Embedded systems are microprocessor or microcontroller-based systems comprising hardware as well as software. They are programmed to undertake a specific task. An embedded system can work independently or can be a part of a larger electrical or mechanical system.
If you are looking to dive into the world of embedded systems you simply cannot rely on the internet. You will need solid reading materials. And what’s better than our hand-picked list of the best books on embedded systems?
Scroll down to pick your perfect learning partner.
“Our top picks for beginners“:
Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++ by Michael Barr
“Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++” by Michael Barr is the perfect book for a first-timer. This book collects all the important concepts in a single space. The book focuses on C and C++ languages which are the building blocks of embedded system software.
The key takeaway projects from this book are testing the memory chips quickly and efficiently, writing and erasing the flash memory, verifying non-volatile memory contents with CRCs, interfacing to on-chip and external peripherals, designing and implementing the device drivers, optimizing the embedded software for size and speed.
- Even if you have some experience with embedded systems there is something valuable for you in there.
- Suitable for beginners
- The content in the book is limited since it is a small book(200 pages).
The AVR Microcontroller and Embedded Systems Using Assembly and C by Muhammad Ali Mazidi
This is one of the best Embedded system books for beginners as it is focused on a relatively easy microcontroller board, Arduino Uno(AVR Microcontroller) using Atmel studio. It contains a total of 19 chapters. The first chapter is a general introduction to computing.
Chapters 1 to 6 examine the internal structure of the AVR Microcontroller via assembly language programming. Whereas chapters 7 to 18 cover AVR peripherals and I/O interfacing via assembly as well as C programming language.
- The book provides a separate link for appendices, source codes, tutorials, and support materials.
- Some advanced readers have found a few errors in the text which might be hard to identify if you are a beginner.
AVR Programming: Learning to Write Software for Hardware
This is another great book on AVR microcontrollers and their programming.
These microcontrollers are the same ones used in Arduino boards. You will also learn how to program them directly, without using the Arduino environment. This will allow you to have more control over the chip and get more out of it. Each chapter in this book is centered around a project that uses a particular microcontroller topic. These projects include schematics, code, and illustrations of a working project.
You will also learn how to use peripheral devices like USB, I2C, and SPI with the microcontroller. Plus, you will build projects like Cylon Eyes, a Square-Wave Organ, an AM Radio, a Passive Light-Sensor Alarm, Temperature Logger, and more. And you’ll understand what is happening behind the scenes even when using the Arduino IDE.
- An excellent resource for those who want to go beyond Arduino programming
- If you have no idea about Arduino IDE or C language, this book is not for you
The 8051 Microcontroller and Embedded Systems by Muhammad Ali Mazidi
As the title suggests, the book “8051 Microcontroller and Embedded Systems” by Muhammad Ali Mazidi is based on the oldest 8051 Microcontroller. Thus it is a fantastic book for aspiring embedded system engineers.
The book provides in-depth coverage of the 8051 microcontroller architecture and its programming, as well as important topics in embedded systems engineering, such as interfacing with sensors and actuators, real-time operating systems, and more. The book also includes a number of worked examples that help to illustrate the concepts presented.
Overall, this book is an excellent resource for those looking to learn about the 8051 microcontroller and embedded systems engineering. The use of Assembly and C programming language is well-suited for beginners as it creates a strong foundation.
- The learn-by-example style of the content makes it a great book for practicing programming.
- The paper quality of this book is not that great.
Embedded Systems Architecture by Daniele Lacamera
This book on Embedded systems is the perfect book to explore architectural concepts, pragmatic design patterns, and best practices to produce robust systems. This book teaches setting up an optimal development environment, software tools, and methodologies, boot-up mechanisms, memory management strategies, implementation of features and device drivers, reducing power consumption, security protocols, etc. It is quite a read and can be very easily used as a textbook.
- The book gives a lot of focus to the ARM Cortex-M board.
- The book has a higher level of information about embedded systems so beginners should stay away.
STM32 Arm Programming for Embedded Systems by Muhammad Ali Mazidi
“STM32 Arm Programming for Embedded Systems” by Muhammad Ali Mazidi is based on the STM32F446RE NUCLEO Development Board. This book will teach you how to program peripherals such as DACs, I2Cs, ADCs, SPIs, UARTs, Timers, I/O ports, etc via the C programming language. This book is for beginners as it covers low-level programming.
- There are examples, questions, and answers at the end of each chapter which is excellent for students.
- There are typing errors in the book which can cause your programs to not give the desired output.
Making Embedded Systems by Elecia White
“Making Embedded Systems” by Elecia White takes you deep into the world of embedded system architecture. You will learn how to build software for your embedded system, the requirements of manufacturing, technical difficulties faced during manufacturing, specific techniques required for building, etc.
