"The best books for computer engineers" is obviously a super broad statement. It doesn’t factor which part of your CE journey you’re on.
So we ranked them by difficulty for you; from litmus test simplicity (Computer Engineering for Babies) to WTF is happening (Static Timing Analysis for Nanometer Design).
Let’s kick this off with our top books for computer engineers on a more beginner level.
Books for computer engineers | beginner1) Computer Engineering for Babies by Chase Roberts
With two buttons and an LED, the book explores basic computer logic gates, including NOT, OR, AND, XOR, a Wire, and a Latch.
Each page contains either one or two buttons, as well as the name of the computer function and what it looks like. Depending on which page is open and which buttons they press, you can activate and deactivate the LED light.
Perfect book for computer engineers, engineering friends having a baby, or your desk.
Here's a post we made about the tech in Computer Engineering for Babies if you want to check it out.
2) Engineering for Teens by McCauley PhD
Explores the four main branches of engineering and their different specialties. It also gives examples of the most incredible things each of these engineering fields have created. Perfect for someone who is on the fence about which direction they want to go with their career.3) Fundamentals of Data Engineering by Reis and Housley
Computer and data engineering have (and will continue to) grow rapidly from here on out. This book is perfect for those that want to build data systems for organizations using the best technologies available.
If these are a little too simple for you, let’s take it to the next level. Here are some books for computer engineers on a more intermediate level.
Books for computer engineers | intermediate
4) Digital Design and Computer Architecture by David Harris
Sometimes referred to as the bible for computer scientists, David and Sarah Harris’ book introduces the fundamentals of digital logic. It even shows you a step by step guide for building a MIPS microprocessor in both Verilog and VHDL. Unlike the majority of books for computer engineers, this one is written with an engaging and humorous writing style that gives you a hands-on approach to design.5) Computer Organization and Design by Patterson & Hennessy
Used by over 40,000 students per year, this book presents the core computer science topic in a readable (that’s saying something, for a textbook ;) ) and comprehensive way. Covering everything from modern computing environments to cloud computing, mobile devices, and other embedded systems.6) Digital Integrated Circuits by Jan Rambay
While it’s definitely more of a textbook layout, it is still super readable and a favorite for those interested in all things Digital Integrated Circuit Design. It covers everything from digital logic, circuits, computer-aided design (CAD), and designing digital integrated circuits.Perfect for the student that needs to know a decent amount about a whole bunch.
Past the intermediate phase and ready to dig into the nitty gritty? Here are the best books for computer engineers on a more advanced level.
Books for computer engineers | advanced
7) RTL hardware design using VHDL by Pong Chu
Whether you are a student, hobbyist, or pro, this is a book you’ll want to keep around for a long time. It provides step-by-step instructions for designing RTL (register-transfer level) digital circuits using VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language). Need to refresh your digital design skillsets or implement complex digital systems? Keep this one lying around.8) The Elements of Computer Systems: Nand to Tetris by Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken
They say one of the best ways to understand how computer systems work is by putting one together yourself. So get to it, this book (somehow) links computer science, hardware interactions, software, compilers, and Operation Systems together to help you understand what’s going on behind a computer.9) Static Timing Analysis for Nanometer Design: A Practical Approach by Jayaram Bhasker and Rakesh Chadha
Not all books that are 14 years old and used for their technical detail can maintain a consistent 4-star rating, this is one of the few that can. It’s definitely for the pro; covering cell timing and power modeling, interconnected modeling and analysis, delay calculations and more. This book provides both theory and examples to help you build your knowledge base and elaborate on complex concepts.
How about some books that don’t make our top 9?
Bonus engineering books
Alright, this is fun. Here are some more advanced books that don’t make the top 9, but were super close to it.
- CMOS by Jacob Baker
- Design of Analog CMOS Integrated Circuits by Behzad Razavi
- Elements of Computing Systems by Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken
- Structured Computer Organization by Andrew Tanenbaum and Todd Austin
- Computer Organization and Design by David Patterson and John Hennessey
- Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach by David Patterson and John Hennessey
- Digital Fundamentals by Thomas Floyd
- Bebop to the Boolean Boogie by Clive Maxfield
- Computer Systems: A Programmer's perspective by Randall Bryant
And for the hardware engineers out there, here’s a real gem
- Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk by Brent Welch
There we have it! Our list of books all computer engineers need, ranked from the most basic to incredibly complex.
Books for computer engineers of all stages
Grab your copy of Computer Engineering for Babies.
Anything must-have books we missed? Contact us.