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8051 Software Tools Overview

To develop your 8051-based project, you will need three PC-based programs, and a development board with a monitor ROM. Here is the typical data flow using these tools:

Text Editor to Assembler to Terminal Emulator to Monitor ROM to Your Code on the 8051

For each tool, there you may choose on of several options. The basic tools are:

  1. Text Editor
    This is where you will compose the code that ultimately will run on your 8051 board and make you project function. All PC operating systems include a text editor, and there are many free text editors available on the internet. PJRC does not provide a text editor. All Microsoft Windows systems have NOTEPAD, which is a very simple editor. Linux systems usually have VI and EMACS installed, as well as several others.
  2. Compiler or Assembler
    Your source code will be turned into a .HEX file by either an Assembler or Compiler, depending on your choice of programming language. PJRC provides free downloads of the AS31 assembler and SDCC C Compiler. These free tools are available for Linux-based Systems and Microsoft Windows. It is also possible to use other compilers, such as the Keil C compiler.
  3. Terminal Emulator
    To communicate with your 8051 board, you must run a terminal emulator program. You will be able to transmit your .HEX file to the board and run its code, observe its results and information it may send to the serial port, and you can also use the terminal emulator to examine and manipulate memory with the Monitor ROM. Microsoft provides HyperTerminal with windows (often it must be installed from the windows cdrom using "add/remove programs"). Linux distributions usually provide minicom.
  4. Monitor ROM
    The Monitor ROM is 8051 code that runs when your board boots. It provides interactive menus that allow you to download code, run it, manipulate memory and perform other functions. All 8051 development boards from PJRC come with PAULMON2 loaded in the non-erasable internal memory of the 87C52 chip. Using the monitor, you can cause your code to run on the board. It is also possible to download your code to non-volatile memory on the board together with a "auto-start header" that causes PAULMON2 to run your code automatically when the board boots.


8051 Software Tools Overview, Paul Stoffregen
http://www.pjrc.com/tech/8051/tools/index.html
Last updated: February 24, 2005
Suggestions, comments, criticisms?? <paul@pjrc.com>