Where Can I Find Free Online Computer Hardware Engineering Courses?

Free online computer hardware engineering courses are available through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students will have access to course materials at their own convenience. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can take free online computer hardware engineering courses via the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With these courses you'll learn how to design hardware independently by completing assignments, labs, readings, lecture notes and exams. You can find relevant courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT offers multiple classes via its OpenCourseWare (OCW) project in computer hardware engineering. Three professors taught a parallel hardware course, which the school originally offered to graduate students on campus. The computer system architecture class offers materials that are based on a course two professors initially taught to graduate students, as well. Another MIT offering, a computation structures class, was originally taught to undergraduate students.

What Will I Learn?

The parallel hardware course covers the algorithmic foundations of parallel hardware design and operations. You will study topics such as sorting networks, VLSI layout theory and arithmetic circuits. In the computer system architecture class, you will study the history of computer architecture and factors that influence hardware design. The course covers topics such as superscalar architectures, VLIW machines and symmetric multiprocessors. The computational structures course covers hardware and software systems involved in digital systems engineering. You will learn the basics of finite-state machines, MOS transistors and combinational and sequential circuits.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Assignments for the parallel hardware course include ten problem sets and a final exam, all of which have solutions. You can solve three optional 'brainteasers' by using concepts learned in this course. The computer system architecture course provides five quizzes without solutions. You may complete five problem sets accompanied by handouts; solutions to these problems aren't provided. With the computational structures course, you could complete five quizzes with solutions. You may also solve tutorial problems that are similar to those in the quizzes. Solutions are provided. Instructions for eight lab exercises are also included, but completing them requires JSim software.

What Materials Are Provided?

The first course provides lecture notes on topics such as routing and interconnecting networks. Slides accompany some lecture notes. A PDF reader application, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, is required in order to view these files. You can download lecture notes that are grouped into five modules by topic. The course includes a list of optional textbook readings. The computer system architecture course provides lecture notes that include illustrations and diagrams. Special software is required to view some files. The computational structures course provides lecture notes that include illustrations and diagrams. Special software is required to view some files.

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