Computer engineers analyze, design, and evaluate computer
systems, both hardware and software. They might work on system
such as a flexible manufacturing system or a "smart" device or
instrument. Computer engineers often find themselves focusing on
problems or challenges which result in new "state of the art"
products, which integrate computer capabilities. They work on the
design, planning, development, testing, and even the supervision of
manufacturing of computer hardware -- including everything from
chips to device controllers.
They work on the interface between different pieces of hardware
and strive to provide new capabilities to existing and new systems
or products. The work of a computer engineer is grounded in the
hardware -- from circuits to architecture -- but also focuses on
operating systems and software. They may also focus on computer networks for the
transmission of data and multimedia. Computer engineers must understand logic design,
microprocessor system design, computer architecture, computer interfacing, and continually
focus on system requirements and design. It is primarily software engineers who focus on
creating the software systems used by individuals and businesses, but computer engineers
may also design and develop some software applications.
Students studying computer engineering may choose to focus on specialty areas including
artificial intelligence (intelligent systems for applications such as robotics, language
understanding, knowledge acquisition, reasoning, computer vision, and pattern recognition),
computer systems (the design and analysis of computers including the topics of VLSI (Very
Large Scale Integration) systems, computer architecture, computer networks, and integrated
circuits), or systems and computations (including the integration of both hardware and software
into a coherent system). They must have strong...