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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2006, 04:21 PM
Davy
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Default Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Hi all,

Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
McConnell?

Thanks!
Davy

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 01:10 AM
Eric
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

> Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
> McConnell?


I don't think so, but that would be super cool if there was. Have you
considered writing one?

My impression is that hardware people don't like to write much, and
even if they do, they don't have time to sit down and document all of
the important "big issues" that new people need to learn in order to be
effective.

But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 01:26 AM
Weng Tianxiang
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Hi Eric,
It is not because hardware engineers are lazy, but most of what they
have written for any interesting projects are properties of their
companies that prevent them from disclosing, not mention writing a
book.

SunMicro system published their CPU core with 350K code lines. If there
is a retired Sun engineer who had involved in the design and will write
something about the CPU project, I would like to be the first one to
order his book. Nobody can read a CPU design with 350K code lines and
at the same time without comments and introductions.

Weng

Eric wrote:
> > Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
> > McConnell?

>
> I don't think so, but that would be super cool if there was. Have you
> considered writing one?
>
> My impression is that hardware people don't like to write much, and
> even if they do, they don't have time to sit down and document all of
> the important "big issues" that new people need to learn in order to be
> effective.
>
> But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 02:07 AM
Mike Treseler
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Eric wrote:

> But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!


A few hundred copies would fly off the shelves.

There's probably about 10,000 digital designers
in the US. Not all of those do hardware description
and not all of those write their own RTL.
Those are not numbers that would excite
a major publisher.
Writing and editing a book is two long years
of work, whatever the subject.

-- Mike Treseler
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 03:32 AM
JJ
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?


Mike Treseler wrote:
> Eric wrote:
>
> > But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!

>
> A few hundred copies would fly off the shelves.
>
> There's probably about 10,000 digital designers
> in the US. Not all of those do hardware description
> and not all of those write their own RTL.
> Those are not numbers that would excite
> a major publisher.
> Writing and editing a book is two long years
> of work, whatever the subject.
>
> -- Mike Treseler


And even in a metro hub like Boston, MIT Cambridge area, a good book
store inside the Microcenter hardly ever sold any of these Hardware
books to any of us, the books were really too expensive at $70-$150 &
up so were mostly browsed (and dated). They dumped them at $10 a pop
instead and now stick to the VB, Java, Web, & ofcourse "Code Complete"
stuff that does move.

Softbooks in Marlboro also moved on sigh.

When you visit DAC & other big hardware design events, you can often
talk directly with several fine publishers, they are often quite eager
to talk to would be authors too. They also have all the relevant and
upcoming books in their booths with a modest show discount too.

I get the impression that unless you are writing for the college
market, the payback for the author would never cover the time spent.
And by the time you are ready to write, the subject is already changed.

John Jakson
transputer guy

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 06:42 AM
Phil Tomson
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

In article <[email protected]>,
Mike Treseler <[email protected]> wrote:
>Eric wrote:
>
>> But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!

>
>A few hundred copies would fly off the shelves.
>
>There's probably about 10,000 digital designers
>in the US. Not all of those do hardware description
>and not all of those write their own RTL.
>Those are not numbers that would excite
>a major publisher.
>Writing and editing a book is two long years
>of work, whatever the subject.


In the software world if it took two years to write a book the content
would be seriously outdated by the time the book came out. A lot of the
publishers of software books (O'Reilly, The Pragmatic Programmers even
APress now) are aiming for a six month cycle. In fact those publishers
have now gotten the idea of selling pre-release titles as PDFs: you buy
the pre-release PDF early for a reduced fee so you have access to the
content and then later on when the final book comes out you get the paper
version for an additional fee. That way your readers can access time-sensitive
information early on.

The other issue with hardware books like this is that the market is
relatively small (I'm guessing that the ratio of software engineers to
hardware engineers is at least 30:1). It
could be a good opportunity to self publish where
you publish not paper books but PDFs (this is happening on the software side).
Then instead of having to pay $70 for a title because the audience is
small, the author charges $20 for a pdf and gets to keep all of it instead
of getting a small royalty from a publisher. If you manage to sell 1000
of them you've made $20K and that's generally a lot better than what you'd
get from a publisher. One publisher (The Pragmatic Programmers) even
publishes mini-books which are less than 100 pages (not paper, pdf only)
which they sell for $8 to $10. It wouldn't be hard to write 100 pages in
2 to 3 months (part-time even).

Phil
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 07:10 AM
Bob Perlman
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

On 21 Jul 2006 04:42:09 GMT, [email protected] (Phil Tomson) wrote:

<Stuff snipped>
>
>The other issue with hardware books like this is that the market is
>relatively small (I'm guessing that the ratio of software engineers to
>hardware engineers is at least 30:1). It
>could be a good opportunity to self publish where
>you publish not paper books but PDFs (this is happening on the software side).
>Then instead of having to pay $70 for a title because the audience is
>small, the author charges $20 for a pdf and gets to keep all of it instead
>of getting a small royalty from a publisher. If you manage to sell 1000
>of them you've made $20K and that's generally a lot better than what you'd
>get from a publisher. One publisher (The Pragmatic Programmers) even
>publishes mini-books which are less than 100 pages (not paper, pdf only)
>which they sell for $8 to $10. It wouldn't be hard to write 100 pages in
>2 to 3 months (part-time even).


