The dilemma of choice : 8051 or AVR?

When someone starts learning microcontroller, a simple question arises. 8051 or AVR?
Which is better ?
1>Well, at our level, whatever you can imagine, can be done by 8051 and AVR. The thing is, how far you can think and actually implement it.
2>Secondly, someone might say 8051 is very old and obsolete. Old is gold is true in case of 8051. 8051 is used widely in industries because of very much robust architecture and reliable operation which is not the case of AVR. Why? Is AVR bad? no, it’s new.
3>On board ADC of AVR makes it better? Nopes! because there are 8051 variants which has on board peripherals same as AVR and PIC has. Atmel itself makes USB 8051!
4>It is recommended to learn 8051 first because everything about 8051 is pretty simple.Hardware, software,programmer etc. So, one can focus on learning rather than debugging of unnecessary things. Plus, 8051 is cheaper but that is not the major point.
5>Once you learn 8051, you can go for anything you want. Important thing is not to learn microcontroller but to learn the process of learning a microcontroller.
6>”My neighbor has a merc so I must have it.Similarly, my friend is learning AVR so I must.” Stop there fella. Your friend might be doing it before you even thought of thinking about microcontroller.
7>It is not that one can’t start with AVR, but you know, 8051 is easy peasy which will keep your interest alive in this field.
8> DO NOT EVER START WITH ARDUINO. Yes, it’s a killer and suicidal for engineering student community.

This topic is open for discussion.

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6 thoughts on “The dilemma of choice : 8051 or AVR?

  1. Maulik says:

    I agree that young embedded engineers should never start with Arduino. And I believe that the Indian academic system focusses too much on 8051. The focus should be more on making students comfortable with any 8 bit architecture and to allow them to discover it’s limitations. 8051 or AVR is just a matter of accessibility !

    • Rikil K Shah says:

      Yes but when they are teaching 8-bit architecture, there must be some kind of practical reference for it. Of course, if we have good faculties, one can easily learn AVR or PIC or lets say, anything. But according to current trend, people are just being madly involved with AVR. That is the problem. Either one should get guidance from able person who knows AVR very well or start with 8051.

  2. alwaysmihir says:

    Please elaborate your views on adruino as I was considering it…

    • Rikil K Shah says:

      Well,arduino is the amazing thing for software engineers, designers, hobbyists. It is a good platform for developing small embedded industrial applications because development is quite fast. Open source nature makes it possible to stretch this project to limits of your imagination.

      But, those who are willing to make a good understanding in embedded systems mustn’t start with this. Arduino removes hardware from the scope of developer so knowledge of internal architecture remain very primitive. but if directly 8051 or similar 8-bit uC is used, we can learn a lot of things.

  3. Maulik says:

    Arduino programming hides a lot of hardware abstractions. Hence it is not a good tool for learning microcontrollers. However if you want a working demonstration at the fastest, then Arduino would be a good option

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