Circuit board with embedded system with text that says top shelf embedded systems books beginner to advanced

11 Best Embedded Systems Books for 2022 [Learn Embedded Systems ASAP]

Today we’re looking at the best embedded systems books for this year.

What are embedded systems?

Embedded systems are computers that are built into a larger system.

They are meant to solve specific problems.

And they oftentimes don’t look like traditional computers.

But like any computer, embedded systems contain a processor and software.

Embedded system on plug-in card (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Embedded systems control everything from digital cameras to airplanes.

Some other examples of embedded systems include:

  • central air conditioning systems
  • GPS systems
  • fitness trackers
  • home appliances
  • central air conditioning systems

And more.

What industries use embedded systems?

Embedded systems are commonly found in different industries such as:

βœ… military

βœ… medical

βœ… industrial

βœ… commercial

βœ… telecommunications

And beyond.

This post contains affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you buy something. Read our disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Embedded Systems Books

πŸ”₯ Best Overall πŸ”₯
Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software

πŸ’₯ Best for Newbies πŸ’₯

Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers in Assembly Language and C

πŸ’Έ Best Value πŸ’Έ

Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers

Best Embedded Systems Books

Here are some of the best embedded systems books for this year.

The first 6 books are for embedded systems newbies.

Books 7-11 are for intermediate and advanced embedded systems engineers.

You’ll discover their:

  • features
  • core concepts
  • layout
  • comparisons

And more.

Embedded Systems Books for Beginners

Now we’ll take a look at some of the best embedded systems books for beginners.

1. Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: intermediate programmers new to embedded systems
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered:
optimizing your system, developing an architecture

In this all-encompassing book published by O’Reilly, you’ll find a general overview of embedded systems.

Best Overall:

  • Optimize your embedded system
  • Implement complex math on small processors
  • Update embedded code

➑️ In our opinion, Making Embedded Systems is one of the best embedded systems books overall.

In this easy-to-read guide, you’ll find disciplined best practices for embedded programming.

Diagram of computer and target processor in Making Embedded Systems

You’ll discover how to build system architecture for processors while learning how to:

βœ… implement complex math on small processors

βœ… optimize your system to increase performance

βœ… update embedded code directly into the processor

βœ… develop an architecture that makes robust software

Finally, you’ll learn what interviewers are looking for when you apply for an embedded systems job.

What embedded systems engineers are saying about Making Embedded Systems:

The book gives you a good overview of the embedded systems development process, and what you can expect to encounter while developing one…

Aleksi

2. Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers in Assembly Language and C

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: experienced developers new to embedded systems
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: embedded system design fundamentals, ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers

While Making Embedded Systems provides a general overview of embedded systems, this book gets specific with ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers using assembly and C.

Best for Beginners:

  • basic programming of ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers
  • embedded system design fundamentals
  • advanced topics

➑️ Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers in Assembly Language and C is arguably one of the best embedded systems books for experienced developers new to embedded systems.

You’ll find an introduction to basic programming of ARM Cortex-M cores while using assembly and C at the register-transfer level.

In addition, you’ll learn the fundamentals of embedded system design including:

βœ… data representations

βœ… assembly instructions

βœ… implementing basic controls and functions

And beyond.

You’ll also touch on some advanced concepts like direct memory access (DMA), system timers (SysTick) and digital signal processing (DSP).

What embedded systems engineers are saying about Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers:

One of the best books I have ever come across for explaining the basics love it!

John Dyer

3. Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: experienced developers new to embedded systems
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: embedded systems fundamentals, ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers

Like Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers in Assembly Language and C, you’ll be learning about ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers.

But this book is a little easier on the wallet.

Best for Newbies:

  • embedded systems fundamentals
  • basics of ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers
  • design of software in assembly language and C

➑️ We believe Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers is one of the best embedded systems books for developers on a budget.

Jam-packed with design examples and lab assignments, you’ll start by learning the fundamentals.

Then you’ll dive into:

βœ… microcontrollers

βœ… fixed-point numbers

βœ… elementary data structures

βœ… programming input/output

βœ… software design in assembly language and C

And more.

