The book's major feature is that its description of the microprocessor is based on a software simulation provided on a disk included with the book. The simulator program will run on any IBM PC or compatible and provides a realistic model of a typical microprocessor, as well as the environment in which students may find themselves when programming real systems. For example, using the simulator, it is possible to demonstrate such concepts as interrupts and low-level micro sequencing. These microprocessor features are not normally available in a hardware environment.
In order to support student activities in the real world, most of the chapters in the book present manufacturers' data on actual chips to illustrate discussions or demonstrate the tradeoffs that are involved in any design. Following this theme, the final chapter presents a series of overviews of actual processor architectures in terms of the simulated processor.
Principles of Microprocessors is an excellent choice as a single text for undergraduate electronic engineering and computer science/engineering courses that teach basic hardware and software design of microprocessor systems. It can also be used as a supplementary or main text for teaching courses where microprocessor techniques form only a part of a core curriculum. Chapters that can be omitted without losing continuity during a course are identified and an instructor's manual is available.