This book will teach you how to utilize a processor to its limit like no other book. It is ideal for information technology and engineering students.
- The book consists of real-world examples and practical advice which makes it a perfect guide.
- In some places, the book lacks a clear explanation of the code which might confuse some of the readers.
- This book is software oriented
Mastering Embedded Linux Programming by Frank Vasquez and Chris Simmonds
“Mastering Embedded Linux Programming” by Frank Vasquez and Chris Simmonds focuses on Embedded Linux Programming. With the help of this book, you can create fast and reliable embedded solutions with Linux 5.4 and the Yocto Project 3.1. Other than the Yocto Project, this book makes use of tools like Buildroot, BitBake, Mender, Balena, BusyBox, ftrace, Callgrind, etc to build efficient embedded systems. If you are looking for a diversified book of embedded systems based on Linux then this is the one.
- The book has a dedicated chapter on Real-time programming which comes in handy while making your embedded system.
- The book does not encompass the latest versions of the used tools.
PIC Microcontroller and Embedded Systems by Muhammad Ali Mazidi
“PIC Microcontroller and Embedded Systems” by Muhammad Ali Mazidi, Danny Causey, and Rolin McKinley use the PIC18 microcontroller to teach you embedded systems. The authors use assembly language and C to program the PIC18. This makes it an ideal book for beginners. All the common features of PIC18 are discussed in detail in this book.
- The book is an ideal textbook for industry candidates as well as academics.
- The book uses a very old version of the compiler which is no longer in use. So you have to modify your program according to your new compiler.
Introduction to Embedded Systems by David Russell
This book uses the Arduino Development Environment to introduce you to embedded systems. The author has used the ANSI C programming language throughout the book. The book consists of a generalized view of fundamental methods for creating embedded software. The dedicated chapter on ATmega328P covers architecture in detail.
- Doesn’t use Arduino-specific Wiring libraries to give the reader a chance to work with other processors in the future.
- The book has a lot of technical jargon which is often difficult to understand.
Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems by Jim Ledin
“Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems” by Jim Ledin teaches you to design and build high-performance real-time embedded systems based on FPGAs. The book takes you through real-time operations and the Internet of Things (IoT). Hardware construction, firmware development, and debugging are taught in this book. In addition to that, reading a PCB layout is also covered in the book.
- In addition to learning architecture, as the title suggests, you will also learn the basics of embedded systems.
- A good book on FPGA architecture and programming
- The cost of projects given in the book is not clearly mentioned in the project.
- Not for beginners
Embedded System Design by Frank Vahid and Tony Givargis
This book introduces a modern way of designing embedded systems. It covers the latest trends and challenges and gives a unified introduction to both hardware and software. It also describes different types of memories and buses, shows how to make trade-offs between hardware and software, and explains advanced computation models.
Topics such as control systems, chip technologies, and modern design tools are discussed comprehensively in this book.
- The contents of the book are concise and to the point.
- The Kindle as well as the paperback version of this book is quite expensive.
Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M3 Microcontrollers by Dr. Yifeng Zhu
“Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M3 Microcontrollers” covers several topics which are not that thoroughly covered in other embedded systems books. Some of which are- data representation, load, and store, subroutines, interrupts, multitasking, etc. The best thing about this book is that it teaches you the implementation of a context switch between several concurrently running tasks, according to a round-robin scheduling algorithm.
- Most of the example codes have a line-by-line translation between C and ARM assembly.
- A Kindle version of this book is not available yet.
Hands-On RTOS with Microcontrollers by Brain Amos
This book is a great way to get started with microcontrollers and RTOS. It introduces you to the concept of RTOS, compares different methods for achieving real-time performance, and teaches you how to select a microcontroller and development environment.
This book covers RTOS in detail, right from what RTOS is to running RTOS-based applications. You will learn to apply your RTOS fundamentals to STM32. This is the only book on our list that has a section on the FreeRTOS Scheduler.
You will also learn about preemptive scheduling policies and task communication in detail through examples that use an STM32F7 Nucleo board, STM32CubeIDE, and SEGGER debugs tools. By the end of the book, you will be able to create real-time systems using microcontrollers and FreeRTOS.
- Just like us, the author also makes a pros and cons list after certain sections to help you decide on your ideal system.
- Some of the examples in the book start with implications that readers are sometimes unaware of.
- Not for beginners
You will find numerous books on Embedded Systems on the internet but not all are worth the purchase. We recommend using this article as a buying guide to choose the perfect book for you.
We are in love with the books written by Muhammad Ali Mazidi on Embedded Systems. All his publications are worth the investment. But we find his book on The AVR Microcontroller and Embedded Systems Using Assembly and C the best of all.
If you are a beginner in Embedded Systems then we recommend that you purchase “Programming Embedded Systems in C and C++” by Michael Barr.