Ohm’s Law and circuit element resistor in Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers

There is an accompanying website where you’ll find projects and spreadsheets for the example programs found in the book.


4. Computer Organization and Embedded Systems

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: embedded systems newbies, undergraduate computer engineering majors, computer science specialists
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: hardware design principles

This book is similar to Making Embedded Systems.

But you’ll cover computer organization concepts in addition to embedded systems.

➑️ We think Computer Organization and Embedded Systems is one of the best embedded systems books for undergraduate computer engineering majors.

Meant to be a first book for computer organization and embedded systems, you’ll discover hardware design principles alongside software requirements.

Functional units of a computer in Computer Organizations and Embedded Systems

You’ll start by learning the basic structure of computers.

Then, you’ll explore:

βœ… ARM, Motorola and Intel instruction sets

βœ… input/output organization

βœ… the memory system

βœ… computer peripherals

βœ… large computer systems

And much, much more.


5. Introduction to Embedded Systems: Using Microcontrollers and the MSP430

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: experienced developers new to embedded systems
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: MSP430, embedded systems technology

Like Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers in Assembly Language and C and Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers, you’ll explore using microcontrollers as core components of embedded design.

But in Introduction to Embedded Systems, you’ll use the MSP430 instead of ARM Cortex-M.

➑️ Introduction to Embedded Systems is perhaps one of the best embedded systems books for developing embedded systems technology.

Meant to be an introduction to embedded systems design, you’ll cover concepts from the ground up.

Multi function media player diagram in Introduction to Embedded Systems

You’ll start by learning the history of embedded systems.

Then you’ll learn about:

βœ… embedded systems technology

βœ… architecture of systems, models and peripheral devices

βœ… data representation formats, data operations and programming styles

And beyond.

Finally, you’ll dive into assembly language and C as they relate to embedded systems.


6. Embedded Systems Architecture

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: experienced software developers new to embedded programming
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: architectural concepts, design patterns, best practices

Embedded Systems Architecture is a bit different than other embedded systems books on our list.

That’s because you’ll explore architectural modeling as it relates to embedded systems.

Here you’ll learn how to produce robust systems while exploring:

βœ… architectural concepts

βœ… design patterns

βœ… best practices

Components inside a generic microcontroller in Embedded Systems Architecture

Along the way, you’ll discover how to identify challenges in embedded environments.

You’ll also learn how to increase Internet of Things security.

Finally, you’ll build safety-critical parallel and distributed embedded systems.

By the end of the book, you should be comfortable with embedded architecture such as memory management, multithreading and the RTOS approach.


Intermediate and Advanced Embedded Systems Books

Now let’s take a look at some more challenging embedded systems books for experienced embedded systems engineers.

7. Better Embedded System Software

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: experienced embedded systems engineers
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: design reviews, embedded design problems

Rather than focus on cut-and-paste code, Better Embedded System Software explores embedded design problems.

➑️ We think Better Embedded System Software is one of the best embedded systems books for intermediate embedded systems engineers.

Looking at over 90 designs, you’ll find bite-sized lessons covering:

βœ… the software development process

βœ… architecture

βœ… design

βœ… implementation

βœ… critical system properties

And beyond.

After uncovering the problems with these concepts, you’ll learn solid ways to improve your embedded system software.


8. The Art of Designing Embedded Systems

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: experienced embedded systems engineers
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: embedded programming problems, real-world development

The Art of Designing Embedded Systems was written by Jack Ganssle, an internationally-recognized embedded systems engineer.

In fact, he designed some of the first embedded systems.

➑️ Jack Ganssle is renowned for his embedded systems expertise. Check out his full line of embedded systems books.

In this book, you’ll start by learning how to navigate common problems found in embedded programming.

Then you’ll learn a high-level plan of attack for the design and development process.

Productivity collapse in The Art of Designing Embedded Systems

In addition, you’ll discover how to solve issues concerning:

βœ… real-time code

βœ… hardware and software coexistence

βœ… detail management

And more.


9. Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: experienced software developers, IoT engineers
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: electronic circuit design, construction and debugging of prototype embedded devices

Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems is the next logical book to read after Embedded Systems Architecture.

