An early 20th-century development, electronic engineering is a branch of electrical engineering that is defined by the extra use of active elements like semiconductor devices to enhance and regulate electric current flow. Electrical engineering previously only used passive elements like mechanical switches, resistors, inductors, and capacitors.
It covers subjects like consumer electronics, digital electronics, analog electronics, embedded systems, and power electronics. Solid-state physics, radio engineering, telecommunications, control systems, signal processing, systems engineering, computer engineering, instrumentation engineering, electric power control, and robotics are some of the related fields in which it plays a vital role. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), also known as the Institution of Engineering and Technology in the UK, is one of the most important professional associations for individuals working in the electronics industry (IET). The International Electrotechnical Commission publishes electrical standards for electronic engineering (IEC).
History and Development of Electronic Engineering
The discovery of the electron in 1897, followed by the development of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify minuscule electrical impulses, marked the beginning of the field of electronics and the development of electronic engineering as a career.
With the development of the triode and the diode by Lee De Forest and Ambrose Fleming in the early 1900s, it became possible to detect small electrical voltages, such as radio signals from a radio antenna, using non-mechanical devices. Electronics expanded quickly. Electronic amplifiers were utilized in a variety of applications, including long-distance telephone and the music recording industry, by the early 1920s, when commercial radio broadcasting and communications had spread widely. The field was greatly enhanced by the vast development of electronic devices during World War II, such as radar and sonar, as well as the accompanying consumer revolution during the postwar years.
There are numerous subfields in electronic engineering. The most well-known are described in this section.
- Electronic signal processing focuses on manipulating and analyzing signals. Digital signals fluctuate after a succession of discrete values that correspond to the information, but analog signals fluctuate constantly with the information. Radiofrequency signal modulation and demodulation for telecommunications as well as audio signal amplification and filtering for audio equipment are examples of signal processing for analog signals. Compression, error checking, error detection, and error correction are all possible components of signal processing for digital communications.
- Telecommunications engineering refers to the transmission of data across a channel, such as an open area, an optical fiber, or a coaxial cable. For transmission across space, the data must be encoded in a carrier wave; this procedure is known as modulation. Two typical types of analog modulation are amplitude modulation and frequency modulation. After a system’s transmission characteristics are defined, telecommunications engineers design the transmitters and receivers needed for the system. Sometimes these two are combined to form a transceiver, a two-way communication device. Because it is strongly related to signal strength, transmitter power consumption is a crucial consideration to make during the design process. The information in a signal will be tampered with by noise if a transmitter’s signal is too weak.
- Aviation–electronics engineering and Aviation-telecommunications engineering are curious about applications in aviation. Experts in ground-based or airborne avionics can include engineers in the fields of aviation and telecommunications. For experts in this field, understanding computers, networking, IT, and sensors is crucial. These courses are offered by universities like Civil Aviation Technology Colleges.
- Control engineering has several electronic uses, such as the propulsion and flight systems of commercial aircraft and the cruise control used in many modern vehicles. Also, industrial automation depends on it. Control engineers frequently use feedback when developing control systems.
- Instrumentation engineering concentrates on producing tools that can measure things like flow, pressure, and temperature. Radar weapons, for example, use the Doppler effect to estimate the speed of incoming vehicles, demonstrating the requirement for such equipment to be developed with a thorough understanding of electrical engineering and physics. Thermocouples also employ the Peltier-Seebeck effect to determine temperature changes between two locations. Instead of being used alone, the instrumentation is commonly used as the sensors of larger electrical systems. For example, a thermocouple could be used to help maintain the steady temperature of a furnace. Control engineering and instrumentation engineering are therefore generally viewed as complementary fields of study.
- Computer engineering focuses on building computers and computer systems. This could entail making PDAs, inventing new computer hardware, or managing an industrial site with computers. The development of embedded systems and systems created for specific applications are also included in this topic (such as mobile phones). This group includes the microcontroller and its uses for it. Computer engineers may also create the system’s software. Although software engineering, a subset of computer science, is routinely used to create massive software systems, computer science is widely viewed as a different field.
- VLSI design engineering: VLSI stands for very large-scale integration. It has to do with making ICs and other electronic components. Before constructing an integrated circuit, electronics engineers first prepare circuit schematics, which list the electrical components and describe how they are connected. The schematics are then transformed by VLSI specialists into layouts that show the layers of various semiconductor and conductor materials needed to construct the circuit.