Bachelor's degree in computer engineering, majoring in computer hardware

Chip Design and Hardware Engineering

Chip design and hardware engineering are integral to computer engineering and involve creating, developing, and optimizing integrated circuits (chips) and hardware systems. These actions play a crucial role in modern technology by enabling the functionality of electronic devices, ranging from consumer electronics to complex computing systems.

Electronic chips are found inside every device and technology we use and are expected to take an even more significant part in the future world. Designing these chips requires extensive knowledge and understanding of basic science and engineering, from physics to software.

The chip design and hardware engineering program combines theoretical knowledge and practical skills. It is intended to train computer hardware engineers in the knowledge base required to conduct research and develop electronic chips and their systems. In addition to the fundamental courses in software, operating systems, and computer architecture taught in the primary program of computer engineering, the chip design and hardware engineering track provides students with the relevant basics of electrical engineering, such as circuit design, advanced computer architectures, semiconductors, and physical design of chips. In addition, the program allows students to choose courses in diverse fields to expand their knowledge and specialize in hardware design for areas such as quantum computing, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence.

Computer hardware studies combine labs and hands-on projects and use industry-standard software and hardware tools. As a constantly evolving field, studies emphasize adaptations to the latest updated chip design and hardware engineering trends.

The computer hardware track at the Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan University is the first program in Israel and one of the only ones in the world that provides training focused entirely on the field of chips. Graduates will receive all the necessary tools to pursue research in the field of hardware and chips and make their way into Israel’s bustling chip industry. The shortage of engineers in this field was recently defined as one of the focus areas of the Innovation Authority, and a government committee was established to fill this shortage. The computer hardware track meets precisely this requirement.

What is Hardware?

Hardware is the collection of all the physical components and devices of a computer system or electronic device, such as a cellular phone or communication device. It encompasses all tangible system parts that can be

touched and communicated with. Hardware is crucial to any technological device, providing the physical infrastructure to enable computing, processing, and communication functions. It includes various components, from miniature integrated circuits to larger peripherals and external devices. Software, which is the collection of commands that provide instructions for execution, needs hardware to execute. Every "smart" device and technological field needs hardware.

What is a chip?

A chip or integrated circuit contains electronic components such as transistors, resistors, capacitors, and connections. These components are etched or fabricated onto a tiny semiconductor material, usually silicon. Chips are a cornerstone of modern electronics and play a crucial role in various devices, from computers and smartphones to household appliances and vehicle systems, all of which combine calculation, control, processing, and detection devices and are often implemented using transistors. Many devices incorporate chips (sometimes thousands of separate chips), which are connected to provide the device with capabilities.

What is the difference between the new major and the standard computer engineering program?

The first year of the chip design and hardware engineering program is identical to the standard computer engineering program. Starting in the middle of the second year, the program will begin to focus on the field of hardware, and in the third and fourth years, core and elective courses will be taught.

What does the computer hardware track give?

Graduates receive a full bachelor's degree in computer engineering with a focus on the knowledge infrastructure required for a hardware engineer. The course load does not exceed that of the standard computer engineering program.

What is taught in the computer hardware track besides computer engineering?

Digital and analog circuit design

Computer architecture

Basics of semiconductor physics and integrated circuit manufacturing processes

New computer engineering courses include algorithms for chip design, functional and formal verification (verification), advanced computer architectures, hardware for artificial intelligence, hardware for biological computation, and more.

What are the employment prospects for computer hardware graduates?

Graduates can continue in academia or join the high-tech professions and the chip industry. Relevant jobs in the sector include VLSI Design (front-end), verification, backend, circuit design, architecture, analog engineering, board design, firmware, and more. Dozens of international and Israeli companies operate large development centers in Israel, including Google, Facebook, Intel, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Broadcom, Cisco, and many others.

Are there merit scholarships for applicants with exceptionally high academic achievements?

Yes, absolutely. Excellent candidates may be eligible for special scholarships on behalf of the faculty and the track. In addition, outstanding students will be given personal academic guidance.