Upcoming book, “Modern Embedded Electronics – Essential Glue for Designers” covers multiple topics necessary to design a modern electronic system. Any electronic device, no matter what it is, requires special techniques for: power systems, robust digital communication, battery systems, noise control, EMI/ESD immunity, drive and sense of peripherals, digital control-feedback systems, defensive coding and PCB design techniques. All are required for a “bullet proof” integrated system and this text serves as a guide to achieve that goal.

This book is especially valuable to designers with a strong background in digital devices and coding, but less exposure to the many problematic system issues encountered in the real world.

Projected publish date is end of 2022.

Summary Outline of Book: Modern Embedded Electronics – Essential Glue for Designers


Essential Concepts

Basic electronics, Ideal vs. real world, Non ideal Interconnections, Ideal vs. actual components, Non ideal digital, Signal integrity

Architecting the Overall System

Modern design strategies, Mostly digital design, DSP methods, Digital control methods, Hardware vs. software controllers, Computers vs. controllers, Specialty MCUs, Chip set methods, Architecture options, Peripherals & interconnects, Avoiding SerCom bottlenecks, Direct memory access, Data processing bottlenecks, Improving DSP speed, Determining DCU internal features, Physical package issues, Picking your MCU/MPU,

Robust Digital Communication

Digital signals, Physical considerations and connections, Limits of ground referenced digital, LVDS, Lumped vs. distributed networks, Clock distribution, Parallel vs. serial ports, Clocking methods for serial ports, Serial data on shared ground, SerDes high speed data, Data over distance, Serial data for computer systems, Wireless serial interfaces, Infrared data, Fiber-Optic data, JTAG

Power Systems, Methods and Distribution

AC power safety, Low voltage DC safety, Split phase AC power, Local power regulation, Safe failure methods, Overcurrent protection, AC to DC conversion, Power regulators, Linear vs. switching, Emitter follower regulator vs. LDO, Switching converters (buck, boost, buck-boost), Picking regulators and configuring a power system, Power supply monitors, Bypass/decoupling and filtering techniques, Noise reduction using RC snubbers, ferrites and filters, Power grid current surges due to digital logic, Low impedance power and ground planes, Power supply bypass filtering, Distributed stabilization, Bypass capacitors at high frequencies, Bypass capacitors value and distribution

Battery Power for the System

Battery basics, Electrical criteria, Rechargeable or single use, Defining power requirements, Battery types by chemistry, Global behavior, Discharging, Battery sets, Single use multiple cells, Rechargeable custom battery pack, Charging batteries, Smart batteries, Regulatory and safety issues, Other energy storage & access methods

Electromagnetic Interference and Electrostatic Discharge

EMI top level avenues, Intrinsic noise sources, General strategy dealing with EMI, Regulations and requirements, Visualizations of noise coupling, Current loops and return current paths, EMI coupling as a function of frequency, Grounding, Reducing conducted emissions to AC power mains, Cable interconnect strategies, Reduce noise generation at the source, Reduce noise coupling between on board devices, Signal routing strategies, Make circuits less noise sensitive, Suppress noise in-out of system, Electrostatic discharge protection


DAC output types, DAC performance characteristics, DAC dynamic behavior, ADC performance, Quantization error, Aperture error, Nyquist rate sampling, Aliasing, PWM DACs, PWM spectral content, High resolution PWM DACs, AWG methods

Driving Peripheral Devices

Safety issues, Safe failure modes, DC motor drivers, Driving solenoids & relays, Flyback diodes on inductive loads, Brushless motor drivers, Stepper motors, Stall currents and protecting from self destruction, Thermal monitors on motors, LEDs and buzzers, LCD displays, Video output, Picking a power transistor (thermal calculations, voltage, current, sizing, safe zones, heat sinks, wattage burn-off), Linear control vs. switched control

Sensing Peripheral Devices

Electrical isolation, Pressure sensors, Speed sensors, Location sensors, Optical make/break limit switches, Temperature sensors, Configuring amplifier buffers
AC coupling and voltage level shifting, Problems with AC signal coupling, DC level shifter methods

Control and Feedback Systems by Digital Methods

Classic feedback control, Feedback through a digital controller, PID control
Trajectory methods (Velocity, Location, Acceleration Profiles)

PCB Design Techniques and Best Practices

Component mounting strategies (surface, through hole, mixed mount), PCB basics (layers, ground planes, signal separation, routing, power layers) Power decoupling, Layer definitions and copper weights, PCB dielectrics, Crosstalk and leakage, Layer strategies (classic 4 layer, internal digital layers for minimizing EMI, Orthogonal signal layers), Two side strategy analog/digital, Flooded grounds layouts for EMI, Test and ground access, Via inductance, Thermal relief connectors, Strip lines, Differential pairs, Controlled impedance connections, Serial ports routing as matched LVDS transmission lines, Placement and routing strategy, Strategic component and critical path routing, Grounding methods, Connector selection (insertion life, resistive connections)

Coding Methods for Bulletproof Systems

Defensive coding, Weak techniques to avoid, Recirculating systems, Multipass sampling, Distributed multiprocessor systems, Continual handshake and verify methods, Watchdog timers, Heartbeat monitors, Protective recovery routines

Special Systems and Application Environments

Medical devices, Industrial systems, Temperature extremes, Extreme reliability, Power reduction, Radiation hardening