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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Designing Embedded Hardware
Author:
John Catsoulis
ISBN:
0-596-00362-5
Publisher:
O'Reilly
Pages:
298pp
Price:
£28-50
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
embedded systems
Appeared in:
15-4
This is a practical introduction to embedded hardware. It does only cover hardware, so to write software for the hardware presented in this book, you will need to consult other books. This book is only an introduction and if you want to gain more knowledge and experience in the field of hardware design, further study is required.

In the first part of the book the author gives an introduction to Computer Architecture and describes the components that you find in a PC. The author continues to explain basic electronics, just enough to understand the explanations about the electronic components. You will revise basic equations to calculate voltage and current. The functionality of resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and crystals is explained. The first part finishes with advice how you can build or have built your own integrated circuit board, which is the purpose of this book.

In part two some simple microprocessors and micro controllers are described, the PIC and AVR micro controllers, the 68000-series microprocessor and a DSP based controller. They are all currently available components. The functionality of the components is described and it is shown how the component can be used with a few other basic components, to exercise a minimum of functionality. The last part covers useful topics like the protocols SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) and I2C, Inter Integrated Circuit, which show how components can communicate with each other or the outside world. Various serial port and network protocols are discussed like RS232C, USB.

The last chapter covers analogue to digital conversion (for example, how to use an amplifier to connect a digital circuit to a temperature or light sensor, or a motor control.) I found the book useful and practical as my first book on hardware since university, but it makes you realise the vast knowledge that can be gained in the field of embedded hardware.