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Difference between 8051 and MSP430

Last Updated : 24 Apr, 2023
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Prerequisite – Micro-controller (µC) and Microprocessor (µP) A micro-controller is a single Integrated Circuit 

Introduction :

(IC) which is comparable to a little stand alone computer and it is designed to perform the specific tasks of embedded systems. 8051 and MSP430 comes under the family of micro-controller. 8051 micro-controller and MSP430 micro-controller differs from each other in terms of different architecture and different sets of instruction, speed, cast, Memory, Power Consumption, Bus Width etc. Now let’s understand in detail what actually they are and how they differs from each other.

 1. 8051 micro-controller : It is a 8 bit family of micro-controller. It is an entry level micro-controller used for most basic applications all across the world and it consumes low power and available with low budget. It was developed by the Intel in the year 1981. 8051 micro-controller has many features like Serial Communication, Timers, Interrupts, etc. This micro-controller is used in various devices and the major areas includes automobiles, medical devices and energy management. Now a days 8051 Micro-controller might seem a little bit out of fashion but still it is recommended as a best platform to start work on the concept of Micro-controllers with 8051 Micro-controller although this trend seems to be changed with the introduction of Arduino of AVR community. 

2. MSP430 micro-controller : It is a 16 bit family of micro-controller from Texas Instruments, first introduced on 14 February 1992. It is one of the simplest micro-controller and it is designed for low cost and, specifically, low power consumption embedded applications. It is a mixed signal micro-controller means a single IC has both Analog and Digital circuits. MSP430 micro-controller is based on Von Neumann Architecture. It can be programmed using various IDEs. It is relatively faster than PIC, AVR and other micro-controller. 
Difference between 8051 and MSP430 :

S.No. 8051 MSP430
1. 8051 is a 8-bit micro-controller. MSP430 is a 16-bit micro-controller.
2. 8051 micro-controller had 128 bytes of internal RAM. But modern variants of 8051 have 256 bytes of RAM. MSP430 micro-controller has 28/256/512 Bytes RAM/SRAM.
3. 8051 ROM size is internally 4KB on chip and it can be extended upto 64KB. MSP430 ROM size varies 2/4/8/16 KB also offers upto up to 32 KB.
4. No word instruction in general byte instruction. Word and byte instructions.
5. Some special bit instructions for a limited address range. No bit instruction. Equivalent bit instruction can be obtained by use of a mask.
6. It can handle only digital signal. It can handle mixed signals.
7. Its speed is 12 clock/instruction cycle. Its speed is 6 clock/instruction cycle.
8. Its power consumption is average. Its power consumption is ultra low.
9. In 8051 micro-controller, no power saving modes. In MSP430 micro-controller, 5 power saving modes.
10. Multiplications and MAC operations are done in software in case of 8051 micro-controller. Hardware multiplier and MAC units in MSP430 micro-controller.
11. Its families include 8051 variants. Its families include MSP430X, MSP430FR57xx, MSP430x1xx to x6xx series.
12. 8051 micro-controller cost is very low. MSP430 micro-controller cost is average.
13. Popular Micro-controllers AT89C51, P89v51, etc. Popular Micro-controller MSP430G2553, MSP430 launchpad.
14. Its manufacturers are NXP, Atmel, Silicon Labs, Dallas, Cyprus, Infineon, etc. Its manufacturer is Texas Instrument.
Feature  8051  MSP430
 
Architecture  8-bit  16-bit (MSP430X series: 32-bit)
 
CPU Speed  Typically up to 33 MHz  Typically up to 25 MHz
 
Power Consumption  Higher  Lower
 
Instruction Set  Limited  More complex and diverse
 
On-chip memory  Limited  More and larger on-chip memory
 
On-chip peripherals  Limited  More and diverse on-chip peripherals
 
Interrupt handling  Simple and limited  More complex and efficient
 
Development tools  Widely available and mature  Growing ecosystem
 
Cost  Lower  Higher (compared to low-end 8051)
 

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