Worth reading: PC-based instrumentation, chipmaking demystified

Professionals working in embedded and PC-based control are continually looking to update their reference sources.


Professionals working in embedded and PC-based control are continually looking to update their reference sources. Two recently published books that can add to those reference tools are “ PC Based Instrumentation and Control ” and “ Demystifying Chipmaking .”

PC Based Instrumentation and Control , 3rd edition” (Newness, an imprint of Elsevier Science 2005, ISBN: 0-7506-4716-7)—by Mike Tooley, former director of learning technology at Brooklands College, Surrey, U.K.—is a guide to implementing computer control, instrumentation, and data acquisition using a standard PC and some of the most popular computer languages. This practical book includes many examples of configurations and working circuits, as well as representative software, while providing guidance on how to modify circuits/software routines to meet readers’ specific needs. The third edition updates coverage of PC hardware and bus systems, adds a new chapter on virtual instruments (VIs), and provides introduction to “visual programming” and software development in the 32-bit environment. Examples with source code and executables are available for download from the companion website .

Demystifying Chipmaking ,” by Richard F. Yanda, Michael Heynes, and Anne Miller (Newness, an imprint of Elsevier Science, 2005, ISBN: 0-7506-7760-0), is a detailed, but plain-language trip through the entire manufacturing process of making a typical silicon chip. Covered in 10 chapters, CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) process flow is the focus of the discussions. This is the fabrication method used for the vast majority of today’s silicon chips. The authors, who are experienced engineers, most recently at Semiconductor Services in Redwood City, CA, include a discussion of the evolution of today’s chip technology. The first chapter clearly introduces underlying science concepts of later chapters to ensure that readers are comfortable with the vocabulary. Another chapter covers the differences in other manufacturing methods, such as the gallium-arsenide technology that produces chips for cell phones.

Elsevier Science is a sister company to Control Engineering , so CE can offer readers a 10% discount for book purchases. Click here to visit the bookstore to find these books (and others); enter 80771 in the offer code box when selecting any book there to receive the discount.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com

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