What is Computer engineering: Definition and 179 Discussions

Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering that integrates several fields of computer science and electronic engineering required to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering (or electrical engineering), software design, and hardware-software integration instead of only software engineering or electronic engineering. 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 but also how they integrate into the larger picture.Usual tasks involving computer engineers include 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.

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  1. Q

    Programs Looking for Computer Engineering advice (going into 8th grade next year)

    Hi, I am a middle schooler interested in pursuing a computer engineering degree. I may get up to a master's. I am interested in this field because I am interested in robotics, AI and some EE/CS stuff. What should I do this summer and next year (8th grade) to prepare and then what should I do...
  2. SireJeff

    What are the Benefits of Pursuing a Degree in Physics for a Computer Engineer?

    so i have a background in computer engineering , studies 3 semesters just to notice that to me academia isn't the way by which you'd get to learn a skill and earn money with it. On top of that, the engineering fields of study in universities(at least the ones in my region) do are not meant for...
  3. J

    What programming languages/pathways should I focus on?

    I am a Senior in High School looking to go to college for Computer Science. Since Freshmen year I have been learning Front End Development (HTML, CSS, and Javascript), albeit somewhat slowly and staggered due to school getting in the way and whatnot. In the past year, I have learned some more...
  4. S

    2’s Complement Hexadecimal Addition

    The solution (green arrow) states that for example : 0xD + 0x9 = 0x16 Details : 0xD = 13, 0x9 = 9, 13 + 9 = 22, 22 = 0x16 Where does the 0x16 come from? I do get to add D + 9 = 13 + 19 = 22 so how come 22 is equal to 16 (assuming D + 9 = 16 is correct) How am I suppose this solution?
  5. shivajikobardan

    Engineering I need guidance to choose my electives as computer engineering student

    How do I choose a good elective? I want something that gives me good marks as i am in final year 2nd semester. I want something that has good courses over the internet. I don’t want you to pick it up for me but in general just guide me about how to choose the elective? I will put only ones that...
  6. K

    Schools Can I Get a Computer Engineering Degree at 25?

    I'm 25 and still at a community college taking general ed classes. I haven't taken any pre engineering classes and I'm currently in algebra and will be taking calculus 1 in the fall *fingers crossed*. I want to get a degree in computer engineering and I was wondering how long do u think that'll...
  7. S

    Physics Bachelors in physics with a minor in electric and computer engineering

    I am considering getting a physics bachelors with a minor in electric and computer engineering. I want to study computers and the hardware behind them, but also study the physics aspects of them. I also am considering going to graduate school to get a masters or PhD and doing research into...
  8. I

    Engineering Help with computer engineering problem

    Have been trying to figure out this problem for quite some time but don't know how to approach it.
  9. archaic

    Programs Is the Computer Engineering Program Comprehensive and Well-Balanced?

    Hello, is this program "complete"? (In the sense that a math undergrad curriculum without calculus 2 wouldn't be, for example)
  10. Lapse

    Understanding Memory in Nios II

    Homework Statement My specific question is: What is the value held in r7 (written in hexadecimal) after the following instructions execute? addi r5, r0, 0x30 ldw r7, 0(r5) Homework Equations N/A The Attempt at a Solution There's a few things I'm not understanding... Here are my...
  11. ScienceGuy42

    Engineering Does an astrophysicist (PhD or post-doc) need computer engineering?

    Does an astrophysicist in research areas such as cosmic structure and evolution, galactic archaeology, and/or black hole phenomena require extensive skills (i.e. undergraduate degree) in computer systems engineering/computer engineering? The idea is to do a combined degree with computer...
  12. Grands

    Engineering What is computer engineering about?

    HI guys, what's is your personal opinion about the degree in computer engineering? Which subjects usually computer engineering students have to deal with ? It is considerate an innovative degree? Does anyone know something about the Degree in computer engineering of the Polytechnic of Milan...
  13. S

    Computer engineering projects for physics. Proposals?

    i'm a computer engineering student but i have always been interested in physics and wanted to contribute to it,next semester i will be working on my senior project and i was wondering if any of the physicists here or scientists in general think that there's something that i could create whether...
  14. Grands

    Engineering Differences between Computer engineering and Computer Science?

    Hi Which are the mains difference between Computer engineering and Computer Science? Which different kind of work do a computer engineer instead a computer scientist ?
  15. G

    ALU status register carry equation

    I was wondering what the carry (C) equation for the logic gates would be in an ALU status register? I originally thought that it was C equals the last carry output. However, my colleagues tell me its C equals to the sum of the last bit primed AND the last carry output. Can someone clarify my...
  16. J

    Programs CE + Phys or CE + Math: Interested in Quantum Computing & AI

    Hey all, I'm a student in university who wants to Double Major in Computer Engineering and Physics or Computer Engineering and Mathematics. Ideally I want to get some time in working on quantum computers and some time in working on advanced AI, so one of the big things I want to do is pick the...
  17. ramzerimar

    Engineering Is Computer Engineering "inferior" to EE and CS?

