ECE Focus Area: Computer Hardware (Computer)

microphotograph of an integrated circuit chip The 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


Computer Track: accelerated curriculum, standard curriculum

Breadth Elective
(select one)

ECE:3410 Electronic Circuits
ECE:3540 Communication Networks
ECE:3720 EE Materials and Devices     

Depth Elective
(select one)

ECE:5300 Switching Theory
ECE:5320 High Performance Computer Architecture
ECE:5380Testing of Digital Logic Circuits         

5000-Level ECE
(select two)

       All depth electives listed above and

ECE:5310 VLSI Design*
ECE:5410 Advanced Circuit Techniques*

Technical Electives
(select three)

       All breadth, depth and 5000-level ECE electives listed above and
CS:2230 Computer Science II: Data Structures (Required)

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

* requires ECE:3410 as a prerequisite

Advising Notes

  1. All Computer Track students satisfy the requirements for a minor in Computer Science
  2. A minor in Mathematics can be earned by including one qualifying Math course in the EFA plan.

Related Links