The Microelectronics group of Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain) and Infineon Technologies Austria AG invite applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Mixed-Signal Microelectronics.
The research topic is VCO-based MEMS microphones for wearables or portable devices. The target application is ultralow power Voice Activated Detection or Keyword Detection module integrated with a fully featured microphone in the same dice implemented in nanometer CMOS technologies.
The read-out circuit of the MEMS microphone will provide to the edge computing block a frequency encoding of the voice signal.
The position is in the frame of a H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) action for Early Stage Researchers within the project TEVI (Time-Encoded Voice Interfaces).
The position is vacant from april 2021. The grant covers 3 years of full time research (50% time in Spain, 50% time in Austria).
Salary according to the Spanish and Austrian salary scales.
TEVI is aimed to propose new time-encoded techniques for low power solutions towards smart audio sensors implemented with nanometric CMOS process nodes including raw data processing, digitization, feature extraction and classification.
The Early Stage Researcher (PhD student, ESR) will be assigned to the work package devoted for the design and implementation of raw data processing of innovative MEMS microphones.
The student will carry out research tasks related to MEMS electrical modelling and experimental evaluation, audio signal processing and mixed-signal microelectronics design, not only on his / her own, but working with the students assigned to the other work packages of TEVI.
The research will involve both Carlos III University of Madrid and Infineon Technologies Austria AG, so the student will spend half of the time in Madrid (Spain) and half of the time in Villach (Austria) supervised by PhD Advisors in each sector.
Infineon technologies brings in the expertise in the MEMS sensor market, in particular in microphones, where it is a world leader.
Carlos III University will bring in its expertise in VCO-based ADCs which has been transferred to MEMS microphone industry in the past through previous EU projects.
The student will acquire expertise in interdisciplinary fields such as MEMS technology, signal processing, Artificial Intelligence, low power mixed signal microelectronics and transversal skills.
The experience gained through this PhD program is highly appreciated by semiconductor corporations, providing him / her a valuable expertise background for a future career in the microelectronics industry.
Wearable sensors has recently attracted the attention of the researchers due to the high demand in the market for different applications, and many of them requires working in adverse conditions, such as dust or wet conditions.
Sensing voice and audio for keyword spotting and voice detection in wet conditions is a difficult task due to the attenuation of certain frequencies in some sensors, or due to high noise in some others.
The read-out circuit plays also an important role in the whole solution. Time-encoding data converters are scalable in narrow nodes, they occupy very small silicon area and are very low-power.
They can also bring an analog encoding of the signal suitable for the feature extraction block. The main responsibility of the ESR will be researching on most efficient time-encoding based systems for a set of innovative audio sensors.
The circuit will have an analog output for the feature extraction block and digital output with raw data, balancing power consumption and resolution.
The whole system composed of sensor and time-encoded read-out circuit will be optimized to have an efficient sensor for edge computing in wearables.
The ESR will need to participate in the sensor electrical model development and evaluation, and take part in the whole process of nanometric chip manufacturing, starting with the proposal of new ideas / architectures at system level, going on with the proper design at schematic level and translation to layout, and ending with experimental measurements of prototypes in the laboratory related to power consumption, noise rejection, and resolution.
Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain) was founded in 1989 and is currently ranking 16th in Europe on QS Top 50 (young universities) Under 50 2020 ranking.
Carlos III University of Madrid contributes to the improvement of society through teaching of the highest quality and cutting-edge research in line with stringent international guidelines.
The fellowship will take place (50%) in the School of Engineering, located in Leganes (Madrid).
Infineon Technologies is one of the leaders of the semiconductor market worldwide, providing semiconductor solutions for automotive, industrial power control, sensing and connected system sectors.
Infineon Technologies ranked the 10th largest semiconductor company worldwide in sales in 2020. The fellowship will take place (50%) in the facilities of the company located in Villach (Austria).