    I've heard some people saying that Computer Engineering is not highly valued by employers because it typically doesn't delve too deep in electrical engineering essentials (at my college, CompE's takes Circuits classes, Digital Systems, some microcontroller classes, electromagnetics and basic...
  18. R

    Want to study computer science and do computer engineering

    I am now studying physics( B. Sc.) I want to do computer engineering and want to have in-depth knowledge of comp. Sci.. Because my interest lies there also. So, please do tell me what should I I do now and in the future, now iIam doing my best by learning programming but want to do some other...
  19. A

    MS vs PhD in Robotics:Which Program is Best for You?

    Hello everyone, To start, I found this forum incredibly helpful throughout my college education thus far. This forum has helped me pick my major in undergrad back in 2011, helped me narrow down which graduate program to gravitate toward upon graduation in 2015, and now I have a continued...
  20. sukalp

    Engineering Regarding computer engineering

    I wanted to ask you when we finish high school and go to university for studying bachelor of technology in computer science are there jobs that high school students do regarding programming with companies through programming they have learn in ap courses in grade 12 that i wanted to know
  21. sukalp

    Engineering I want to invent something like Facebook

    When we finish and go to university for studying computer engineering while we do courses like b tech after studies we need to search for a job or through campus replacement in university we get job . next thing i wanted to ask is i want to invent something like facebook made by mark...
  22. S

    Other Studying Computer Engineering but need some guidance

    Hello everyone! New member here :p So first of all, I'm studying Computer Engineering and I'm in my 4th semester currently. So, in this semester I'm having some new classes like Java programming, taking another class called Applied Electronics and Numerical Methods. So, first of all I'm really...
  23. M

    Engineering Hardware vs. Software in biomedical engineering?

    For someone with a bachelors in computer engineering, looking to go to grad school for biomedical engineering, which would be more useful, their knowledge of software, or their knowledge of hardware?
  24. N

    Engineering Mechanical Engineering or Computer Engineering?

    im a senior high school student from India have about 3 days in hand having difficulty in deciding between the two careers. I am planning to peruse undergraduate in USA but in a big confusion Can someone put a clear image about these two branches of engineering as i am unclear about their job...
  25. bakerino

    Schools Scared about college -- First time I've been scared of academics

    I've always been the "Doesn't study but does well" type. Not only have I been informed of this being basically impossible in college, but I've also learned that my major, (Computer Engineering) is quite a bit of work. This I do not mind. I enjoy the work. What I worry about, is being able to...
  26. MarwanAq

    Programs Computer engineering or electrical engineering to physics?

    I am currently a computer engineering student , in my second year to be precise. I was just wondering if I could continue my postgraduate studies in physics or anything similar , and will I be better off with a degree in electrical engineering ?. like is electrical engineering closer to physics ?.
  27. nikirock021

    Computer engineering or computer science?

    Hi guys. I'm a junior in high school and am debating on which field to pursue. I know it's a bit early for me but I've always wanted to go into a career with computers and just wanted some help. I'm sure similar questions have been asked before but if you would be so kind as of to answer some of...
  28. E

    What are the career goals of a young computer engineering and physics student?

    Hello my name is Elijah Hampton! I am currently working on my undergraduate degree in computer engineering with a minor in physics. I plan to obtain my MSc in physics to become a particle physicist studying string theory and/or dark matter. I cannot wait to join the discussion and get to know...
  29. C

    How to prepare for ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

    Hello. I've just recently been accepted to an electrical and computer engineering course. I've only been out of school for 2 weeks but I can already tell that my memory is slipping and I can't remember anything I did. My course starts in late august, and I want to prepare for it so that I have...
  30. M

    Schools Grad school for Bioengineering with bachelors in CompE?

    Can you get into a graduate program for biomedical engineering with a computer engineering degree? would you be at a big disadvantage to someone with an electrical engineering degree?
  31. A

    Engineering What can i do with an Engineering Physics degree?

    I'll be attending the Southeast Missouri State University this fall and i am planning on majoring Engineering Physics: Computer Applications.The course plan includes the following courses: Introduction to Computer Programming, Object Oriented Programming,C and Unix Environment,Computer...
  32. brymcfly21

    Engineering Astrophysics or physics/computer engineer double major?

    Hello guys, I'm a high school senior still unsure what to do. I have a passion for astrophysics and would love to pursue a phd in it but there being a possibility of not having a permanent job by 30 is scary. Should I take the safe route and go for computer engineering and double major with...
  33. D

    Engineering Should I even bother going into engineering?

    So I'm a senior in high school and so far I've had pretty average grades. Taken Algebra 1, Geometry, Honors Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Precalculus, AP Calculus AB and gotten mostly B's with some A's and some C's. I'm not proud of my grades, but I just wasn't able to grasp the concept too well. I've...
  34. Bake

    Could I handle Computer Engineering?

