Electronic devices largely contribute to how people live their lives these days. From the smartphone in people’s pockets to the sensors on their vehicles that let them know when something is about to go wrong, electronic devices can be very noticeable, important parts of people’s lives. Conversely, devices that most people never see also play important roles in people’s lives. For example, the thermostat on a furnace is an electronic device, but it is one people generally take for granted, even though it makes it possible to keep a house warm while nobody is there to tend a fire or turn a furnace on and off as needed.
There are many different types of electronic devices available. Quite often, the most complex electronic devices out there are really collections of simple electronic devices, all working in conjunction to perform a given task. There are electronic devices, however, that are enormously complex in and of themselves. These devices are best represented by integrated circuits, which can be very complex and which are designed to bring together the functions of many different electrical components in a very compact device, which is quite often capable of being programmed.
Electronic devices can be adapted by electrical engineers to very clever uses. Part of what makes electronics such an interesting field is the fact that, with very simple components that are capable of carrying out one or two operations on their own, an engineer can build a system that is capable of performing incredible feats.