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PhD Studentship in Microelectronics (Mixed-Mode Processor Circuits)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, April 22, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a 3.5 year PhD studentship in the field of analogue and mixed-mode circuit design for computing. The work will be carried out in the Microelectronics Design Laboratory, under the guidance of Professor Piotr Dudek.

The PhD student will be associated with the multi-million pound FORTE project, which is a collaboration between The University of Manchester (Schools of EEE and Computer Science), Imperial College London, and University of Southampton. The FORTE project aims to develop configurable circuits using memristors – novel nanoelectronic devices which promise to revolutionise the design of future computing systems.

This PhD project will focus on the design of general-purpose programmable processor circuits using analogue and mixed-mode computations, in particular exploiting memristors to implement memory and arithmetic/logic primitives. The memristor devices will be integrated with conventional silicon integrated circuit technologies, to implement full-scale computing systems.
The student will investigate the methods of mapping computations onto suitable circuit topologies, implementation, and system-level aspects of the design. Of particular interest is the question of exploiting device characteristics, and coping with the variability and stochastic nature of the device operation. The project will involve prototyping custom VLSI integrated circuits, which will be designed using advanced EDA tools for circuit simulation and layout, fabricated using state-of-the-art commercial CMOS fabs, and integrated with memristor layers at our partner institutions. Complete devices will be tested using our comprehensive set of IC test equipment.

The student will be expected to occasionally travel to project meetings at partner institutions, and to international conferences and training workshops.

Please note that a second PhD studentship is also available on this project, focusing on the design of neuromorphic/machine learning circuits (see separate advert).

The candidates should have or expect to obtain a UK first class honours degree (or equivalent) in electronics, electrical engineering, computer engineering or a similar subject. They should have a strong interest in both hardware circuit design and novel computing architecture, with a motivation to pursue a doctorate in an intellectually challenging field requiring both the originality of thinking as well as developing solid hardware design skills.

Funding Notes

The award will cover tuition fees at the UK / EU rate. There is also a starting stipend (standard EPSRC rate) for eligible candidates. Please note that due to funding restrictions candidates must be UK or EU citizens (EU residents must have been resident in the UK for 3 years to be eligible for full funding).


For further details please contact Professor Piotr Dudek ([email protected]).

How to apply: Interested applicants should send an up-to-date CV to Ms Marie Davies at [email protected] with a covering letter explaining their interest and suitability for this research. The project can start as soon as possible depending on admissions cycles and the availability of the most suitable candidates.

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