Prof. Ulrich Schmid
Contact person for the Research Focus Computer Engineering
Institute of Computer Engineering
1040 Wien, Treitlstraße 3/E191
The research focus Computer Engineering deals with all aspects of the direct interaction of computer systems and their environment, from the lowest level of circuit and hardware architectures to safety-critical cyber-physical systems like industrial automation and smart grids, healthcare, spacecraft, and automotive.
Designing such systems is challenging, both from a scientific and technological perspective: Many functions are directly implemented in hardware for performance reasons, distributed and parallel processing is omnipresent, digital signal processing is often required, real-time and power/thermal constraints must be met, energy-efficiency is crucial, stopping operation in the case of failures is often not feasible, unique security issues and threats exist, "trial-and-error-style programming" is not an option in many applications, asserting system correctness by means of testing may be insufficient for the required reliability level, emergent behavior originating from autonomous operation must be understood and controlled, integration and complexity issues created by the upcoming Internet of Things must be managed, etc.
Key characteristics of the research focus Computer Engineering are hence (i) an integrative view of a multitude of system aspects, including hardware architectures, continuous/discrete systems, parallelism and communication, dependability, real-time processing, low-power design, energy and resource efficiency, decision and control theory, autonomy, etc., and (ii) interdisciplinarity: Core computer science knowledge and skills like programming, modeling, design and analysis, formal verification and synthesis of both software and hardware are complemented by specific knowledge and skills from other disciplines, in particular, continuous mathematics, system theory and electrical engineering.
Main research topics of the research focus Computer Engineering are
- Digital circuits and hardware architectures
- Parallel and distributed, dependable, real-time systems
- Hybrid systems and optimal control
- Quantitative and runtime verification
- Computational modeling and simulation
- Autonomous systems, robotics and automation systems integration
- Cyber-physical social systems & Internet of Things