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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Microprocessor Architectures
Steve Heath
Chris Hills
embedded systems; internals and hardware
Appeared in:
This book appears to be an expanded version of the first part of the author's "Embedded System Design" book. Basically the book describes the three philosophical computer architectures, that is RISC, CISC and DSP. However it does it in a Motorola context. 68**, 68***, PowerPC M88***, DS56***. The Intel I86, Sun SPARC and DEC Alpha are relegated to appendix B "Alternative Microprocessor Architectures". Also the bias is towards embedded systems.

Having looked at the way in which the three types of system work (RISC, CISC, DSP), using specific Motorola CPUs as examples the book progresses to how they will react with a system, multiprocessing, memory management, interrupts etc. This is where the experience of the author shows. Rather than having to re-invent the wheel one has an insight as to how Motorola intended the chips to be used.

It is this clear inside knowledge that will enable the reader to take full advantage of many aspects of the CPU that are not apparent in the data sheets. This will produce better more efficient software and better hardware. It will also help in decisions as to which CPU to "upgrade".

Whilst this book is authoritative (the author works for Motorola) initially it was hard to see where this book will fit. Those in the industry will have access to the Motorola tech support, data books&application notes. However this book whilst repeating some of the data sheets does fill in between the lines, supplies the background and "icing on the cake".

Students will undoubtedly find this book helpful. Lecturers should get a copy before their students do. Engineers working on Motorola designs will also find that it should enhance their work. Recommended for Motorola users.