The Firmware Handbook

1st Edition

Authors: Jack Ganssle
Paperback ISBN: 9780750676069
eBook ISBN: 9780080470177
Imprint: Newnes
Published Date: 18th March 2004
Page Count: 365
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Table of Contents

Preface What’s on the CD-Rom?

Section I: Basic Hardware

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

Section II: Designs

Introduction 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

Introduction 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

Introduction 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

Introduction 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<BR i


This 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. The companion CD-ROM includes all the code used in the design examples and a searchable ebook version of the text.

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.

Key Features

  • Included CD-Rom contains all the source code used in the design examples, so engineers can easily use it in their own designs


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


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This handbook will be the standard reference in the field, it provides a much-needed comprehensive information source for firmware developers looking to increase their skills and productivity. - EDN Magazine This book is edited by Jack Ganssle and includes contributions from a wide range of writters, making this book very broadly based. Any software graduate reading this book would be taking a step in the right direction for learning about software issues that arise in developing production level embedded software. More experienced engineers may find a lot of the material familiar, though I came across a few points that I had not seen elsewhere. The first thing I noticed was that unlike most embedded systems books, this one does not emphasise a particular processor, or RTOS, or technology. This is probably a good thing if you are looking for a broad embedded education, rather than details of one specific technology. The book also has more of a software emphasis than most books on this topic. -

About the Authors

Jack Ganssle Author

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