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The Art of Electronics Hardcover – April 9, 2015
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From the Publisher
Limor 'Ladyada' Fried, Adafruit Industries.
"First of all, after I forklifted [Chapter 5] onto my reading table, I sat down and read it. It is simply spectacular. That may be an overly exclamatory language, but it is the only appropriate verbiage I can summon. Spectacular, deep and wide. I especially like the comments about interpreting specifications and the deconstruction of the Agilent voltmeters is just, well, wonderful."
Jim Williams, Linear Technology Corp.
"Wow. Chapter 5 details every circuit artifact that I've encountered in the past thirty years in a through, pragmatic, and straightforward way. My only 'twinge' is that [it] disclosed and explained (in glorious graphical detail and with real part numbers) many topics that I thought were my personal trade secrets. I love the plots. I know that it must take an enormous effort to collate all of the device characteristics. It's worth the effort. The way, it present's the data allows the reader to get terrific perspective on a lot of landscape in a single view. Nice work."
John Willison, founder, Stanford Research Systems.
"Horowitz and Hill's third edition, beautifully upgrades their earlier work, with substantial updates to detail, and without compromise to style, content, or technical quality. Like the second edition I've used for years, it is laser-focused on the working engineer. Delivered in folksy Horowitz and Hill style, it is rich with the kind of nitty-gritty information that's invaluable to circuit designers and manufacturers, much of which is absent (or difficult to find) elsewhere. This new book is a superb update, one which I'm sure will be treasured by those close to the art of analog circuitry."
Walt Jung, author, IC Op-Amp Cookbook.
"This epic work was created by two of the best experts in the field (with many others providing information). It defines the current state of the art in electronics. Most parts of the book will continue to be relevant for several decades. The 1124 pages (even more densely packed with highly accurate information than the pages of the second edition) will delight everyone who already knows about electronics. It is almost certain that you will like the third edition even more than the second. The information that is now available in the book is absolutely fantastic, both the quality and the quantity, and you should get [it] as soon as you can"
Wise Warthog blog.
"If you are looking for a handy and very practical electronics reference book, this is a good one. I think you will enjoy it. Thanks to Horowitz and Hill for updating this classic."
Lou Frenzel, Electronic Design (electronicdesign.com).
"If you are a hobbyist or maker who wants to acquire or improve a well-rounded knowledge of electronics then The Art of Electronics is an ideal book for you. It starts from the very basics of voltage, current and resistance without getting heavily dependent on physics theory or mathematics, and proceeds to cover a huge variety of interesting topics. For electronic engineering students, [this book] will help you develop the intuitive understanding, which will make it easier to put the maths in context, and it will be invaluable when you do practical work for design projects. The Art of Electronics brilliantly conveys its authors’ enthusiasm and experience of practical engineering and is an inspiring read. Many people have described the earlier editions as the best book on electronics, so [this third edition] had a lot to live up to; fortunately, it does not disappoint. It deserves its gold cover."
Ian Bell, Everyday Practical Economics.
'I believe the strength of this book stems from the authors’ background in physics. The key being that electronics is not their primary interest. This ‘application perspective’ is most evident in their presentation: the material is presented with the goal of understanding the behavior of electronic devices, circuits, and systems before the nitty-gritty details of calculating the behaviour. The authors are also liberal in their use of commercially available parts in their presentation, something rarely, if ever, seen in a typical textbook. There is an abundance of warning, based on real-world experience, of the many traps that lie in wait for the practitioner of the electronic art. In spite of the analog bent, the digital information in this book is an excellent source for the analog engineer to get started using digital systems for the control of analog circuits. All in all, a highly recommended addition to the working engineer’s bookshelf. ' Greg Oshiro , Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.
- ASIN : 0521809266
- Publisher : Cambridge University Press; 3rd edition (April 9, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 1220 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780521809269
- Item Weight : 5.53 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.27 x 2.6 x 11.42 inches
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Since the publishing of the acclaimed second edition, the field of electronics has witnessed a few (ahem) little advancements. Switching power supplies have conquered the world (also polluting it with all sorts of electrical noise), voltages have gone way down, frequencies have gone up through the roof, data communications have turned seriously serial and computers are no longer a goal, but a means to embed and distribute intelligence in all sorts of devices. An update of what is deemed to be the single tome "Bible of Electronics" was thus in order. It took a couple of decades to complete, but now the wait is over: Horowitz and Hill are back!
The first question that comes to mind is "what has changed from the second to the third edition?"
The short answer is: an awful lot.
