STC Microcontrolers – review

STC MCU DIP40I recently discovered STC microcontrollers produced by TSMC (Taiwan Semiconduct Manufacture Company).


These MCUs are based on the 8051 architecture. According to the manufacturer’s website:

  • “STC microcontroller has speed up 8051 mcu dramatically with it’s advanced technologies. Unlike the classic 8051 architechture, the STC 8051 MCU need only 1 or 2 clock to run an instruction (most are 1T)”.
  • “There’re many special features beside standard 80C51:
    Internal Reset, RC Oscillator, WDT, Super Security, stand alone baud generater, low power”
  • “And also several application specified features:
    ADC, PWM/PCA/DAC, SPI, up to 4 UARTs, up to 6 timers”
  • “STC single-cycle 8051 devices can be used in existing 80C51-based applications with binary-level code compatibility while substantially increasing performance by a factor of 6 to 12 times, up to 35MIPS.”

Sounds promising so we went to action. Since the site is about open source / open hardware, I started to set up a chain tools in accordance with this policy.

First we needed a programmer / or development board and related software.

After some searches on google / ebay / AliExpress / I decided to buy this PCB that I ordered on AliExpress at an affordable price of $ 10 / 2 pieces (In fact I reordered ten
pieces of PCB in total and five complete kits for me and my team)
After analyzing circuit I realized that may be used for ATMEGA162, ATMEGA8515, AT89S51, AT89S52 besides STC8051 family and that made it interesting enough to


More information about the board  in our post AVR / STC51 Dev Board (FKECL PCB).

Board can be conenected to PC using Serial Cable or USB-to-Serial converter (for STC Microcontrolers)

Then we needed an open source compiler/IDE. After a short search we stopped at SDCC + MCU 8051 IDE.

Although SDCC compiler natively supports 8051 architecture, to use the new features introduced by STC we create STC_8051_H to be used in projects.

Software for programming flash memory:

Here is the weak point of these microcontrollers. Because the manufacturer has not released the specifications for programming these microcontrollers, the only software available are from original manufacturer.
There is an exception: STCDUDE.

More information about programming software for STC Microcontrollers in our post STC MCU Software.

Updated: August 15, 2014 — 9:36 pm


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  1. is it possible to program a stc12c5a60s2 using MISO, MOSI and SCK from a USBtinyISP? if so how?

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