Computer engineering combines electrical engineering and computer science to focus on the design and implementation of computer systems (logic devices and software). It is generally part of the engineering department at a university and requires a strong background in math.
Computer engineering involves the design of computer systems (hardware and software) and related devices. It uses the techniques and principles of electrical engineering and computer science, but also covers areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, computer networks, computer architecture and operating systems. The electrical engineering aspect of the discipline includes designing application devices, interface hardware, memories, and computer chips. The computer science component involves software engineering, programming, operating systems, algorithms and data structures.
Some of the fields that are unique to Computer Engineering include design of Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) systems for computing hardware, and of essential components of computers such as memories and electronic circuitry, including analog circuits and digital hardware. Recently the design and operation of computer networks and communication networks (such as the Internet) have become an integral part of Computer Engineering.
Who are computer engineers? and What do they do?
Computer Engineers are often described as Electrical Engineers with specific training in computer hardware and in the interaction between hardware and software. Examples of the products created and developed by Computer Engineers are the mobile phone and the various play stations and computer and video games that have become so popular in the last 10-15 years.
A computer engineer's job involves the entire computer system, and a computer engineer must be comfortable working with both the hardware and software. The results of computer engineering can be seen in practically every aspect of life.
Computer engineers work in many areas, including:
: An important aspect of computer engineering is 'embedded systems,' which is computer software and hardware designed for a specific device. For example, digital alarm systems, video recorders and audio players as well as cell phones are the results of computer engineering in the area of embedded systems. Most of the software design involves interfacing the device with another device or with a user.
Computer engineering involves building networks, both WAN (wide area networks) and LAN (local area networks). Other areas that a computer engineer may work in include mobile and wireless technology, telephony communications and integrated services.
: This area involves processing of multimedia information. Computer engineering looks into support for multimedia libraries and databases and retrieval of information.
: This area is concerned with very large scale integration (VLSI) of systems and circuits. The field of VLSI systems is constantly evolving.