers are compatible with every 8051-based software tool available.
An Intel Hex file format is required by devices that incorporate Bootstrap or ROM loaders. This is a standard output format for all 8051-compatible assemblers. In the rare case that an assembler cannot generate an Intel Hex file directly, a separate utility is included with the assembler.