Self-publishing on actual, old-fashioned paper has become surprisingly
affordable of late. Take a look at lulu.com or blurb.com and be
amazed.

Bob Perlman
Cambrian Design Works
http://www.cambriandesign.com
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 03:28 PM
Ted
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

In the Wallace & Gromit film "The Wrong Trousers", Gromit uses a book
called "Electronics For Dogs" to help him convert the NASA
technotrousers to remote controlled operation. Is this the kind of
thing you had in mind?

Cheers
TW

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2006, 05:53 PM
Jon Forrest
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Eric wrote:
>> Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
>> McConnell?


It's not exactly the same but "The Pentium Chronicles" by
Robert Colwell is worth looking at.

--Jon-
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 08:46 AM
Ian Bell
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Davy wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
> McConnell?
>


Unlikely. Creating software is far less complex and variable than creating
hardware.

Ian

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 06:27 PM
J o h n _ E a t o n (at) hp . com (no spaces)
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Mike Treseler wrote:
> Eric wrote:
>
>
>>But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!

>
>
> A few hundred copies would fly off the shelves.
>
> There's probably about 10,000 digital designers
> in the US. Not all of those do hardware description
> and not all of those write their own RTL.
> Those are not numbers that would excite
> a major publisher.


It can't justify the cost and delay of hard-copy but
could easily be sold as a pdf. Forget the idea of
publishing a single work. This should be a work
in progress that is always adding new chapters and
ideals and evolving with the industry.



> Writing and editing a book is two long years
> of work, whatever the subject.
>
> -- Mike Treseler



Two long man years. Quadruple that if you have multiple
authors that need to coordinate their works and then
divide by the number of authors on the project.

Many hands make light work. Get a couple of dozen of
experienced designers, a bunch of proof reading fact
checkers and one decent editor and you got yourself
an open source book writing project.

Put it out on sourceforge for free and make it useful for any
digital designer at any stage in their career or hobby.Do
a really good job and it can become the "bible" of the
industry that everyone has in the library.


Do we have the critical mass to pull something like this off?


Lets do a survey. If we did a cooperative book on digital
design guidelines then what chapters would you like to see
and or contribute.


my list:


1) Reset systems and how they work.

2) Designing logic for scan testing (atpg)

3) Designing bist test logic

4) Designing and using jtag test logic

5) Designing and using in-chip diagnostic and debugging logic





John Eaton




































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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 07:12 PM
Andy Glew
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

> My impression is that hardware people don't like to write much, and
> even if they do, they don't have time to sit down and document all of
> the important "big issues" that new people need to learn in order to be
> effective.
>
> But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!


Care to estimate the size of the market?

I.e. how much would the author expect to make, given typical publishing contracts?

(I've long wanted to write such a book, but have trouble with the
business case - i.e. persuading my wife. And, of course, I cannot
write it as an employee of Intel.)
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 07:36 PM
Mike Treseler
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Andy Glew wrote:

> Care to estimate the size of the market?


2000-4000 copies over 2 years.
>
> I.e. how much would the author expect to make, given typical publishing contracts?


Maybe $4 per book.

> (I've long wanted to write such a book, but have trouble with the
> business case


There isn't one.
You would have to do it for love, not money.

> And, of course, I cannot
> write it as an employee of Intel.


I expect that would be negotiable.
RTL design is hardly proprietary.

-- Mike Treseler



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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 07:44 PM
Dean Kent
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

At least one. I'd buy it. ;-).

Suggestion: Do it like the guy who wrote "Thinking in JAVA" did. As he
finished a chapter, he posted it on his website for people to review. He
got tons of corrections and feedback, which he then used to update the
chapter. At the end of it all, he published a hardcopy and to his surprise
found out he sold more than expected - because everyone who had read it
online wanted a copy on his/her desk, and because it was online originally
it was highly anticipated when it was actually published.

Seems counter-intuitive, but I believe it would work for a tome such as
this... (and if you did it right, you could generate a few bucks before it
every gets published, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, hint-hint,
know-what-I-mean--know-what-I-mean?).

Regards,
Dean

"Andy Glew" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news[email protected] ..
> > My impression is that hardware people don't like to write much, and
> > even if they do, they don't have time to sit down and document all of
> > the important "big issues" that new people need to learn in order to be
> > effective.
> >
> > But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!

>
> Care to estimate the size of the market?
>
> I.e. how much would the author expect to make, given typical publishing

contracts?
>
> (I've long wanted to write such a book, but have trouble with the
> business case - i.e. persuading my wife. And, of course, I cannot
> write it as an employee of Intel.)



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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 08:34 PM
David Kanter
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

[snip]

I think what Dean means to say is that he knows an excellent, reputable
website that would put something online and attract a lot of good
readers : )

And if you do a good job, I bet you could persuade Intel to start
buying up copies in bulk for NCGs.

