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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2002
This book is not about writing software for embedded systems. If that is what you want to learn about, you should read David Simon's book, "An Embedded Software Primer". However, this book does an excellent job of covering the PROCESS of designing embedded systems, from microprocessor selection to system debugging, and discusses the many engineering tradeoffs that need to be made in the design of real-world systems.
As a useful trilogy, I would recommend:
1) David Simon's book for learning how to write embedded software.
2) Jack Ganssle's "The Art of Designing Embedded Systems" for tips, tricks, and strategies on being a good embedded software designer.
3) This book, for understanding the engineering decisions that need to be made in the design of an embedded system, and for learning about the debugging tools and techniques available as well.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2002
"Embedded System design" moves the reader with an academic understanding of embedded microprocessor systems to a position of practical understanding of the technology. This is the kind of experience gained by an engineer working in the field over many years. Dr. Berger is clearly writing from knowledge acquired first hand; and he conveys this efficiently and enjoyably. The book presents the essential information needed to enable an inexperienced engineered, or student, to quickly become a productive member of an embedded engineering team.

The book goes beyond what some might consider junior engineering activates. It deals with many of the more challenging tasks; such as hardware-software tradeoffs and tool-processor compatibilities. Much of this material is unfortunately not included in engineering training courses. I would say that the material presented has been well selected and is essential knowledge for an engineer developing embedded system software.

The book is ideal for software developers already familiar with developing code for PC or Unix-workstation execution, but wishing to know how to retarget code for execution on an embedded processor based system. This requires a more complex development, and in particular debug, environment. Additionally, managers new to the embedded product development phases will learn the pitfalls to be avoided. There are many decisions to be made in leading a successful embedded project. This book will help you make the right ones and accelerate acquisition of your project management skills.

There are a number of significant pressures effecting current embedded projects: The drive for shorter product development times; The use of higher performance processors; Increased software complexity and interoperability; The desire to restrain project tool and man-power costs. The book does a good job at covering these issues. The traditional or established methodologies are covered as well as the latest trends and likely future directions.
The book is ordered much like a real embedded project. First there is the selection process. This includes the processor itself. But this cannot occur in isolation of the software development tool chain; and other critical components, such as a real-time operating system. The balancing of these sometimes-conflicting requirements is very important and present with the clarity of a veteran campaigner. The book moves on to deal with hardware-software portioning - not something the typical PC software developer has to resolve. Similarly, the construction of the embedded run-time environment is explained. This is followed by an explanation of development tool operation; In particular, the all-too-often challenge of embedded software debug - This topic is particularly well explained. Specialised software topics, such as interrupt processing and low-level hardware manipulation are, as you would expect, covered. Finally, there is a section on testing, and an exploration of future trends.

In summary the book contains the right material, it is presented in an easy to absorb manor and is practically oriented. I highly recommended it to embedded engineering students, or engineers and managers facing the challenges of an embedded processor development project.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2001
With the release of "Embedded Systems Design: An Introduction to Processes, Tools, and Techniques" Arnold S. Berger has made an invaluable contribution to the field of embedded system design.
Despite the use of most of the world's microprocessor production in embedded systems, the field of embedded system design has been poorly served by the academic community until now. In 20+ years of embedded system design engineering management I have been challenged to hire freshly minted engineers (IROCs)with even the most rudimentary understanding of the principles of embedded system design. It is simply not taught in most engineering schools, forcing manufacturers of electronic systems to expend countless resources in training engineers in these disciplines. I believe that Dr. Berger's book turns the tide.
Berger draws upon many years of experience with major corporations in which he spearheaded numerous embedded system design initiatives as well as the creation of design methodologies and development tools. This book is clearly written and provides the student with a straight-forward, practical approach to--as the title promises--the processes, tools and techniques required by the embedded systems development engineer.
It is refreshing to, at long last, see a book that addresses the critical issues of embedded system design with such insight and expertise. I give this book my highest recommendation for any student of engineering, be they an undergraduate, a graduate student or even an experienced embedded systems designer. You are sure to learn volumes. I did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2002
A very acessible and easy to read book which provides a tour of the embedded system development process. Ideal for any SW/HW newcomers to the embedded world. This book is not "the definitive reference" on Embedded systems design, but I do think it is a very worthy prelude for anyone about to immerse themselves in the field.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2003
I was tempted to give this book two stars because the topic is excellent, however Berger falls short of the mark. The book is aimed at beginners (quote: "A complete discussion of <X> would quickly drive all but the most dedicated readers into 'geek overload', so I'll end my discussion here."), but fails in that endevour by providing a patchy and incoherent text. The book is sprinkled with insights from "In the Trenches" which makes you doubt that he's actually ever been there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2004
This book offers a clear view of the embedded system design process. If you are a newcomer, it can help you clear up the mystery and it is a easy reading. If you have been through a embedded project from ground up, this is not the book for you. Even though I like this book, it lacks of depth and the text closed up in a hurry.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2002
This book has a lot of good stuff! If you're entering the
field of embedded systems; whether it be as a programmer or
a manager, this is worth your time. There's a little bit of
everything here... what to consider when making a CPU
selection, discussion on various debugging techniques, the
firmware vs software environmental differences, embedded
system startup, details on JTAG vs BDM, etc...
A very enjoyable read, and quite informative for those
entering the field.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2003
Very good to learn the embedded system world for the new comers.
If you have some experience with project management and know what are the differences between MCUs and development tools, then it is no need to buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2008
This introductory text includes more than the basics. It continues into some intermediate information that should be fundamental knowledge for all embedded systems designers and developers. With advances in development tools and massive increases system complexity, these basics are often overlooked because developers become more cubby-holed into specific, well-defined roles on a project. They can lose sight of the fact that they are designing/coding an embedded system, with all the differences from desktops or larger systems that have more extensive and faster system resources. Understanding these fundamentals will help cast their work in a more appropriate perspective.

Many vital and expected topics are included, such as memory mapping, architecture, coding the hardware, design tools, etc. Berger includes other topics such as the "From the Trenches" vignettes based on his own experiences, that give concrete examples to illustrate several concepts.

A good discussion is the concept of hardware/software partitioning, an early architecture decision that affects the entire development program down the line. This is often overlooked - once the design team has decided to implement a function in hardware, for example, it may often be impossible to upgrade the functionality. Sometimes bugs in hardware may be compensated for in FPGAs and in software, but this is not an ideal contingency plan.

Berger spends significant time on debugging and testing, two critical aspects of the development cycle whose effective approach is usually the difference between an on-time delivery and a lower quality product.

A definite read!

Lisa Simone If I Only Changed the Software, Why is the Phone on Fire?: Embedded Debugging Methods Revealed: Technical Mysteries for Engineers
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on February 26, 2014
This is book is extremely general, and undeserving of its title. A more appropriate title might be "A Qualitative Survey of Some of the Considerations That Go Into Designing An Embedded System". There is just enough here to make a non-technical manager think they understand something. You will find no actionable details here around actual programming or electrical design, etc, but rather sage wisdom like "Be careful which RTOS you purchase, if you go that route". I can't imagine the intended audience for this book, nor fathom the positive reviews that it has received.
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