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Radiation tolerant, All-Digital Frequency Synthesizers - Belgium  

KU Leuven (company)


Posted on : 18 May 2017

Project Description

  • High performance clock generation or frequency synthesizers are used in almost all of today's state-of-the art systems. 
  • Environments containing ionizing radiation such as high-energy physics experiments (like the ATLAS and CMS detectors at the LHC at CERN), nuclear fusion reactors and space tend to increase the performance of their systems towards current state-of-the art achieved circuits. 
  • However, ionizing radiation degrade the silicon performance over time and generates so called single-event effects in the devices which disturb the signals in the circuits. 
  • Historically, multi- GHz clock generators and frequency synthesizers were designed in a traditional analog way but developments in all-digital Phase Locked Loops (PLLs) have shown competing performances in terms of noise, power consumption and flexibility.
  •  Furthermore these circuits may be more suitable in the targeted applications where ionizing radiation is a concern.
  • In this project, you will be doing research on low noise, radiation hardened all-digital PLLs. 
  • During this work, circuit developments will be done and new architectures will be investigated to mitigate single-event effects in all-digital PLLs.
  •  The PhD focus both on the analog, radiation aware design of digital controlled oscillators (DCOs) and digital architectures for the loop control. 
  • These mixed signal circuits will be designed, processed and experimentally tested with ionizing radiation to verify the innovative work done in this PhD. 
  • The circuit techniques target better than 500 fs jitter with less than 10 mW power consumption. 
  • Radiation levels beyond 5 MGy are expected with an SEU tolerance above 100 MeVcm²/mg.

  • We are looking for a candidate who holds (or will soon hold) a Master degree in Electronic Engineering or an equivalent degree. 
  • Some experience in or knowledge of CMOS integrated circuit design is required.
  •  The candidate should have a strong interest in electronics and nuclear physics. 
  • Proficiency in English is required.

Besides a competitive salary and a flexible, dynamic and stimulating research environment, we offer a position in the ADVISE research group that has a leading experience in radiation tolerant integrated circuit design, collaborating closely with CERN.