Hardware Systems

  • Computer architecture
  • Electronic design automation
  • FPGA
  • Hardware verification and testing
  • Nano-systems design and modeling
  • System-on-chip design

Breathtaking advances in hardware systems have fueled supercomputers, data centers, servers, personal electronics, cellphones, automotive systems, entertainment systems, industrial electronics, health and environment monitors, smartcards, the Internet of things, and multitudes of other sensors. The capabilities of these hardware systems have enabled discoveries and advanced quality of life. The hardware systems area of computer engineering concerns itself with the design, development, and analysis of such systems in order to make them powerful, energy-efficient, reliable, and secure.

Those who work in related fields use a strong knowledge of current and emerging devices, circuits, algorithms, compilers, and applications to build hardware components (e.g., microprocessors, GPUs, memories, ASICs, FPGAs). Then, they integrate them into systems that meet needs at an acceptable cost. Professionals in this area also develop tools and techniques for automating and testing the design and integration of hardware.

Because the underlying device technology and tradeoffs change frequently, hardware systems is one of the fastest-moving fields and arguably, one of the most exciting. Graduates of this program are leaders in the in the hardware industry at companies like Intel, AMD, IBM, NVIDIA, ARM, Samsung, and at hardware design automation companies like Cadence, Synopsys, and more. The continuing and increasing demand for sophisticated, powerful, energy efficient, reliable, and secure electronic products will drive demand for computer engineers prepared to work in the hardware systems area.

Hardware systems includes a variety of topics, including computer architecture, computer-aided design, hardware verification and testing, logic design, and very-large-scale integration (VLSI).

A number of courses are available for students interested in hardware systems.

Semester 7 ECE 411, ECE 462
Semester 8 ECE 425


Other Suggested Technical Electives:

  • CS 357 - Numerical Methods I
  • ECE 492 – Introduction to Parallel Programming
  • ECE 445 – Senior Design Laboratory
  • ECE 444 – IC Device Theory & Fabrication
  • ECE 408 – Applied Parallel Programming
  • ECE 329 – Fields and Waves I
  • ECE 340 – Semiconductor Devices

Core Faculty In This Area

AMD Jerry Sanders Chair Emeritus
Associate Professor