1.1) Who put this FAQ together?

    I was prompted to put this FAQ together in response to my own
    frustration in searching for information, and to the constant
    occurrence of requests for information on this subject in various
    newsgroups.  Hopefully others won't need to go through what I did.

    Normally, I spend all day programming in assembler on an IBM PC.
    With my hobbyist hat on I decided to try my hand at a little
    microcontroller project design.  When it came time to start, I had no
    idea what to do.  I had nothing to start with - no assembler, no
    programming language, no simulator.  I cobbled together a simulator
    to help me learn about the workings of the chip.  It's not being made
    available to the public since I'm afraid the simulator isn't very
    good.  It was for my own use, so the user interface (there is none)
    really sucks eggs.

    I decided to search the net for information on the 8051.  This list
    was compiled the hard way, logging onto every anonymous ftp site I
    could find and looking around.  I also used Archie, other FAQs and
    lists, and every reference to the 8051 that appeared in the various
    news groups.  It took a long time till stuff finally started popping
    up.  I saved all of my notes and the result was the first version of
    this FAQ.  Responses have been poured in, and the result is a much
    more complete and thorough FAQ.

1.2) How can I contribute to this list?

    I please ask that if you have any suggestions or additions, or you
    would like to correct any of the information contained herein, please
    send me a note.
         My Email address is:  russ@silicom.co.il
         My Snail-Mail address is:
               Russ Hersch
               HaVradim 11
               Ginot Shomron

    The list of individuals who have sent suggestions and encouragement
    has finally overflowed.  I hope it suffices to say "Thank you to all
    who have contributed to this FAQ - we all appreciate it."

    Special thanks to recent contributors:
          Jan Axelson
          Richard Barnett
          Clive Smith
          Norm Tyler
          Dave Dunfield (Dunfield Development Systems)
          Robert W. Tyrakowski (Lauterbach Datentechnik GmbH)
          Monika Wyatt (Franklin Software)
          Dave Baldwin (The Computer Journal)
          Graham Moss (Applied Digital Research)
          Marc Petremann
          Clyde Smith-Stubbs (Hi-Tech Software)
          Peter John Robinson
          Ruth Ann Howden (Techneering/Pseudocorp)
          Dwayne Sinclair
          Helen Emery (Rigel Corporation)
          Andy Burgess
          Jeff Yeastedt
          Alistair George

    I hope that those of you who know of interesting items for the 8051
    will share with everyone by contributing to this list.  A good amount
    of stuff is turning up thanks to everyone's help.

    If you are a manufacturer and have an anonymous ftp site or BBS
    available that supports the 8051, please let me know by EMail so that
    I can add it to this FAQ.  Also, please feel free to update me on new

1.3) What newsgroups will this FAQ be posted to?

    This FAQ will be posted to the following newsgroups:
    These newsgroups often contain discussions, announcements, or
    information on the 8051.  Check them out from time to time.

    The schedule for posting will be once a month.  I can't promise that
    it will be on time, but I hope to post it on the 26th of each month.

    You might also want to check out the following newsgroups, since they
    quite frequently have discussions about the 8051 and other
          alt.tcj (newsgroup for The Computer Journal)

    A bit farther afield, but still of possible interest:

1.4) May I post this FAQ to my local BBS?

    I am putting no restrictions on the use of this FAQ except - It must
    be distributed in its entirety with the copyright notice, and no
    financial gain may be realized from it.  After all, I have spent, and
    continue to spend, a lot of time on this.  The only thing that I
    intend to gain from it is more information on the 8051, and getting
    to know my fellow 8051 groupies better.

    For this reason I have appended a copyright statement to the end of
    this FAQ.  I feel pretty silly doing this, but I just want to protect
    myself.  The copyright does not limit the use of this list for
    noncommercial purposes.  I hereby give my permission to one and all
    to pass this list around and post it wherever you want - as long as
    it is not for financial gain.

        Thank you.

1.5) How about FAQs on other microcontrollers?

    If anyone wishes to start a FAQ on another microcontroller, please
    feel free to copy the format of this FAQ - I don't intend on
    copyrighting the look and feel ;-).  With a common format, we will
    all benefit when trying to find information on a particular

    Other Microcontroller FAQs

      Subject:  PIC microcontrollers
      Newsgroups:  comp.realtime
      Maintainer:  Tom Kellett
                   Email: Tom@takdsign.demon.co.uk

      Subject:  68hc11 microcontrollers
      Newsgroups:  comp.realtime
      Archive:  rtfm.mit.edu :  
      Maintainer:  Robert Boys - Ontario, Canada
                   Email: r.boys@genie.geis.com
                   Russ Hersch (maintainer emeritus)

      Subject:  Microcontroller primer and FAQ
      Newsgroups:  comp.sys.intel
      Archive:  rtfm.mit.edu :  
      Maintainer:  Russ Hersch
                   Email: russ@silicom.co.il

    Additional FAQs of interest

      Subject:  I2C protocol
      Newsgroups:  sci.electronics
      Comments:    The I2C bus is a simple 2 wire serial interface
                   developed by Philips.  A number of 8051 variants as
                   well as several peripherals include I2C support.
      Maintainer:  Vincent Himpe
                   Email: Vincent.Himpe@ping.be

      Subject:  Robotics
      Newsgroups:  comp.robotics
      Maintainer:  Kevin Dowling
                   Email: nivek@ri.cmu.edu
                   Smail: Carnegie Mellon University
                          The Robotics Institute
                          Pittsburgh, PA 15213

      Subject:  Electronics
      Newsgroups:  sci.electronics
      Comments:  There are a number of FAQs available in this newsgroup
                 on various subjects.  Among some of the subjects covered
                 are:  LCDs, stepper motors, etc.

      FAQ subject:  Real-time
      Newsgroups:  comp.realtime, comp.answers, news.answers
      Archive:  rtfm.mit.edu : pub/usenet/comp.realtime
      Maintainer:  Mark Linimon
                       Lonesome Dove Computing Services
                       Roanoke, Virginia
                   Email: linimon@nominil.lonesome.com.

      Subject:  Motorola 68K microprocessor line
      Newsgroups:  comp.sys.m68k
      Comments:  without a doubt, one of the finest FAQs ever written
                 (well, of course Bob paid me to say this ;-)
      Archive:  bode.ee.ualberta.ca : pub/motorola/general
                ftp.luth.se : /pub/misc/motorola/faq
                file name of archive is m68kfaq?.zip (? is version)
      Maintainer:  Robert Boys - Ontario, Canada
                   Email: r.boys@genie.geis.com

    For more detailed information on various 8051 microcontroller parts,
    see the article posted to comp.robotics and sci.electronics which
    provides a tabular cross reference of features and pin counts on a
    wide range of microcontrollers (including the 8051 family).  This
    list was compiled and is being maintained by Roger Nelson

    For more information on various microcontrollers and their features,
    refer to the Microcontroller primer and FAQ listed above.