Why can't we program 8085 using C just like we program 8051?

You can.
Whether it is 8085 or 8086 or 8051 the processor only understands machine language. Programming in C or any high level language will need a compiler. Since your development station (your PC where you will be writing the program) is not running on the target processor (8085 etc) you will need a cross compiler for it. You are programming in C for your 8051 applications using a cross compiler, linker and loader (or all three bundled in a IDE). Similarly you will need one for 8085 also.

Now 8051 is a micro-controller and is used in many industrial applications, hence its cross-compiler and developement systems are easily available. Wherease 8085 is mainly used only in colleges to introduce students to microprocessors. Here the stress in on assembly language programming so that one understands the concepts (memory org, instruction cycle etc), hence cross assemblers are available easily while cross compilers (for 'c' etc) are not.


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