➑️ Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems is perhaps one of the best embedded systems books for building real-time digital systems.

While learning about real-time operating systems, you’ll:

1️⃣ explore how FPGAs implement processing algorithms in hardware

2️⃣ use KiCad to design, construct, and debug custom digital systems

By the end of this book, you should be able to design and build your own digital devices.


10. Hands-On RTOS with Microcontrollers

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: embedded systems engineers
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: designing and implementing real-time systems

Like Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems, Hands-On RTOS with Microcontrollers uses practical examples to teach you how to design and implement systems.

But here you’ll use technologies like:

βœ… FreeRTOS

βœ… STM32 MCUs

βœ… SEGGER

➑️ Hands-On RTOS with Microcontrollers is possibly one of the best embedded systems books for building real-time embedded systems.

You’ll start by learning the fundamentals of RTOS.

Then you’ll improve your programming skills to design and construct real-world embedded systems.

In addition, you’ll touch on some advanced techniques for implementing embedded systems.

By the end of this book, you should be able to build real-time systems using microcontrollers and FreeRTOS.


11. Practical Hardware Pentesting

β†˜οΈ Ideal for: security professionals interested in hardware security assessment
β†˜οΈ
Topics covered: penetration testing

Practical Hardware Penstesting is unlike any other book on our list.

That’s because instead of building embedded systems, you’ll learn how to protect them against attacks.

➑️ Practical Hardware Pentesting is possibly one of the best embedded systems books for pentesting.

Using various pentesting tools and techniques, you’ll attack your hardware infrastructure to identify vulnerabilities.

After finding glitches in your hardware that are potential entry points for attacks, you’ll explore best practices to securely design embedded systems.

By the end of this book, you should be able to secure your hardware.


Best Embedded Systems Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best embedded systems books including:

πŸ”₯ Best Overall πŸ”₯
Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software

πŸ’₯ Best for Newbies πŸ’₯

Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers in Assembly Language and C

πŸ’Έ Best Value πŸ’Έ

Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers

So whether you’re just getting started with embedded systems or are an advanced embedded systems engineer, we think these are the best embedded systems books for this year.


Readers of Best Embedded Systems Books are also reading:


  1. What are embedded systems?

    Embedded systems are computers are built into a larger system. They are meant to solve specific problems. They oftentimes don’t look like a traditional computer. But like any computer, embedded systems contain a processor and software. Learn more about embedded systems in today's post where we're looking at some of the best embedded systems books for this year.

  2. What are some industries that use embedded systems?

    Some industries that use embedded systems include military, medical, industrial, commercial and telecommunications. But that's just for starters. Learn more about embedded systems in today's post where we've got some of the best books to learn about embedded systems.

  3. What are some of the best embedded systems books for beginners?

    In our opinion, some of the best embedded systems books for beginners includes our overall favorite Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software. For newbies, we like Embedded Systems with ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers in Assembly Language and C. And for best value, we like Embedded Systems: Introduction to ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers. Learn more about these books in today's post where we're looking at some of the best embedded systems books for this year.

  4. Who is Jack Ganssle?

    Jack Ganssle is an internationally-recognized embedded systems engineer. In fact, he designed some of the first embedded systems. He's also a speaker and author of multiple embedded systems books including The Art of Designing Embedded Systems. Learn more about Jack Ganssle's book The Art of Designing Embedded Systems in today's post.

  5. Is The Art of Designing Embedded Systems worth it?

    In our opinion, The Art of Designing Embedded Systems by Jack Ganssle is worth it for experienced embedded systems engineers. You’ll start by learning how to navigate common problems found in embedded programming. Then you’ll learn a high-level plan of attack for the design and development process. In addition, you’ll discover how to solve issues concerning real-time code, hardware and software coexistence, and detail management. Learn more about The Art of Designing Embedded Systems in today's article.

  6. Is Raspberry Pi an embedded system?

    Yes, the Raspberry Pi is an embedded Linux system. It runs on an ARM (a family of reduced instruction set computer instruction set architectures for computer processors). It can interface with digital I/O. Learn more about embedded systems in today's post.