Published by O’Reilly Media in 2023, “Applied Embedded Electronics – Design Essentials for Robust Systems” is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

This book is a comprehensive design reference, from initial concept to final PCB, for all embedded system electronics:

“Applied Embedded Electronics is a must-have reference for every engineer working on embedded systems. The author does a fantastic job covering the essential components and how to ensure you take everything into account to design a robust electronic system.”

—Jacob Beningo,
Beningo Embedded Group

This book focuses on hardware, the actual circuits, chips, and electronics, necessary for all embedded systems. Understanding the important concepts common to all electronic systems is done with extensive graphics and minimal equations. With over 560 pages of content, 420 illustrations, and 40 reference tables, start-to-finish guidance for designing problem-free embedded systems, is now available.

This includes: how to select digital controllers, architect an embedded system, design power systems, define digital interface and data communication methods, design a battery pack and charger system, include noise control and ESD immunity, drive and sense peripherals, design a digital control-feedback systems, and PCB design techniques.

This book is especially valuable to designers lacking experience with the many problematic issues encountered in real world applications.

Outline: Applied Embedded Electronics – Design Essentials for Robust Systems

Chapter 1, “Essential Concepts”
Starting off, this chapter makes sure all readers have a common foundational knowledge of real-world electronics. Readers are introduced to the non-ideal nature of electronics, how academic simplifications can mislead, how impedance of connections affects performance, parasitic coupling issues, non-ideal grounding and ground bounce, and non-ideal components, among many other issues.

Chapter 2, “Architecting the System”
How does it all fit together? What processor should you use? Every system has things to monitor, things to control, and signals to process. In this chapter, big picture considerations are addressed, including understanding digital controller features, picking appropriate digital control methods, and partitioning a system. Also discussed are signal processing methods, the use of chip sets, and creating a “mostly digital” architecture.

Chapter 3, “Robust Digital Communication”
Moving digital information between devices can require many different strategies, depending on data rates, distance traveled, and the application environment. Both wired and wireless digital interfaces are reviewed for capabilities and limitations.

Chapter 4, “Power Systems”
All systems need reliable, safe power and energy efficiency. Topics include AC power safety, ground-protected and double-insulated AC safety, weakest-link protection methods, AC/DC converters, linear voltage regulators, low dropout regulators, buck switching regulators, boost switching regulators, configuring multi-regulator power systems, bypass and decoupling methods, noise optimization for power converters, special challenges of digital current transients, high-frequency stabilization of power grids, and controlled power sequencing for the entire system.

Chapter 5, “Battery Power”
Battery power is essential for modern devices, including plugged-in devices, which frequently have internal batteries to preserve critical systems during power outages. Battery chemistry types, chargeable and single-use options, current capability, projected battery life, calculating time and discharge profiles, and how to design a battery pack and charging system are covered here.

Chapter 6, “Electromagnetic Interference and Electrostatic Discharge”
Most electronic systems create electronic noise and radiate noise energy. Any commercial product must meet legally imposed limits on that radiated noise energy. Techniques to make a system quieter and not interfere with other devices are presented. Also, systems will be exposed to electronic noise and ESD events, so designing a system to be noise immune and to survive ESD without damage is covered as well.

Chapter 7, “Data Converters: ADCs and DACs”
Important performance parameters for data converters are discussed. The limitations of commonly used PWM DACs are examined, and circuit techniques to improve performance are presented.

Chapter 8, “Driving Peripheral Devices”
Methods used to drive motors, actuators, lights, visual displays, speakers, and other devices are covered. Using power transistors and selecting application appropriate devices are also discussed.

Chapter 9, “Sensing Peripheral Devices”
Ways to measure parameters such as temperature, air pressure, force, acceleration, speed, location, and others are examined. Sensor information can be noisy or inconsistent due to the application environment. Methods for processing raw sensor information so that it’s both usable and reliable to a digital controller are covered.

Chapter 10, “Digital Feedback Control”
Driving and sensing peripherals can be used as part of a feedback control loop. Classic analog control system methods are largely obsolete, and most modern devices use digital methods. Industry-prevalent methods of digital PID control and trajectory management are examined. How to determine sampling rate, suitable ADC sense resolution, DAC control resolution and tuning of control parameters are all provided.

Chapter 11, “Schematic to PCB”
Implementing a PCB design requires a suitable grounding and power plane strategy, good signal integrity and noise isolation, and a built-in strategy for testing. Schematic organization, component selection, footprint creation, mechanical mounting, PCB layers, physical design rules, placement strategy, interconnect RLC, between-layer connection vias, transmission lines, fabrication notes, and manufacturing files are all discussed.

Chapter 12, “Software and Coding”
The topics of real-time operating systems, port and processor configuration, developing device drivers, code for peripheral communication, defensive coding methods, techniques for self-recovery from faults, watchdog timers, and multi-controller coding are covered.

Chapter 13, “Special Systems and Applications”
Not all electronic systems are designed with the same methods and priorities. Regulatory restrictions and compliance drive the design in many sectors. Special requirements in avionics, satellites/spacecraft, military, medical, automotive, consumer, and industrial automation are explored.

Chapter 14, “Creating Great Products”
With solutions to technical challenges explored in prior chapters, this chapter discusses non-technical issues, including marketing and product demand, understanding the target market, creating products that solve the customer’s problem, viable product pricing, markets limited by time windows, product ease of use, design team considerations, minimal design to avoid feature creep, ease of manufacturing, and getting customer feedback.