News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

O’Reilly book tackles embedded system development

Nov 11, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

O'Reilly Media has published a book on embedded system development. Elicia White's 328-page “Making Embedded Systems” ranges from embedded controllers and sensors to more advanced systems, provides the basics of good development practices, and a encourages a disciplined approach to programming in an environment where “inefficiency isn't tolerated,” says the publisher.

"Making Embedded Systems" offers fundamentals and tips on developing software for embedded systems. The guidelines are based on "classic software design patterns and new patterns unique to embedded programming," says O'Reilly.

The book covers everything from developing digital watches and door locks to smartphones and nuclear power systems, says the publisher. Highlights are said to include:

  • optimizing systems to reduce cost and increase performance
  • developing a robust architecture for resource-constrained environments
  • exploring sensors, motors, and other I/O devices
  • reducing RAM consumption, code space, processor cycles, and power consumption
  • updating embedded code directly in the processor
  • implementing complex mathematics on small processors
  • preparing for an embedded systems job interview

Other selected highlights from the table of contents (see link farther below for full list) include:

  • creating system diagrams
  • your processor is a language
  • having a debugging toolbox (and a fire extinguisher)
  • separating the hardware from the action
  • the input in I/O
  • scheduling and operating system basics
  • how not to use interrupts
  • onboard bootloader
  • designing and modifying algorithms
  • understanding power consumption
  • putting the processor to sleep

Author Elicia White (pictured) is the founder of Logical Elegance, an embedded systems consulting company based in San Jose. White has created a wide variety of embedded systems ranging from urban surveillance and DNA scanners to children's toys, and is familiar with FAA and FDA certification processes, says O'Reilly.

Stated White, "Embedded systems are where the software meets the physical world. Writing software for these things is more difficult than computer software because the systems have so few resources. Instead of building better software, the trend has been to allow a cowboy mentality of just getting it done. We can do better than that. We must do better than that."


O'Reilly Media's 328-page"Making Embedded Systems," by Elicia White, is available now. Pricing is $40, or $32 for the ebook version. More information may be found on O'Reilly's Making Embedded Systems web page.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.