    Computer Engineering and/or Computer Science have both interested me greatly. I'm fairly certain that I want to pursue in one of these fields in the future. Though, I've heard that CE requires you take some match classes that are quite difficult. It's not that I dislike math, as a matter of fact...
  35. H

    Programs Artificial intelligence: what double degree to choose?

    My only dream in life is to develop a robot that has common sense and wisdom and pretty much be as smart as a human that can help society solve ISIS, food shortages etc. So I am choosing Computer Science next year for university. Though I have heard that doing the degree purely is too dry and...
  36. A

    Need Help Pursuing Career in Robotics

    Hello Everyone, I posted in Physics Forums back in 2011 trying to figure out what undergraduate Major to choose based off my interests. I had received very positive feedback then and am seeking more advice now that I am further along in my career. I am a recent undergrad graduate with a major...
  37. M

    Considering electrical eng after a computer eng degree....

    Hi, I'm already a computer engineer and I'm considering doing a bachelors in electrical engineering. I currently work in the information technology field and I'm kinda not satisfied with the prospects of a career in the IT area, getting a bachelors in electrical engineering should be easy...
  38. R

    Is this Computer Science or Computer Engineering?

    Hi all, I would really appreciate someone taking a guess what this program equates to in English (whether it is Computer Science, Computer Engineering, IT or something else). I'm currently living in a non-English speaking country but will possibly be moving to Europe after graduating (my mom...
  39. T

    Better Computer Engineering elective?

    Hello all, I am currently entering my third year of electrical engineering and have to make a choice to take either: Microprocessor Systems: theory and design of microprocessors; semiconductor technologies, architectures, assembly language, software development, input/output design...
  40. S

    What is the meaning of MY_TABLE TIMES 10 DW 0 in assembly

    i am new to this one.and this is about assembly programming.on reading about assembly on tutorialspoint i came up to this.i didnt understan it correctly.it says "Allocates10 words (2 bytes) each initialized to 0" what does this statement mean? please someone tell me about the meaning of this...
  41. I

    Applied Physics vs. Computer Engineering

    Hey all, I'm at a bit of a major crossroads between studying Physics or Engineering. There are two major milestones in my life that I want to achieve, or die trying: a) Own and operate a consumer electronics company (definitely computers) and b) If astronaut and space based programs begin...
  42. Y

    Engineering Can I pursue MS electrical, electronics & computer engineering?

    i am currently studyin fo r my barchelor's degree in meteorology and climate science ...but i really want to pursue electrical engineering for my grad schools...is that possible?...if not what wld be my best option for any ms study with the degree am currently pursuing ..considering job...
  43. AceTrainerBlue

    Computer Engineering - Electrical Eng. & Computer Science?

    Is majoring in computer engineering the same as doing a double major in electrical engineering and computer science? Hi, I'm having difficult choosing my major as an upcoming freshmen at the University of Waterloo. I'm very interested in both the hardware and software aspects of computers, but...
  44. rrlamichhane

    Most promising and emerging current ECE research-topics?

    I'm more looking for fields in hardware side (Electrical Engineering) than software (Computer Engineering) here. I know to some extent but wanted everyone to share their knowledge on this. Here's the few that I think will massively effect the world of technology in the near future (Pardon my...
  45. M

    Stuck Between Aerospace engineering and Computer Engineering

    Hello, I am stuck between two majors to study in college, Computer Engineering and Aerospace Engineering. About me: I am going to be a senior next year and I am going to be taking high level ap calculus and ap physics. I am a very creative person and am very good at the arts and industrial...
  46. R

    Decomposing Images into Harmonic Components Using Fourier Transform

    I am beginer in image processing. Any signal whether it is 1D,2D or any multidimensional signal can be represented using combination of number of sine and cosine wavesforms (harmonics).Similerly any image can be termed as a function of sinusoidal signals.I want to see individual pattern for the...
  47. U

    Too late to pursue Computer Engineering at age 27?

    Hello. I have been contemplating whether or not I should start pursuing a degree in CE, EE, or Comp Sci. I currently work as a wildland firefighter and am not happy with what I do. I started to learn programming about 9 months ago with various online tools such as Codecademy and taking online...
  48. R

    Electrical vs Computer Engineering

    Hello, I'm currently enrolled as a Dual-Major in Electrical & Computer Engineering. To be honest I'm more interested in the software and computing side of the aforementioned disciplines. But there are only 5 extra classes over my last 4 semesters I would have to take and they are...
  49. P

    Engineering Which path should I choose? (Computer Engineering, Math, Cosmology ?)

    I am currently computer engineering student(second year). Well its not like I don't like computer engineering.but somtimes I think I should have chosen another path.I am pretty good at mathematics.I like to solve maths problems.I am also fascinated about cosmology.I like electronics as well.I...
  50. R

    Civil vs Mechanical vs Computing

    There are probably numerous threads like this, I have read them all but I'm still undecided. I am a high school senior and applying to UK universities - I have applied to more than one subject (three, actually: civil, mechanical engineering and computing, all from Imperial College) and received...