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Electronic & Optoelectronic Devices Thread

In the hierarchy of electronics and optoelectronics, spanning from devices to systems, functional stand-alone collections of circuits are known as systems. Thus, devices are the smallest and most fundamental element of this hierarchy. Device design is the most basic element and skill needed in the optoelectronics/electronics industry and as the devices most often limit performance such as speed, power efficiency, or behavior, knowledge of device design and manufacture is critically sought by industry. 

Systems are analogous to the human body. The circuits are analogous to the heart and the devices analogous to the heart muscle cells, i.e. the core building block of the entire system/body. But unlike the human body, we have control of the design of the device allowing it to be made faster, more power efficient, or even the ability to create new devices with new behaviors. The Electronic & Optical Devices thread prepares you for a career designing and manufacturing nano-scale devices that for example, are used in complex circuitry to perform some desired function such as computation, sensing, control, communications, and amplification, among countless other functions.

Unlike other threads that focus exclusively on one functionality using pre-made device “components” outside your control, this thread provides detailed understanding of device operational principles, design methods, and methods and limitations in manufacturing these devices that allow you to understand how to make new or improve on existing devices. As all circuits use optoelectronic/electronics devices, it is broadly applicable and marketable.

Pretty much every industry uses device technology.  A sample of related career paths include:

  • Computer chip design (Intel, AMD, HP, IBM, Apple, TSMC, etc.)
  • Solar power (First Solar, Sun Power, etc.)
  • Aerospace, drone and aircraft development (SpaceX, JPL, NASA, Boeing, etc.)
  • Power electronics industries  (Seimens, International Rectifier, Vishay Intertechnology (Siliconix), Infineon Technologies, Fairchild Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Linear Technology, Motorola, Microchip Technology, Philips Semiconductors, Toshiba, Maxim Integrated Products, Dallas Semiconductor, National Semiconductor, Power Integrations, IXYS, Microsemi, etc.)
  • Consumer optoelectronics (Sharp, Osram, Texas Instruments, Philips, Cree, SSC, Lumileds, Vishay, Samsung, Sony, FOSP Optoelectronics, Autoliv, Avago, Foryard Optoelectronics, OSI Optoelectronics)
  • Communications optoelectronics (Teledyn, Broadcom, Boston Electronics, Hamamatsu, Osram, OSI Optoelectronics Inc, Excelitas Technologies, TT Electronics, Vishay, ON Semiconductor, Trumpf, Opto Diode Corporation, Viavi Solutions and Lumentum Holdings)
  • 5G and 6G development (Verizon, Qualcomm, etc.)
  • Government labs (USGS, FCC, NIST, NOAA, and NWS, plus DoD and other classified national security work)


Electronic Devices (Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices)


ECE 3450 - Semiconductor Devices
ECE 4452 - Integrated Circuit Fabrication

Pick 1 of Electronic Devices (Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices)

ECE4350 - Electromagnetic and Microwave Applications
ECE 4470 - Devices in Renewable Energy
ECE 4500 - Optical Engineering
ECE4751 - Laser Theory and Applications
ECE4460 - Introduction to Electronic Systems Packaging
ECE4754 - Electronics Packaging Assembly, Reliability, Thermal Mgt, and Test
ECE4755 - Electronic Packaging Substrate Fabrication
ECE 3000/4000 Elective

Last revised July 9, 2020