RE: Good books on MICROPROCESSORS and Integrated Circuits?


I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Math/Computer Science from 1982 and 3 years of Computer Information Sciences (CIS) classes from a community college in the 1990s. My understanding is mainly software, although I have Repairing & Upgrading Your PC, as well as Building the Perfect PC (2nd ed.), both by O'Reilly publishing. I want to gain a greater understanding of how microprocessors work (but not too technical) and how integrated circuits work in today's computers and electronic devices. I purchased several Schaum's outline (and other related types of books), but these focus on the mathematics involved in finding the unknown resistance, inductance, etc. My main source of book reviews is and Any feedback in this matter is greatly appreciated.


I used to run a seminar on "Supporting PC's" back in the early to mid eighties. Some of the articles used in it are online in the "Archive" section of my site. In particular, see Hardware Basics and especially the section on "PC System-Level Operation". The article is quite old - it was last updated to deal with the PS/2 family and micro-channel architecture - but even today, PC's work the same basic way to provide backward compatibility.


--- Les Bell



Thanks for the information.


Hi Frank. While this link may not contain the exact information that you are looking for it may help:




A good book on general electronics (not specifically microprocessors, although they are covered) is

The Art of Electronics

by Horrowitz and Hill

There's a companion book of experiments ('The student manual for the Art of Electronics' or some similar title) which is good too, but as it was written for a university course, it assumes you have access to reasonable test gear. But IMHO worth reading even if you can't do the experiments.

Be warned that neither book is cheap, but I find them to be clearly written, 'practical', and thus easy to follow.


I appreciate the feedback from all of you.


Going beyond "a book", I recommended a microprocessor trainer.

I think you should consider one (or more!) to gain "hands-on" experience with microprocessors. Unlike a PC, you will be entering
assembly language and actually wiring up input/output ports.

A couple of decades ago u-processor trainers were all the rage, mainly because they were 8-bit so they were simple enough to understand. Personally I have Intel SDK's (System Development Kit) for the 8080, 8085, and 8086 UPC's. I also have a couple for the Motorola 6805 family. One in particular is the Lab-Volt System 348 which appears on eBay periodically. More recently, development kits for PIC's and Atmel processors are available.

Let me know if this is what you had in mind.



dona nobis pacem


Thanks for your input. It appears as if The Art of Electronics (2nd ed.) ISBN # 0521370957 that was mentioned earlier is what I am looking for. A local branch of the Detroit, MI Public Library is trying to inter-loan it for me (for a $3 fee) from one of the University Libraries in the state of Michigan that has it. This book gets rave reviews on both and One of the librarians who is working on trying to inter-loan this book said that her husband (who designs electronic circuitry) borrows a copy of it from a friend of his every now and then. This book retails for about $95. If it was more reasonably priced I probably would have bought it. I remember working with Microprocessor boards in college in 1981 and 1982 (LEDs and Assembly language programming). I have not really used Assembly language programming since the 1980s. Does any new type of training device exist which covers more modern microprocessors and integrated circuits (such and Intel Pentium 4, Core Duo, and well as AMD Athlon)?

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