ECE Focus Area: Computer Hardware (Electrical)

microphotograph of an integrated circuit chipThe IBM Blue-Gene Supercomputer Moore’s Law: growth in computing power


Computer hardware engineers develop and design new processor chips that power computers, tablets, smart-phones and play a central role in countless other modern electronic devices, appliances, and vehicles.

This EFA focuses on the design of modern high-performance computers and microcontrollers, including digital electronics, computer and processor architecture, and the design and testing of integrated circuit chips.

Students pursuing this EFA may find employment with large computer chip manufacturers such as Intel and AMD, or any of thousands of smaller companies that design customized digital hardware for use in their products and applications.

Students interested in the Computer Hardware Elective Focus Area are encouraged to consider the track and EFA course selection suggestions listed below when completing their plan of study form.

EFA Requirements

Suggested Options


Electrical Track: standard curriculum

Breadth Elective
(select one)

ECE:3330 Software Design
ECE:3350 Computer Architecture and Organization
ECE:3360 Embedded Systems
ECE:3540 Communication Networks

Depth Elective
(select one)

ECE:5310 VLSI Design
ECE: 5410 Advanced Circuit Techniques

5000-Level ECE
(select two)

       All depth electives listed above and
ECE:5300 Switching Theory
ECE:5320 High Performance Computer Architecture*
ECE:5380 Testing of Digital Logic Circuits

Technical Electives
(select three)

       All breadth, depth and 5000-level ECE electives listed above


Additional Electives
(select two)
Any of the above OR courses selected in consultation with advisor.

* requires ECE:3350 as a prerequisite

Advising Notes

  1. A minor in Mathematics can be earned by including one qualifying Math course in the EFA plan.

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