The Firmware Handbook

The Firmware Handbook

1st Edition - March 18, 2004

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  • Author: Jack Ganssle
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080470177
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780750676069

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The Firmware Handbook provides a comprehensive reference for firmware developers looking to increase their skills and productivity. It addresses each critical step of the development process in detail, including how to optimize hardware design for better firmware. Topics covered include real-time issues, interrupts and ISRs, memory management (including Flash memory), handling both digital and analog peripherals, communications interfacing, math subroutines, error handling, design tools, and troubleshooting and debugging. This book is not for the beginner, but rather is an in-depth, comprehensive one-volume reference that addresses all the major issues in firmware design and development, including the pertinent hardware issues.


Embedded systems developers, programmers and designers, electronics engineers and technicians.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    Section I: Basic Hardware

    Chapter 1: Basic Electronics
    Chapter 2: Logic Circuits
    Chapter 3: Hardware Design Tips

    Section II: Designs

    Chapter 4: Tools and Methods for Improving Code Quality
    Chapter 5: Tips to Improve Functions
    Chapter 6: Evolutionary Development
    Chapter 7: Embedded State Machine Implementation
    Chapter 8: Hierarchical State Machiens
    Chapter 9: Developing Safety Critical Applications
    Chapter 10: Installing and Using a Version Control System

    Section III: Math

    Chapter 11: An Introduction to Machine Calculations
    Chapter 12: Floating Point Approximations
    Chapter 13: Math Functions
    Chapter 14: IEEE 754 Floating Point Numbers

    Section IV: Real-Time

    Chapter 15: Real-Time Kernels
    Chapter 16: Reentrancy
    Chapter 17: Interrupt Latency
    Chapter 18: Understanding Your C Compiler: How to Minimize Code Size
    Chapter 19: Optimizing C and C++ Code
    Chapter 20: Real-Time Asserts

    Section V: Errors and Changes

    Chapter 21: Implementing Downloadable Firmware with Flash Memory
    Chapter 22: Memory Diagnostics
    Chapter 23: Nonvolatile Memory
    Chapter 24: Proactive Debugging
    Chapter 25: Exception Handling in C++
    Chapter 26: Building a Great Watchdog

    Appendix A: ASCII Table
    Appendix B: Byte Alignment and Ordering

Product details

  • No. of pages: 365
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Newnes 2004
  • Published: March 18, 2004
  • Imprint: Newnes
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080470177
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780750676069

About the Author

Jack Ganssle

Jack Ganssle has 30 years' experience developing embedded systems. He has authored two books, The Art of Programming Embedded Systems and The Art of Designing Embedded Systems, and writes a regular column in Embedded Systems Programming magazine. Michael Barr is the editor-in-chief of Embedded Systems Programming magazine and the principal of Netrino Consultants Network. He wrote Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++.

Affiliations and Expertise

Founder and Principal Consultant, The Ganssle Group, Baltimore,MD, USA; Technical editor and columnist for Embedded Systems Programming magazine

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