What is the Difference between AVR, ARM, 8051 and PIC Microcontrollers - Educational Engineering

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

What is the Difference between AVR, ARM, 8051 and PIC Microcontrollers

Difference between AVR, ARM, 8051 and PIC Microcontrollers

The differences between the microcontrollers are mainly included what is a microcontroller, difference between AVR, ARM, 8051 and PIC microcontrollers and its applications.

Basically, all of them do mostly the same things. It only depends on how precisely you can use them.
They differ in Memory architecture, power consumption, cost, speed etc.

  • ARM- if u need fast computing, a large number of timer and ADC's then     ARM will be suitable.
  • 8051- if u want a cheap controller with basic functions then 8051 will suffice. It will be of great use in your low-cost college projects.
  • AVR- One of the most popular categories of controller. Cheap, large number of library files, used in many robotic applications. Best for the beginners.
  • PIC- Cheap, used in refrigerators and low budget projects. I  will not advise for this because of its low community support.

8051 Microcontroller

8051 microcontroller is an 8-bit family of the microcontroller is developed by the Intel in the year 1981. This is one of the popular families of the microcontroller is being used all across the world. This microcontroller was moreover referred as “system on a chip” since it has 128 bytes of RAM, 4Kbytes of a ROM, 2 Timers, 1 Serial port, and 4 ports on a single chip. The CPU can also work for 8bits of data at a time since 8051 is an 8-bit processor. In case the data is bigger than 8 bits, then it has to be broken into parts so that the CPU can process easily. Most manufacturers contain put 4Kbytes of ROM even though the number of ROM can be exceeded up to 64 K bytes.
8051 Microcontroller
8051 Microcontroller
The 8051 has been in utilized in a wide number of devices, mostly because it is easy to integrate into a project or make a device approximately. The following are the major areas of focus:
Energy Management: Efficient metering systems facilitate in controlling energy usage in homes and manufacturing applications. These metering systems are prepared capable by incorporating microcontrollers.
Touchscreens: A high number of microcontroller providers incorporate touch-sensing capabilities in their designs. Portable electronics such as cell phones, media players and gaming devices are examples of microcontroller-based touch screens.
Automobiles: The 8051 finds wide taking in providing automobile solutions. They are broadly used in hybrid vehicles to handle engine variants. Furthermore, functions such as cruise control and anti-brake system have been prepared more capable with the use of microcontrollers.
Medical Devices: Moveable medical devices such as blood pressure and glucose monitors use microcontrollers will to show data, thus provided that higher reliability in providing medical results.

PIC Microcontroller

Peripheral Interface Controller (PIC) is microcontroller developed by a Microchip, PIC microcontroller is fast and simple to implement program when we contrast other microcontrollers like 8051. The ease of programming and simple to interfacing with other peripherals PIC become successful microcontroller.
PIC Microcontroller
PIC Microcontroller
We know that the microcontroller is an integrated chip which is consists of RAM, ROM, CPU, TIMER, and COUNTERS. The PIC is a microcontroller which as well consists of RAM, ROM, CPU, timer, counter, ADC (analog to digital converters), DAC (digital to analog converter). PIC Microcontroller also supports the protocols like CAN, SPI, UART for an interfacing with additional peripherals. PIC mostly used to modify Harvard architecture and also supports RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) by the above requirement RISC and Harvard we can simply that PIC is faster than the 8051 based controllers which are prepared up of Von-Newman architecture.

AVR Microcontroller

AVR microcontroller was developed in the year of 1996 by Atmel Corporation. The structural design of AVR was developed by the Alf-Egil Bogen and Vegard Wollan. AVR derives its name from its developers and stands for Alf-Egil Bogen Vegard Wollan RISC microcontroller, also known as Advanced Virtual RISC. The AT90S8515 was the initial microcontroller which was based on the AVR architecture, though the first microcontroller to hit the commercial market was AT90S1200 in the year 1997.
AVR Microocntroller
AVR Microcontroller
AVR Microcontrollers are Available in three Categories
TinyAVR:- Less memory, small size, appropriate just for simpler applications
MegaAVR:- These are the mainly popular ones having a good quantity of memory (up to 256 KB), higher number of inbuilt peripherals and appropriate for modest to complex applications.
XmegaAVR:- Used in a commercial for complex applications, which need large program memory and high speed.

