Learning by example is a time-honoured approach favoured by many, including William Kleitz in this fifth edition. Copious examples of electronic design lead the reader effectively through the main topics of digital electronics.
Intended as a first course, the book's scope is appropriately limited, resulting in a textbook that could support many undergraduate courses at first-year level. The pace of presentation is measured with clearly delineated chapters that help to organise the material. Each chapter has an excellent introductory section giving the outline and the teaching objectives. Review questions punctuate the presentation and a point-by-point summary at the end of each chapter is followed by numerous tutorial problems.
Unusually, the book and its supporting material address not only the theory and applications of digital electronic circuits but also the practical issues. The use of clear, informative photographs and an introduction to trouble-shooting provide welcome preparation for project work. A CD of design exercises is also included.
In contrast to Kleitz's approach, John Uyemura's book looks at the subject vertically. At the highest level of the hierarchy he considers system-level design, beneath which lie discussions of logic units, logic gates, CMOS circuits and, at the lowest level, silicon integrated-circuit design. This structure provides an elegant framework for Uyemura to present his three main topic areas of logic design, integrated circuits and computer architecture. His premise is that his readers, whether first-year undergraduates in electrical engineering, computer engineering or computer science, should have a grounding in these main areas in order to prepare themselves for the new century.
The style of presentation is more instructive in nature than Kleitz's tutorial approach and leads to a more compact presentation with helpful diagrams and examples. This enables Uyemura to extend his coverage to an exceptionally broad scope without loss of vital detail. The inclusion of VHDL code and the presentation of some basic semiconductor physics complete the picture. This outstanding first-course text would also serve as excellent preparation for many more advanced courses.
Patrick Naylor is senior lecturer, Imperial College, University of London.
A First Course in Digital Systems Design: An Integrated Approach. Amended First Edition
Author - John P. Uyemura
ISBN - 0 534 93412 9
Publisher - Brooks/Cole
Price - £.95
Pages - 495