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Digital design for computer data acquisition
Spencer C., Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 1990. Type: Book (9789780521371995)
Date Reviewed: Nov 1 1991

The purpose of this book is twofold: to present a method for the logic design of computer-based application systems, especially of their interconnections to the outside world, and to describe an adaptable data acquisition system, the Parallel Data Collector (PDC) developed at Ithaca College. The author approaches the subject as a good practitioner. He thinks (and he is probably right) that it is better to master and apply a few concepts than to acquire a broad background with no particular objective in mind. So, while presenting some general principles for interface design, the author explains how to build a powerful, adaptable data acquisition system. The author describes the integrated circuits in general, but also presents the circuits that compose the PDC and explains the system itself. Problems at the end of each chapter reinforce the material, and many are suitable as laboratory exercises.

Chapter 1 outlines how computers communicate with the external circuits that make measurements. The purpose of chapter 2 is to introduce some integrated circuits required for the subsystems described afterward as well as their associated design principles. Chapter 3 gives specifications for the 8-bit parallel I/O ports, describes their design for IBM PC/XT/AT and Apple II expansion slots, outlines test and analysis methods, and presents in detail three software operations needed throughout the remainder of the book. Chapters 4 through 6 describe three specific integrated circuits: the AD573 10-bit analog to digital converter, the 6264 8K by 8-bit random access memory, and the Intel 8253 programmable interval timer. While these tutorials focus on particular devices and present in detail all hardware and software for example applications, the ideas and principles can be applied to other similar circuits as well as to other types of devices.

The PDC is conceived as a modular hardware and software system that facilitates the design, development, testing, and use of a variety of data acquisition systems. It comprises the parallel ports module, the control/data interface module, the analog to digital converter modules, and one of several application modules. Chapters 7 and 8 describe the control/data interface and the analog to digital converters, including specifications, design, software, construction, and testing. Finally, chapters 9 and 10 present two application modules: a comprehensive measurement system and a fast voltage measurer with a programmable rate. Construction and testing details are included. The six appendices list references, vendors, and IBM and Apple II parallel ports and give a general layout of microcomputer architecture.

The book is intended for people interested in both digital design and adaptable computer-based data acquisition. No previous knowledge of digital electronics is assumed. The material is useful as a classroom textbook. It is systematic, self-contained, and well structured. Things are presented in order of increasing complexity and in the natural sequence in which a novice reader must learn them. Every major aspect is rigorously stated; a design solution is then presented; and the implementation, testing, and troubleshooting are described in detail. Every circuit has been built and used, and every program (written in Microsoft QuickBASIC) has been entered and evaluated. I appreciate the book as a good reference from which to learn about logic design with integrated circuits and microcomputer interfacing.

Reviewer:  V. Cristea Review #: CR114690
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Input/ Output Devices (B.4.2 )
Input/ Output Circuits (B.7.1 ... )
Interfaces (B.4.3 ... )
Logic Arrays (B.6.1 ... )
Sequential Circuits (B.6.1 ... )
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