The more I read it, the more I realize this is a completely different book. In the way it appears, to begin with: the wider pages, the smaller fonts and the uniform-styled pictures do away with the informal textbook style and make it look more like a deluxe encyclopedia. The writing style is still the same, though: informal, clear and to the point (I believe this to be the only university level textbook I know to use the word "bulls***" right in the preface). As an aside, the new format allows for some 33% more text per page, so know that had this book been printed with the same typeface and layout of the second edition, it would span some 1500 pages.
One word on the pictures: device characteristics are handed out by the dozen on each diagram for ease of comparison. While this was known to happen in the previous edition too, it is now the norm throughout the whole textbook.
And this is a reflection of what I perceive as the real aim of this book: giving designers a means to find the optimal, yet pragmatic, solution for *real world* circuits. The Art of Electronics plays the role of the senior designer in a R&D department, the one who is always busy giving advice on how to turn circuits made of ink on paper into real working hardware.
In this third edition Horowitz and Hill have not only greatly expanded the application topics, but have also managed to bring them to a higher level altogether. The topics are more logically laid out and real world top-notch examples ("Designs by the Masters") are used to drive home key concepts in electronic design. The old friend I knew as TAoE2 has not only rejuvenated, but it has also matured to a level it will take me time to fully comprehend.
As a quick aid for the owners of the previous edition, here's the list of chapters along with a *very rough* indication of their changes with respect to TAoE2 (= means "roughly equivalent", the numbers tell which chapter treated the same material in the previous edition, with a and b to signify chapter splitting; a "+" means a different or greatly revisited chapter)
Chapter Title Differences wrt 2nd Ed.
ONE: Foundations (=)
TWO: Bipolar Transistors (=)
THREE: Field-Effect Transistors (=)
FOUR: Operational Amplifiers (=)
FIVE: Precision Circuits (7a+)
SIX: Filters (5a+)
SEVEN: Oscillators and Timers (5b+)
EIGHT: Low-Noise Techniques (7b+)
NINE: Voltage Regulation and Power Conversion (6+)
TEN: Digital Logic (8)
ELEVEN: Programmable Logic Devices (+)
TWELVE: Logic Interfacing (9a+)
THIRTEEN: Digital meets Analog (9b+)
FOURTEEN: Computers, Controllers, and Data Links (10+)
FIFTEEN: Microcontrollers (+)
The first four basic chapters have retained their pedagogical structure. They have been updated to reflect the disappearance of obsolete and discontinued devices (uA741, anyone?) and the introduction of new, better or more widely available components. Something has been changed, something has been moved to other more specific chapters (for example, Comparators have moved from the Op Amp chapter to the Logic Interfacing chapter). Personally, I kind of miss the very extensive table 4.1 that concentrated in a single point (well, if it's possible to call 'point' a dozen pages) the basic features of scores of op amps. It appears that content of this type will be made available in the upcoming addendum "The X chapters" (more on that later). Oh, well, in the meantime there are other, more specialized tables in the applicative chapters and then, I still have the second edition...
The "old" 5th chapter ("Active filters and oscillators") has been split into the two distinct and enhanced chapters six: "Filters" and seven: "Oscillators and timers". Likewise, the "old" 7th chapter ("Precision circuits and low-noise techniques" has doubled up into chapter five: "Precision circuits" and chapter eight :"Low-noise Techniques". These two chapters alone are worth buying the book.
The old chapter 6 is now the ninth chapter "Voltage regulation and power conversion". This is the sample chapter that can be downloaded from the publisher's website. It has been expanded and rewritten, and switching power supplies are treated in detail.
Let's hope that having this chapter available for free worldwide will somehow help in reducing the number of awfully badly designed wall-warts.
The universe of digital electronics has changed a lot since the age of 8 bit microprocessors and so have the part of The Art of Electronics devoted to it. While the "fundamentals chapter" on Digital Logic has remained essentially the same, the old chapter 9 of the 2nd edition, "Digital meets Analog", has now been split into chapter twelve "Logic interfacing" and the greatly enhanced chapter thirteen - still named "Digital meets Analog" - that touches all kind of ADCs you can dream of (oh, yes, it still contains sections on PLLs and random noise generators).
The treatment of the digital part of The Art of Electronics is now no longer focused on microprocessors, but has widened to embrace PLDs and microcontrollers, each of which earn a dedicated chapter. Gone is the Microprocessor chapter on the venerable 68008 (and its elegant instruction set), and a new conclusive chapter on microcontrollers highlights the increasingly important role of these devices "at the heart of today's  electronics products" (to quote note 1 of chapter fifteen, in turn quoting Maxim's application note 3967).
