Book Review

Digital Electronics: A Practical Approach, 7th ed.

W. Kleitz
Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005, 908 pages


E verything, including the old-fashioned radio, is going digital these days. So much so that it's almost possible to design a functioning microwave link, for example, with only a limited knowledge of microwave engineering, using MMICs and prefabricated components. The tradeoff is that these new circuits all interface with microprocessors. Thus, even RF engineers now must be proficient in digital electronics.

Although this book is written at a low level, suitable for community college students, it is one of the better books out there, partly because it makes the subject look ridiculously easy. After covering the usual basic stuff about flip-flops, Boolean logic and AND gates, it briefly describes FPGAs, multiplexers, 555 timers, analog to digital converters, and microprocessors, using the 8051 as an example. The book includes two CDs with a copy of MultiSYM circuit simulator and some TI data sheets. Laboratory manuals are also available.

This book has an extremely gentle learning curve. The many examples are worked through in detail. The circuits are shown in full, down to the last resistor. Despite its 908 pages, it's a quick read, and covers a surprising amount of material for an introductory text. The writing style is excellent, and the book contains numerous color photographs and diagrams. Books on this topic become obsolete after four or five years. The author has updated this one religiously through the seventh edition. Of course, many topics are omitted. But this book gives readers enough understanding that they can pick up most of the rest on their own.

May 14, 2006 Back