ECE Focus Area: Computer Hardware (Computer)

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

Overview

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

Track

Computer Track: accelerated curriculum, standard curriculum

Breadth Elective
(select one)

055:041 (ECE:3410) Electronic Circuits
055:054 (ECE:3540) Communication Networks
055:072 (ECE:3720) EE Materials and Devices     

Depth Elective
(select one)

055:130 (ECE:5300) Switching Theory
055:132 (ECE:5320) High Performance Computer Architecture
055:138 (ECE:5380) Testing of Digital Logic Circuits         

100-Level ECE
Electives
(select two)

       All depth electives listed above and

055:131 (ECE:5310) VLSI Design*
055:141 (ECE:5410) Advanced Circuit Techniques*

Technical Electives
(select three)

       All breadth, depth and 100-level ECE electives listed above and
22C:021 (CS:2230) Computer Science II: Data Structures (Required)

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

* requires 055:041 (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.

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