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Guidance in Computer Design

  1. Dec 13, 2014 #1
    Okay I'm a second year electrical engineering student and will I'm thinking about going to deep down to the metal part of computers, I mean how to build microcontrollers and processor.I gave it some thought,and I looked at the computer engineering classes and all of them were about software building and such stuff ,also I looked at electronics and they were classes like digital electronics and microelectronics and I seemed more inclined to take the electronics classes rather than computer engineering. I'm asking which path should i take to become a computer engineer or what is the actually title for that line of work ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2014 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    Science Advisor

    In the USA, "software engineering" is the term for designing and implementing software. If you want to design microprocessors you should concentrate on digital electronics. I don't know what words describe the discipline of physically constructing a microprocessor - tasks like etching wafers, attaching contacts etc.
  4. Dec 15, 2014 #3


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    There are two main parts of microprocessor design.
    one is the digital part, which is determining the layout.
    another is the semiconductor design, which very low level microelectronics analog circuit design, which is taking the schematics from the digital designer and actually doing the PWB design

    the later is a semiconductors engineer. The former would be a computer engineer.
    I am "kind of" a computer engineer atm (the work I do varies from week to week).
    My degree was in electrical engineering. I took classes in vhdl, verilog, digital design, microelectronics, RTOS development, etc.
    I also took controls, power electronics, etc, but those are not really relevant to CPE.

    If you are interested in the hardware, I would stay with the hardware. But it is important to understand how the software works! Don't forget, computer engineering is a mix between EE and CS. Depending on the school, your CPE department may lean one way or the other.
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