Silicon Labs C8051 Resources

Getting started with the older C8051 8 bit MCUs from SiLabs.

Simon Burkhardt

Development Board

This tutorial will focus mainly on some old c8051 evaluation boards from Silicon Labs. The one described here may be obtained from Mouser: C8051F410DK


The board in the pictures is a custom build from a school. It has 8 on/off switches on Port 0 and 8 buffered (74LS540) LEDs on each Port 1 and 2 as well as two hardware interrupt pushbuttons and a voltage regulator (7805).

Silicon Laboratories IDE

  • Install the contents of the CD / iso
  • Start the Silicon Laboratories IDE
  • Create a new project File - New File - Project
  • Add a new c source file to the project File - New File - C Source File (check "Add to Project)
  • Copy the contents of the 8051-template.c to the new c source file

Connecting the USB Debuger

  • Connect the debuger to the development board
  • Connect the debuger via USB cable to the computer
  • Make sure that the development board is powered from an external DC source
  • Options - Connection Options should look like this:

Now you should be ready to Build/Make Project (F7) your project, Connect (Alt + 7) the board and Download code (Alt + D). If everything works, you should be able to click the green button Go (F5) to start the program execution.


Here is the .iso of the included CD containing compilers, IDE, drivers and documentation. There's also a template.c which was designed to work with the custom extension board.

Silicon Labs Tools.iso template.c