Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hardware - The Concept of Hardware and Electronics

Areas of Work
Hardware refers to computer chips, circuit
boards, computer systems, and related
equipment such as keyed equipment such as
keyboards, modems, and printers. The work of
computer hardware engineers is very similar to
that of electronics engineers, but unlike them,
computer hardware engineers work with
computers and computer-related equipment
Hardware jobs include production and service
engineers, R&D and maintenance engineers. Most
trained engineers are employed by the computer
equipment manufacturers. For this job, a very
specialized training is required and that can only
be acquired in postgraduate course of computer
engineering and technology. A diploma in a
specialized branch of engineering with special
emphasis on training for specific jobs and work
experience may be adequate as qualifications
only for some jobs.
Technology related to computers is changing
very rapidly; hence there are exciting challenges
for the computer professionals in hardware.
They can learn new things, experiment and
evolve new techniques or hardware for solving
information processing problems. Engineers in
R&D or servicing do not have a long hierarchical
ladder to climb as compared to the software
personnel. However, prospects and work remain
challenging even after several years as an
Designing computers
The rapid advances in computer technology are
largely a result of the research, development, and
design efforts of computer hardware engineers.
Thus, hardware engineering is all about
designing, developing and implementing
Electronic and computer engineers work on
developing new designs and modifying earlier
ones. They need to be aware of the latest trends,
products and developments in electronic
technology both in India and abroad. Their job is
to ensure that their company builds the most
advanced machines at reasonable costs. Work in
hardware can also be in research and
development. They may work on chip, circuit
design, computer architecture or the design of
devices that are not a part of the computer but
work with it, such as a printer. R&D may also be
in peripheral integration, e.g., making a printer
works with the companies computer. Having
developed the product, a fair amount of time is
spent on controlling product quality and
reliability. Engineers who design and develop
computers only work for the big manufacturers.
They are based at the company's head office or its
manufacturing unit.
Chip Design
Chips and processors are now used in almost
everything - from aerospace to computers,
complex electronic gadgets to everyday
appliances, mobile phones, dishwashers and so
on. And it's the Very Large Scale Integration
(VLSI) design engineer's efforts that make these
work. They conceive and design minuscule chips
of silicon wafers and with architecture of these
sends them for manufacturing.
India is emerging as a very large-scale integrated
(VLSI) chip design house. Engineering design
services could be a gold mine of opportunity for
India. The potential is across multiple domains
like architecture development, chip design,
synthesis, verification, test, physical design, and
manufacturability and so on.
The integrated circuit (chip) design industry is
pegged to grow into a multi-million dollar
market in India. The investments required are
heavy. A wafer fabrication plant requires
investments, in the range of $2 billion. US-based
engineering giant Emerson the UK-based
Invensys are contributing significantly to the
growth of this industry in India.
Semiconductor design has moved from hardware
to software. Instead of drawing the design, it is
described in a language called Verilog that
generates a design. Chip design is a high-end area
with good growth potential in areas like design
verification. India will need between
15,000-20,000 engineers with chip design skills by
2005. Nasscom estimates 20,000 jobs in this area.
The bio medical and electronic world will begin
meshing together. Examples of these are
injectable recognition systems new kinds of
diagnostic equipment and bio-CAD. The cross
disciplinary approach is quite challenging.