Do you like analytical thinking? Master Error Control Codes and it will be a strong addition to your profile while applying to computer hardware positions. ECCs have become ubiquitous in hardware. ECCs are used to protect datapaths and memory in almost all hardware designs.
ECC usage in hardware differs from ECC usage in Communications. There are 3 important ECCs that you should master to get an edge as a hardware designer: SECDED, CRC, Reed-Solomon (in the order of growing complexity)
Try this problem: Design a Reed-Solomon decoder where the data size = 256, symbol size = 16 and you are correcting 1 symbol. Now, the generic decoder for RS codes is fairly complex and the corresponding hardware solution is not practical for most hardware designs. Instead, focus on the fact that you are correcting 1 symbol only. What are some good decoder solutions for this case? You can submit your answer as a design spec explaining the necessary blocks or a simple script that actually does the decoding.