Arduino vs 8051 Microcontroller: Difference and Comparison

Microcontrollers are the integrated circuits that are used to control the other important parts of the electronic system, while there are other microprocessors are the units that implement all the processors’ functionality in a single unit.


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They are low-cost, small, and work as an individual working system. A microcontroller comprises a memory unit, a central processing unit, and peripherals.

Key Takeaways

  1. Arduino is an open-source microcontroller platform that includes both hardware and software components, while the 8051 microcontroller is a specific microcontroller architecture.
  2. Arduino platforms are user-friendly and ideal for beginners, offering a variety of development boards and an easy-to-use programming environment, whereas 8051 microcontrollers require more advanced knowledge of programming and hardware design.
  3. Arduino boards are more versatile for rapid prototyping and hobbyist projects, while 8051 microcontrollers are commonly used in commercial applications and embedded systems.

Arduino vs 8051 Microcontroller

Arduino is a microcontroller board with its own IDE which comes with pre-tested software and hardware libraries. It can be used to start a project on the board itself. 8051 Microcontroller is an 8-bit microcontroller designed by Intel generally used to transfer the data from Central Processing Unit to Memory.

Arduino vs 8051 Microcontroller

Arduino is defined as not a microcontroller but actually a microcontroller board with an integrated development environment (IDE), and also that comes with already tested hardware and software libraries.

It comes with three major components – Arduino board, Arduino IDE, and external hardware. With all these components together, one can program the device to perform anything like controlling the lights, motors, or read sensors.

8051 Microcontroller can be defined as the family of numbers ranging between 8031 and 8751 of the 8-bits microcontrollers. It is one of the most popular and widely used microcontrollers in the market.

The 8051 family of microcontrollers were introduced by the Intel Corporation company. After the introduction of microcontrollers into the market, it has become the basis of thousands of electronic products.   

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonArduino8051 Microcontroller
What it isIt is a microcontroller board along with its IDE and before tested software and hardware librariesFamily of 8 bits microcontroller
Power Supply6 Volts – 20 Volts (7-12 volts is recommended)5 Volts – 6.6 Volts
Developed By Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII)Intel Corporation Company
Clock Speed 16 MHz (increased up to 20 MHz)12 MHz
Machine Cycle1 clock cycle equals one machine cycle12 clock cycles complete equals one machine cycle
ProgrammingArduino IdeKeil Uvision IDE
Support Ad-onsSeparate development kits are available and give a strong supportSeparate development kits are available and provide poor support

What is Arduino?

Arduino is widely mistaken as a microcontroller, whereas, in reality, it is a microcontroller board with its integrated development environment (IDE), and along with that, it comes with pre-tested libraries of software and hardware.

The integrated development environment (IDE) present on the Arduino is referred to as ‘Arduino IDE’ and is one of the parts of the three major comprising components along with the Arduino board and external hardware.

Arduino was developed by some graduated students at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) in the year 2003. The AVR microcontroller is the base, and the board is built around it.

The power supply required for the Arduino ranges from about 6 volts to 20 volts, and it is recommended to use the power supply in between 7 volts to 12 volts maximum.

The clock speed of the Arduino is about 16 MHz, and that can be extended up to the speed of 20 MHz. The complete one-machine cycle is equal to the complete clock cycle. Also, there are many supported ad-ons available in the market that provides strong support.


What is 8051 Microcontroller?

The microcontroller that has been developed by the very famous Intel Corporation Company in the year 1980.

The 8051 Microcontroller can be easily stated or defined as one of the members of the 8-bits microcontroller family that ranges in number between 8031 to 8751. It is widely popular across the globe and is used for quite a number of reasons.

8051 Microcontroller sometimes can be heard referring to as the ‘system on a chip’ because of the presence of 128 bytes of RAM, 1 serial port, 2 timers, 4K bytes of ROM, and 4 ports.

The power supply required for the Microcontroller ranges between 5 volts to 6.6 volts. The clock speed of the system is 12 MHz, and the 12 complete clock cycles are equal to one complete machine cycle.

For the 8051 Microcontroller, the Keil Uvision IDE programming is used that writes, compiles, and uploads the code.

Also, in the market, there are many available supporting development kits, but unfortunately, the support provided by them is very poor. They are used in automated machines like- home appliances, remote controls, toys, etc.

8051 microcontroller

Main Differences Between Arduino and 8051 Microcontroller

  1. Arduino is not a microcontroller but a complete microcontroller board with its IDE and comes with before-tested hardware and software libraries, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the 8051 microcontrollers are defined as the microcontroller that belongs to the family of the number ranging between 8031 to 8751 of the 8-bits microcontroller.
  2. The power supply required for the Arduino is about ranging in between 5 volts to 20 volts, wherein the minimum volts used are 7 volts, and the maximum range goes up to 12 volts, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the power supply requirement of the 8051 microcontroller ranges from 5 volts to 6.6 volts.  
  3. The Arduino was developed at the Interactive Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) in Italy in the year 2003 by some graduate students, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, 8051 microcontrollers were developed by the very famous Intel Corporation Company in the year 1980. 
  4. The clock speed of the Arduino is about 16 MHz which can be extended up to 20 MHz, whereas, on the other hand, the clock speed of the 8051 microcontrollers is about 12 MHz. 
  5. For the Arduino, one complete machine cycle is equal to one clock cycle, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, for the 8051 microcontrollers, one complete machine cycle is equal to 12 clock cycles. 
  6. For Arduino, the Arduino Ide is used as the program that helps in writing, compiling and uploading the code, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, for the 8051 microcontrollers, the Kiel Uvision IDE is used to write, compile, and uploading of the code. 
  7. In the market, there are many support ad-ons available for the Arduino, and they provide strong support, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the support ad-ons available for the 8051 microcontrollers do not provide strong support.  
Difference Between Arduino and 8051 Microcontroller



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