ARM Processor

An ARM processor is also one of a family of CPUs based on the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) architecture developed by Advanced RISC Machines (ARM).
ARM Microcontroller
ARM Microcontroller
An ARM makes at 32-bit and 64-bit RISC multi-core processors. RISC processors are designed to perform a smaller number of types of computer instructions so that they can operate at a higher speed, performing extra millions of instructions per second (MIPS). By stripping out unnecessary instructions and optimizing pathways, RISC processors give an outstanding performance at a part of the power demand of CISC (complex instruction set computing) procedure.
ARM processors are widely used in customer electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, multimedia players and other mobile devices, such as wearables. Because of their reduced to the instruction set, they need fewer transistors, which enable a smaller die size of the integrated circuitry (IC). The ARM processors, smaller size reduced the difficulty and lower power expenditure makes them suitable for increasingly miniaturized devices.

Main Difference between AVR, ARM, 8051 and PIC Microcontrollers

Bus width
8-bit for standard core8/16/32-bit8/32-bit32-bit mostly also available in 64-bit
Communication Protocols
UART, USART,SPI,I2CPIC, UART, USART, LIN, CAN, Ethernet, SPI, I2SUART, USART, SPI, I2C, (special purpose AVR support CAN, USB, Ethernet)
UART, USART, LIN, I2C, SPI, CAN, USB, Ethernet, I2S, DSP, SAI (serial audio interface), IrDA
12 Clock/instruction cycle4 Clock/instruction cycle1 clock/  instruction cycle1 clock/ instruction cycle
Some feature of RISC
Memory Architecture
Von Neumann architectureHarvard architectureModifiedModified Harvard architecture
Power Consumption
8051 variantsPIC16,PIC17, PIC18, PIC24, PIC32Tiny, Atmega, Xmega, special purpose AVRARMv4,5,6,7 and series
VastVery GoodVery GoodVast
NXP, Atmel, Silicon Labs, Dallas, Cyprus, Infineon, etc.Microchip AverageAtmelApple, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, and TI etc.
         Cost (as compared to features provide)Very LowAverageAverageLow
Other Feature
Known for its StandardCheapCheap, effectiveHigh speed operation

Popular Microcontrollers
AT89C51, P89v51, etc.PIC18fXX8, PIC16f88X, PIC32MXXAtmega8, 16, 32, Arduino CommunityLPC2148, ARM Cortex-M0 to ARM Cortex-M7, etc.
Thus, this is all about the difference between AVR, ARM, 8051 and PIC microcontrollers. We hope that you have got a better understanding of this concept. Furthermore, any queries regarding this concept or electronics and electrical projects, please give your valuable suggestions by a comment in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, what are the applications of AVR and ARM?

Let's see now.
  • 8051, PIC and AVR have Harvard architecture (separate memory spaces for RAM and program memory).  ARM has von Neumann architecture (program and RAM in the same space).
  • ARM has a 16 and/or 32 bit architecture. The others are byte (8-bit) architecture.
  • 8051 and PIC have limited stack space - limited to 128 bytes for the 8051, and as little as 8 words or less for PIC. Writing a C compiler for these architectures must have been challenging, and compiler choice is limited.
  • 8051, AVR and ARM can directly address all available RAM. PIC can only directly address 256 bytes and must use bank switching to extend it, though using a C compiler conceals this. You still pay a speed penalty though.
  • 8051 and PIC need multiple clock cycles per instruction. AVR and ARM execute most instructions in a single clock cycle.
  • 8051 and AVR are sufficiently similar that an AVR can usually replace an 8051 in existing products with practically no hardware change. Some AVRs are made with 8051 pinouts to drop right in. The Reset polarity is the main difference.
  • 8051 and AVR instruction sets are different but sufficiently similar that it's possible to translate 8051 assembler to AVR assembler line by line (I have done this). Because an 8051 takes 12 (sometimes six) clocks per instruction and an AVR takes only one, you have to modify timing critical routines.
  • AVR and ARM have the best compiler and application support, including free GCC compilers.

These are just different microcontroller families.

Each family of microcontrollers has :
  • own architecture
  • registers
  • memory arrangement
  • memory addressing methods
    and other things, which results in each family has its own unique instruction set and assembly language.

AVR and ARM are newer processor family. These are likely to be more compiler-friendly, more flexible than the 8051, which is a fairly old design.

The 8051 is an 8-bit processor (it processes an 8 bit data word at a time). Many AVRs are also 8 bit, but some are 32 bit (handling 32 bits of data at a time), and ARMs are 32 bit, and are considerably more powerful than 8 bit processors.

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