High-performance 8-bit microcontrollers are deployed in a number of applications such as data networking, telecommunications, consumer products, computer peripherals, automotive systems and aerospace designs. The 8051 microcontroller IP in a Spartan-II FPGA shows the advantages of using programmable logic devices (PLDs) as 8-bit microcontrollers. The Xilinx Spartan-II 8-bit microcontroller solution is ideal for applications in which cost and integration within a system is critical. With the flexibility to allow integration of other IP on the FPGA fabric, the Spartan-II family presents an ideal embedded solution. This positions the Spartan-II family uniquely in being able to compete with stand-alone ASSPs. This white paper presents a brief history, the market space for 8-bit microcontrollers, the Spartan-II 8-bit microcontroller solutions, 8051 IP solutions, applications and the Spartan-II FPGA advantage.