DK

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 09:42 PM
KJ
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?


> Many hands make light work. Get a couple of dozen of
> experienced designers, a bunch of proof reading fact
> checkers and one decent editor and you got yourself
> an open source book writing project.
>
> Put it out on sourceforge for free and make it useful for any
> digital designer at any stage in their career or hobby.Do
> a really good job and it can become the "bible" of the
> industry that everyone has in the library.
>

Certainly an interesting idea.
>
> Do we have the critical mass to pull something like this off?
>

Always a big question...the other important question is finding the
'leader' to prod this along to get it going in the first place.

KJ

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2006, 10:42 PM
Paul Floyd
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

On 24 Jul 2006 10:12:42 -0700, Andy Glew <[email protected]> wrote:
>> My impression is that hardware people don't like to write much, and
>> even if they do, they don't have time to sit down and document all of
>> the important "big issues" that new people need to learn in order to be
>> effective.
>>
>> But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!

>
> Care to estimate the size of the market?


I can't guess that.

> I.e. how much would the author expect to make, given typical publishing contracts?
>
> (I've long wanted to write such a book, but have trouble with the
> business case - i.e. persuading my wife. And, of course, I cannot
> write it as an employee of Intel.)


From the software world, I suggest that you take a look at Scott Meyers
web site: http://www.aristeia.com/authorAdvice_frames.html

A bientot
Paul
--
Paul Floyd http://paulf.free.fr (for what it's worth)
Surgery: ennobled Gerald.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 07-25-2006, 08:43 AM
Mark VandeWettering
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

On 2006-07-24, Ian Bell <[email protected]> wrote:
> Davy wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
>> McConnell?
>>

>
> Unlikely. Creating software is far less complex and variable than creating
> hardware.


That's funny!

Mark

> Ian

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 07-25-2006, 10:19 AM
Davy
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Hi all,

For I think software engineer is more near to the application, they
"may think more thank hardware engineer".

And "software engineering" is a research topic (they have a lot of
methodology like design pattern). But I haven't find any book named
"hardware engineering" (and hardware design and verification method is
based on software experience, for example, SystemVerilog is something
like C++).

Anyone finish a good book about "hardware engineering" will be known by
hardware engineer all of the world. Thanks!

Davy

Davy wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
> McConnell?
>
> Thanks!
> Davy


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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 07-25-2006, 12:35 PM
Jogi
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?


Ian Bell wrote:
> Davy wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Is there some hardware RTL book like "Code Complete" by Steve
> > McConnell?
> >

>
> Unlikely. Creating software is far less complex and variable than creating
> hardware.
>
> Ian


That's a sweepingly uninformed and unpredictably naive comment!

- Jogi

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2006, 08:41 AM
Christer Ericson
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] says...
> > But if anyone writes a book like this it will fly off the shelves!

>
> Care to estimate the size of the market?


I don't know about hardware books, but for a specialist
book 10,000 copies over the lifetime of the book is a
bestseller!

A first printing may be something like 1,000-2,500
books I believe. Many (probably most?) don't make it
past a first printing.


> I.e. how much would the author expect to make, given typical publishing contracts?


About 15% in royalties.


> (I've long wanted to write such a book, but have trouble with the
> business case - i.e. persuading my wife. And, of course, I cannot
> write it as an employee of Intel.)


There's no business in it. For the great majority, writing
specialist books is a losing proposition; you'd make more
money flipping burgers during the time it would take you to
write the book. You write a (specialist) book because you
have a burning need to write one.

The only way there's business in it is if the book is picked
up as a textbook at lots of universities around the world or
is on some universally interesting topic.

Knuth, Hennessy and Patterson, Foley et al, and McConnell
have probably made good money from their books, but they are
the exceptions.

--
Christer Ericson
http://realtimecollisiondetection.net/
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2006, 12:09 PM
Weng Tianxiang
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

Hi Christer,
I bought Knuth's books and McConnell's Pentium story. But I don't know
Hennessy and Patterson. What are their popular books?

Thank you.

Weng

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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2006, 07:34 PM
BobG
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

I read the whole thread and no one recommended "The Art Of Electronics"
by Horowitz and Hill??

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2006, 08:33 PM
Mike Treseler
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

BobG wrote:
> I read the whole thread and no one recommended "The Art Of Electronics"
> by Horowitz and Hill??


That's more of an electronics book than an RTL book.

-- Mike Treseler
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2006, 10:39 PM
Paul Floyd
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Default Re: Hardware book like "Code Complete"?

On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 11:33:25 -0700, Mike Treseler
<[email protected]> wrote:
> BobG wrote:
>> I read the whole thread and no one recommended "The Art Of Electronics"
>> by Horowitz and Hill??

>
> That's more of an electronics book than an RTL book.


It _is_ an electronics book. There is one mention of RTL, but it's
'resistor-transistor logic'. Not quite the same thing.

A bientot
Paul
--
Paul Floyd http://paulf.free.fr (for what it's worth)
Surgery: ennobled Gerald.
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