Possibly even more important - and in some way a tad less prone to obsolescence - is the electronics that allows these systems to speak with each other and with their sensors and actuators. And so, in chapter fourteen, after the description of the basic principles of computer architecture, some twenty pages are devoted to discussing the various parallel and serial buses that make up today's computers and controllers networks (from SPI to Ethernet, passing through PC104 and CAN). And let's not forget chapter twelve (Logic Interfacing) and appendix H on Transmission Lines and Impedance Matching.
Chapter fifteen, "Microcontrollers" wraps up the tome and leaves the reader begging for more. It appears the final chapters of the second edition that did not make it into this massive 1100 pages (excluding the appendices) tome, will remain frozen in their 1989 timeframe. While few might miss the old twelfth chapter ("Electronic construction techniques"), I bet there could be a market for what were chapter 13 ("High-frequency and high-speed techniques"), chapter 14 ("Low-power design") and chapter 15 ("Measurements and signal processing"). Should they get the same fattening treatment the other 'applicative' chapters have undergone, they would make a nice addition - a gospel, perhaps? - to this Bible.
In the preface to the third edition, the authors mention the forthcoming publishing of an upcoming volume titled "The Art of Electronics: The X-Chapters" that will include, and I quote, "some additional related material that [the authors] had hoped to include in this volume (on real-world properties of components and advanced topics in BJTs, FETs, op-amps and power control)". Publication date for this work is still fuzzy (it might take years, if it follows the example of the main text).
The student manual for the third edition, instead, has already been published with the title "Learning the Art of Electronics".
According to what is written in the preface, the "Circuit Ideas and Bad Circuits" grayed sections of the book will be available on the updated book's website along with the (sadly for first printing owners) extensive errata and a searchable pdf index. This is a first useful step toward a search function that will make up for the lack of an electronic edition of the third 'installment' of this Bible. A simple web search engine where one could search the entire body of text for a given string would be even better. I can even see an App for "Search TAoE": flipping through the index is so last century...
In conclusion, this third edition of The Art of Electronics is definitely worth buying even if you already have the second edition (but a reader who managed to read this far already knew that from the start). Besides, from the way is has changed (they did add and subtract!), it appears it will peacefully coexist with its older sibling on my bookshelf.
As a conclusive note, the book opens with a dedication to the memory of the late Jim Williams.
A suggestion for the rookies: kids, if you are new to the field of electronics, look him up on the Web - just type "Reading Jim Williams" in the search field and then download the freely available application notes he authored. There's a lot to learn from him.
And while you are at it, look up Bob Pease (R.A.P.), too. You won't regret it.
One more thing.
The yellow triangle on the cover.
What the heck were they thinking?
(*Edited to expand a few points, correct some (but not all of the) grammar and acknowledge the points made by one of the authors in the comments below - further edited with the same aim*)
This books introduction made it sound like not a whole lot of math would be used when in fact this could be used as an engineers reference there's so many equations. I was looking for something that simply explained the operation of different circuits and ended up sifting through a lot of numbers.
In the end of rather have something more thorough for future endeavours than something lacking in detail so I didn't rate this poorly as I'm also not 100% sure who it's specifically designed for.
To the beginner, this is an intermediate level book. Though it does start off with basic concepts of voltage, current, resistance, inductance, etc., the underlying tone is that you should have at least some basic grasp of these concepts to begin with. Very quickly it starts diving into somewhat more in-depth discussions on these topics, but it is still kept at a relatively moderate level. My last calculus class was 20 years ago, and while it helps my understanding of what is going on (electronics is full of differential equations, can't really get around it) the way they present the math you don't have to derive the formulas, most of it is boiled down to relatively basic algebra and maybe a little bit of trig. If you want the derivations, they're back in the appendices, but the authors state early on that they try to keep the complex math to a minimum.
I have had the book for about two months and am still on chapter 3, mainly because I find myself having to go back and re-read some passages several times. This is because the book is somewhat sparse with examples, and I'm more of a person who learns by application. I may pick up the companion "Learning the Art of Electronics" which is supposed to be more hands on.
I've always been on the fence between learning EE or ME. I flipped a coin to help aid my decision and got my BSME. Recently graduated, I now have a job designing mechanical systems and I'm good at what I do. Now that I went through college and have some real-world experience I'm pondering having a master's degree. I can either continue what I'm already good at and get my MSME or learn if the grass is greener and get an MSEE. I concluded that I need to work through a few books and really grasp the world of electrical engineering before I make a decision I might regret later.
