Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of electrical engineering and computer science that integrates several fields of computer science and electronic engineering required to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineers not only require training in electronic engineering, software design, and hardware-software integration, but also in software engineering. 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. Computer engineers are involved in many hardware and software aspects of computing, from the design of individual microcontrollers, microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design. This field of engineering not only focuses on how computer systems themselves work, yet it also demands them to integrate into the larger picture. Robots are one of the applications of computer engineering.
Computer engineering usually deals with areas including writing software and firmware for embedded microcontrollers, designing VLSI chips, designing analog sensors, designing mixed signal circuit boards, and designing operating systems. Computer engineers are also suited for robotics research, which relies heavily on using digital systems to control and monitor electrical systems like motors, communications, and sensors.
In many institutions of higher learning, computer engineering students are allowed to choose areas of in-depth study in their junior and senior year because the full breadth of knowledge used in the design and application of computers is beyond the scope of an undergraduate degree. Other institutions may require engineering students to complete one or two years of general engineering before declaring computer engineering as their primary focus.
Computer engineering began in 1939 when John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry began developing the world's first electronic digital computer through physics, mathematics, and electrical engineering. John Vincent Atanasoff was once a physics and mathematics teacher for Iowa State University and Clifford Berry a former graduate under electrical engineering and physics. Together, they created the Atanasoff-Berry computer, also known as the ABC which took five years to complete.While the original ABC was dismantled and discarded in the 1940s a tribute was made to the late inventors, a replica of the ABC was made in 1997 where it took a team of researchers and engineers four years and $350,000 to build.
The first computer engineering degree program in the United States was established in 1971 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. As of 2015[update], there were 250 ABET-accredited computer engineering programs in the U.S. In Europe, accreditation of computer engineering schools is done by a variety of agencies part of the EQANIE network. Due to increasing job requirements for engineers who can concurrently design hardware, software, firmware, and manage all forms of computer systems used in industry, some tertiary institutions around the world offer a bachelor's degree generally called computer engineering. Both computer engineering and electronic engineering programs include analog and digital circuit design in their curriculum. As with most engineering disciplines, having a sound knowledge of mathematics and science is necessary for computer engineers.
Computer engineering is referred to as computer science and engineering at some universities. Most entry-level computer engineering jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in computer engineering (or computer science and engineering). Typically one must learn an array of mathematics such as calculus, algebra and trigonometry and some computer science classes. Degrees in electronic or electric engineering also suffice due to the similarity of the two fields. Because hardware engineers commonly work with computer software systems, a strong background in computer programming is necessary. According to BLS, "a computer engineering major is similar to electrical engineering but with some computer science courses added to the curriculum". Some large firms or specialized jobs require a master's degree.
It is also important for computer engineers to keep up with rapid advances in technology. Therefore, many continue learning throughout their careers. This can be helpful, especially when it comes to learning new skills or improving existing ones. For example, as the relative cost of fixing a bug increases the further along it is in the software development cycle, there can be greater cost savings attributed to developing and testing for quality code as soon as possible in the process, particularly before release.
According to the BLS, Job Outlook employment for computer hardware engineers, the expected ten-year growth from 2019 to 2029 for computer hardware engineering was an estimated 2% and a total of 71,100 jobs. ("Slower than average" in their own words when compared to other occupations)". This is a decrease from the 2014 to 2024 BLS computer hardware engineering estimate of 3% and a total of 77,700 jobs. " and is down from 7% for the 2012 to 2022 BLS estimate and is further down from 9% in the BLS 2010 to 2020 estimate." Today, computer hardware is somehow equal[clarification needed] to electronic and computer engineering (ECE) and has been divided into many subcategories; the most significant is embedded system design.
Computer engineering is generally practiced within larger product development firms, and such practice may not be subject to licensing. However, independent consultants who advertise computer engineering, just like any form of engineering, may be subject to state laws which restrict professional engineer practice to only those who have received the appropriate License. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) first offered a Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination for computer engineering in 2003.
Computer engineers work in coding, cryptography, and information protection to develop new methods for protecting various information, such as digital images and music, fragmentation, copyright infringement and other forms of tampering. Examples include work on wireless communications, multi-antenna systems, optical transmission, and digital watermarking.
Computational science and engineering is a relatively new discipline. According to the Sloan Career Cornerstone Center, individuals working in this area, "computational methods are applied to formulate and solve complex mathematical problems in engineering and the physical and the social sciences. Examples include aircraft design, the plasma processing of nanometer features on semiconductor wafers, VLSI circuit design, radar detection systems, ion transport through biological channels, and much more".
In this specialty, engineers build integrated environments for computing, communications, and information access. Examples include shared-channel wireless networks, adaptive resource management in various systems, and improving the quality of service in mobile and ATM environments. Some other examples include work on wireless network systems and fast Ethernet cluster wired systems.
Engineers working in computer systems work on research projects that allow for reliable, secure, and high-performance computer systems. Projects such as designing processors for multi-threading and parallel processing are included in this field. Other examples of work in this field include the development of new theories, algorithms, and other tools that add performance to computer systems.
In this specialty, computer engineers focus on developing visual sensing technology to sense an environment, representation of an environment, and manipulation of the environment. The gathered three-dimensional information is then implemented to perform a variety of tasks. These include improved human modeling, image communication, and human-computer interfaces, as well as devices such as special-purpose cameras with versatile vision sensors.
Individuals working in this area design technology for enhancing the speed, reliability, and performance of systems. Embedded systems are found in many devices from a small FM radio to the space shuttle. According to the Sloan Cornerstone Career Center, ongoing developments in embedded systems include "automated vehicles and equipment to conduct search and rescue, automated transportation systems, and human-robot coordination to repair equipment in space." As of 2018[update], computer embedded systems specializations include system-on-chip design, architecture of edge computing and the Internet of things.
This specialty of computer engineering requires adequate knowledge of electronics and electrical systems. Engineers working in this area work on enhancing the speed, reliability, and energy efficiency of next-generation very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) circuits and microsystems. An example of this specialty is work done on reducing the power consumption of VLSI algorithms and architecture.
Computer engineers in this area develop improvements in human-computer interaction, including speech recognition and synthesis, medical and scientific imaging, or communications systems. Other work in this area includes computer vision development such as recognition of human facial features.
There are many ways to define a computer engineer, and a common definition is an IT professional who has network, systems, and software engineering experience. Computer engineer is also used to describe someone who has a background in electrical engineering.
So, what does a computer engineer do? That depends on their career of choice. In general, computer engineers meet the technology needs and goals of an organization and computer engineering is a combination of computer science and electrical engineering. More specifically: 041b061a72