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I have reviewed a lot of other books about embedded systems here.

Jack Ganssle's Books About Embedded Systems

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Embedded Systems, World Class Designs, (2007), edited by Jack Ganssle, is a collection of some of the best essays written about the field of embedded systems, with commentary by Jack. The result is a book covering the gamut of embedded design from hardware to software to integrated embedded systems with a strong pragmatic emphasis. In addition to specific design techniques and practices, this book also discusses various approaches to solving embedded design problems and how to successfully apply theory to actual design tasks. The material has been selected for its timelessness as well as for its relevance to contemporary embedded design issues. This book will be an essential working reference for anyone involved in embedded system design!


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The Firmware Handbook, (2004) by Jack Ganssle, provides a guide to embedded firmware design and applications; covering real-time issues, hardware fundamentals, interrupts and ISRs, memory management, handling peripherals, error handling, communications interfacing, troubleshooting, debugging, and more.

A MUST have book for your Embedded Systems bookshelf!" Jean Labrosse

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Embedded Systems Dictionary, (2003) by Jack Ganssle and Michael Barr. This authoritative work defines the meaning and usage of 2,800 of the most-used terms in embedded systems in a way that serves technical and non-technical audiences alike. Over 4,500 entries in all. The primary definition is a concise statement of that term's meaning tailored to the needs of less technical readers. Engineers, technical writers, and others will find ample expansion of each definition including:

  • pronunciation
  • abbreviations
  • alternative terms
  • cross references
  • examples
  • diagrams, schematics and figures
  • equations
  • code listings
  • tips for further reading

Reviewers Comments:

"This book is a must for hardware engineers, software engineers, and students alike. It is comprehensive - encompassing not just commonly-used phrases, but esoteric terms from a variety of fields and disciplines." John Catsoulis, author, Designing Embedded Hardware

"The Embedded Systems Dictionary is a valuable desktop reference to the confusing plethora of terms that are thrown around and not really defined anywhere." Bruce Powell Douglass, Ph.D., chief evangelist, I-Logix.

"This is an incredible piece of work and a must-have book for every seasoned professional and newbie to Embedded Systems. You can be sure that I'll have this book on my shelf and will reference it on a regular basis. My compliments to the authors." Jean J. Labrosse, author MicroC/OS-II: The Real-Time Operation System and Embedded Systems Building Blocks.

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The Art of Designing Embedded Systems (Second Edition), (2008) by Jack Ganssle. It's part primer and part reference, aimed at practicing embedded engineers, whether working on the code or the hardware design. Embedded systems suffer from a chaotic, ad hoc development process. This books lays out a very simple seven-step plan to get firmware development under control. There are no formal methodologies to master; the ideas are immediately useful.

Most designers are unaware that code complexity grows faster than code size. This book shows a number of ways to linearize the complexity/size curve and get products out faster. It shows ways to get better code and hardware designs by integrating hardware and software design. He also covers troubleshooting, real time and performance issues, relations with bosses and coworkers, and tips for building an environment for creative work.

Review by Software Development Times. An excerpt: Ganssle takes a direction that I find refreshing. Rather than presenting a one-size-fits-all methodology'a Ganssle Unified Process'he shares anecdote after anecdote, suggestion after suggestion. He's not telling design teams to change their strategies. He just refines them, and throws in a few more tactics along the way, with a conversational style that makes you think you're chatting away at a conference, rather than reading a book about electronics.
Review by Dr. Dobbs Magazine. An excerpt: Veterans of embedded systems programming like Ganssle are empiricists. They are survivors. If you're at sea in embedded systems and are afraid you'll never feel land under your feet again, rush out and buy this book. It's the "Hitchhiker's Guide" of the trade. Don't panic!

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The Art of Programming Embedded Systems, (1992) by Jack Ganssle, is the industry's standard reference for serious embedded systems programmers. It offers a philosophy for practicing programmers faced with designing, writing and debugging code for smaller embedded systems. It is of interest to all hardware and software engineers responsible for the design and development of embedded systems.

The Art of Programming Embedded Systems includes helpful tips and offers practical solutions to the most common embedded problems. The book serves as a compendium of information that is often needed but seldom immediately at hand, giving routines, algorithms, and design techniques in an easy-to-read "cookbook" format.