The Electronic Circuit Design group at the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, Aalto University, Finland, is currently seeking to hire two
PHD STUDENTS IN INTEGRATED CIRCUIT DESIGN – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action SMArT | Aalto University
These two Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will join the European Union funded SMArT project aimed at developing advanced technology for beyond-5G communication transceivers under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action International Training Networks (MSCA ITN) grant. The project is coordinated by Aalto University, in tight collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs, Belgium, and Tampere University, Finland. The ESRs will be employed by Aalto University and be enrolled in the doctoral degree program at the University. The ESRs will spend around 18 months at the Nokia Bell Labs research facility in Belgium during the course of the project. SMArT project offers an excellent research and training program, where ESRs will get an opportunity to join a network of researchers in the three participating organizations.
Access to internet is a basic human right that allows everyone to create, access, utilize, and share information and knowledge, which empowers individuals and communities to achieve their maximum capacity in promoting sustainable development and improving the quality of life. The significantly lower rate of the wired broadband access (copper, fiber, cable) network deployment in rural areas as opposed to urban areas due to the low return on investments for the operators is causing a very large broadband divide between urban and rural areas.
To close the broadband divide and to provide ultra-fast broadband in rural areas, there is a need to devise new fixed access technologies that require low investment from the telecom operator and no additional cost overhead from the end user. Since the current wired access technologies do not fulfill these requirements, the only promising solution is to devise extensions to the 5G LTE technology to provide fixed wireless broadband access. This can currently be done with a central 5G base station communicating wirelessly to a Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) like a wall-mounted Home outdoor modem, leading to relatively low investment as the mobile operators can re-use the installation of 5G base stations or install an additional one to cover houses within a radius of few kilometers instead of laying underground cables over the rural terrain.
The transceiver design for a regular mobile user equipment in 5G systems is already very challenging due to techniques like Massive MIMO and Beamforming that are integral part of the 5G standard. When this is combined with the ultra-wide bandwidth specification required to achieve the desired data rate as well as the constraints imposed by the power budget of the home outdoor modem, the design of transceiver circuits for the proposed system becomes extremely challenging.
Complete CMOS integration of such systems, which is beneficial for power and cost reduction, is hindered by the voltage/current-domain signal representation strategy in conventional analog/mixed-mode circuit design, that does not fully exploit the benefits of technology scaling and the superior time resolution offered by modern nanometer-scale CMOS processes. SMArT project aims to bring a paradigm shift by maximally utilizing time-domain signal representation techniques to meet the challenges of beyond-5G transceiver design. SMArT will develop the necessary theoretical foundation, ground-breaking architectural innovations, and circuit techniques in this regard.
One of the ESRs will develop advanced wideband digital-intensive transmitter architectures by investigating and applying time-domain signal representation/processing techniques. The second ESR will investigate suitable switch-mode power amplifier topologies and circuit techniques in tight collaboration with the ESR working on transmitter architecture development and a third ESR (recruited through a separate call) investigating suitable digital pre-distortion technologies.
The Electronic Circuit Design (ECD) unit (https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-electronics-and-nanoengineering/elect…) of the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering (https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-electronics-and-nanoengineering) at the School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, Finland, is recognized as one of the best in Europe. Close to thirty years of our research in the area of RF, analog, and digital integrated circuits have produced outstanding outcomes, and we have a strong network of collaborators and funding sources in both industry and academia. The ECD group has three professors (Jussi Ryynänen, Kari Halonen, and Martin Andraud), three senior researchers, and about 20 doctoral candidates and research assistants working with state-of-the-art research facilities. Researchers of the unit have received several awards in highly recognized international conferences, and we publish around 10-20 papers annually.
Your major responsibility as an ESR is to carry out high-quality scientific research, and to disseminate the research results in leading scientific journals and conferences. This includes developing scientific concepts, demonstration of the concepts through design and characterization of integrated circuit prototypes, and communicating the research results both verbally and in writing. As a researcher, you will be registered as a Ph.D. candidate at Aalto University.
Project and employment details
- EU Research framework program: EU H2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, ITN
- Grant agreement number: 860921
- Job title: Early Stage Researcher (Ph.D. candidate)
- Topic 1 (ESR 1): Digital-intensive wideband transmitter architecture
- Topic 2 (ESR 2): Switch-mode power amplifier architectures
- Recruiting organization/Company: Aalto University
- Primary location: Helsinki, Finland (with secondment of around 18 months at Nokia Bell Labs, Belgium)
- Research field: Integrated Circuit Design, RF circuits, Circuits and Systems, Signal Processing
- Research profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)
- Type of contract: temporary – maximum up to 3 years
- Doctoral program enrollment: Aalto University
- Duration: The Ph.D. funding within SMArT will be for a maximum of three years. There is some flexibility on the start date of each studentship, ranging from August to December 2020.
- Remuneration: The researchers will receive a full salary in line with the rules for European Industrial Doctorates including contributions to the pension scheme and health care. The salary is very competitive (starting approximately from 3300€ per month) and composed of the following allowances: living, mobility and family (if applicable).
You have or are about to obtain a Master of Science or equivalent degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or related fields. High average grade as well as excellent grades in courses on electronics are appreciated. You are highly motivated to pursue scientific research in the field of integrated circuit design. Some relevant industry design experience after Master’s degree is a plus, but not necessary. Your background and interests can be in any field of integrated circuit design. In addition, advantageous is if you have
- knowledge of analog & mixed-signal design flow, CMOS technology flavors for high speed & low power design.
- experience with simulation and synthesis tools, such as Cadence Virtuoso, Synopsys DC, Cadence Innovus/Encounter, Matlab, etc.
- experience with hardware description languages (e.g. VHDL, Verilog) and scripting languages (e.g. Python, TCL) is a plus.
- knowledge in signal processing is a plus, but not necessary at the time of recruitment.
In addition, you need to meet the following requirements to be considered for this post:
a) Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) shall at the time of recruitment by the host organisation be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited.
b) At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country (Finland) of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status (under the 1951 Geneva Convention and the 1967 Protocol) are not taken into account. We, however, encourage befitting candidates in Finland to contact us as well, since we have similar open positions within the project framework in other countries, where the candidates may be able to apply. Early-Stage Researchers must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers, starting at the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate.
If considered for the position, you will be requested to prove that you comply with those requirements.
How to apply
Please submit your application through our recruiting system (https://www.aalto.fi/en/open-positions/doctoral-candidates-in-integrated-ci…) and include the following documents in English:
- Letter of motivation & brief description of your research interests
- Course transcripts of Master’s studies with grades and Certificate of Master’s degree. If degree certificate is not yet obtained, state the expected finish date for studies in the letter of motivation. Please include a complete academic record (credits and grades), including information on the grade point average, the maximum possible grade in the grading system that is in use at your university as well as the minimum passing grade. If possible, provide also a ranking within your class.
- Curriculum Vitae (including list of publications if any)
- References (attach recommendation letters or share names and contact information of two researchers that we can contact)
We will fill in the positions after the application deadline 16.8.2020. The position start date is during the autumn of 2020.
Please note, your application may be circulated within the consortium members as part of the hiring process.
If you wish to hear more about the position, please contact Dr. Vishnu Unnikrishnan, email@example.com or Professor Jussi Ryynanen, firstname.lastname@example.org.