Knowing that some college text books are grossly over-priced, I looked through a copy of the second edition to see if it's worth the $90+ price tag. I couldn't believe the amount of information this book contains! I was pleasantly surprised that the newest 3rd edition was released only a few months ago as some of the components and graphs from the second edition are a little bit dated. It's going to take me a long time to get through this book, but from what I've seen already this is truly the holy grail of circuit design. I kept my book from my EE101 class in college so I can refer back to it whenever I need to remember how to do some calculations.
Top reviews from other countries
The book has 1192 pages. Its printed on slightly thin but good quality paper but has good text readability.
* Target Audience H.N.D, Under graduate, post graduate, Masters?
In my humble opinion, this book covers all the above.
* What's the best bits?
This book has inherited some of the 2nd Art of Electronics stuff. The rest is all shiny new.
This book covers and gives a tremendous breadth AND depth of information. From Foundation, Bipolar Transistors, Field - Effect Transistors, Operational Amplifiers, Precision Circuits, Filters, Oscillators and Timers, Low Noise Techniques, Voltage Regulation and Power Conversion, Digital Logic, Programmable Logic Devices, Logic Interfacing, Digital meets Analogue, Computers Controllers and Data Links, Microcontrollers, Appendix A, B, C , D, E, F,G, H Transmission lines and Impedance Matching, (I) Television, (J) Spice, (K) Where do i buy Electronic goodies?, (L) Workbench Instruments and Tools (M) Catalogues Mags and Data Books (N) Further Reading and References (O) the Oscilloscope (P) Acronyms and Abbreviations.
The way it organised is a work of art in its self. The information is beautifully organised. And with limited mathematical content is too help not frustrating. Its the easiest first then increasingly technically explained and explored as you progress through it. This is a MUST for your degree studies. It gives you so much as you explore its topics. Is it an encyclopedia or a textbook? Both! You can read this dropping into some topics. There is so much I can't show you this or that, it's all beautiful!. The topics you find hard are explained clearly.
Is it professional quality? Yes! At the latter parts, the design work is so clear. For example, the stuff on ADC / DAC is eye popping usefully and clearly explained. The best I have ever read! As is the filters stuff.
This book is H.N.D, Hons Degree, (and perhaps) Masters level support for in-depth electronics studies. It's clear, and up to date. What are you waiting for? If your studying electronics, then you need to buy it!
I recall when i started studying electronics, the previous Art of Electronics, Book 2 it was overwhelming. Go for an easier one to start with, such as Practical Electronics for Inventors, book 4, and Learning the Art of Electronics then drift into this superb volume.
If you can have an 'open book' exam, allowing you to bring a book in with you, then you need to have in-depth knowledge of this book prior to this, but its a great help if you know your way around it already.
The style of the book is that of an experienced engineer telling you all they know and emphasising what is important - rather than an academic / technical lecturer. This makes the book far more accessible than one might expect from a Harvard professor - think of Paul Horowitz as the Richard Feynman of electronics.
The only reservation is that the sheer size and weight means this is a document you read on a desk, workbench or table and not on your lap.
I purchased the print version as I was concerned that tech books don't display well on Kindle devices. I have downloaded the Kindle sample onto my IPad and the format is retained completely. I am seriously considering buying the Kindle version AS WELL as it's better suited to casual reading (though I think some of the more complex tables might be hard to read).
I studied Electronics at University and worked for several years in design before moving to computer systems. This is an excellent, accessible and practical text. Worth every penny of it's price - don't make my mistake, buy it now!
However, in this day and age, it isn't really acceptable that ebooks can't be read on a kindle. I accept this is due to the typesetting, which is complicated in this book. However, I think it is high time books of this ilk modernise and provide flowable formats. There is nothing specifically in this tome that couldn't be re-set.
I only knock one star off because there are plenty of alternative readers (Tablets, Web, etc) that do support print set books like this, so I still get the value from the purchase. But not being able to use my kindle at all is disappointing.
This tome comes in at a whopping 2.5kg or thereabouts. As others have noted, the paper used is quite thin, but it would have to be, given the page-count - 1260-ish. Don't know if the price-drop is connected, but my copy had a small defect - 4 pages, almost dead-center, were still joined at the corners, a result of the paper becoming creased before being cut. The effected area was only about 10mm x 10mm at 2 corners, and using a scalpel, i was able to carefully cut away the tiny amount of surplus paper - the 'surgery' is barely noticeable.
Far more able individuals have commented on the material contained within. I will say that, having loved the style of the v2 pdf version, v3 seems to follow on in the same vein. I really like the fact that 'modern' components are referenced throughout the example circuits/theory descriptions, making the whole learning experience seem much more grounded in reality.
All in all, an astounding book, but for what I paid, it's an incredible bargain..