English version

Coupled constraints on complex digital integrated circuits

(Ref. BAP-2017-5)

Tewerkstelling : Voltijds
Duur : Bepaalde duur
Plaats : Geel
Solliciteren tot en met : 31/03/2017
For the Electrical Engineering (ESAT) TC, Technology Campus Geel, Research group ADVISE we are looking for a PhD student in the field of integrated circuit design.

Coupled constraints on complex digital integrated circuits

The Advanced Integrated Sensing lab (ADVISE – http://www.kuleuven.be/advise) is a research group from the Faculty of Engineering Technology of KU Leuven at Technology Campus Geel. ADVISE unites a broad experience in both hardware (design and testing of both PCB and integrated circuit implementations) and software (real-time processing and analysis of large multimodal datasets). This unique combination of expertise enables the development of integrated sensing and communication systems for harsh (radiation) environments or with extremely high reliability requirements. The ADVISE research group has a strong reputation in the field of radiation hardened micro- and nanoelectronic circuit design. The group is also recognized as associate member of the world wide CMS (Complex Muon Solenoid) collaboration with 3500 researchers from all over the world. CMS is one of the largest high energy physics experiments installed on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

This Early Stage Researcher (ESR) PhD position is opened for one of fifteen ESRs to be hired in the framework of the Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovation Training Network RADSAGA (http://radsaga.web.cern.ch). During recent years, radiation concerns are gaining attention also in aviation, automotive, medical and other industrial sectors due to the growing ubiquity and complexity of electronic systems and their increased radiation sensitivity owing to technology scaling. This raises the demand for dedicated design and qualification guidelines, as well as associated technical expertise. The training network "RADiation and Reliability Challenges for Electronics used in Space, Aviation, Ground and Accelerators" (RADSAGA) will for the first time bring together industry, universities, laboratories and test-facilities in order to innovate and train young scientists and engineers in all aspects related to electronics exposed to radiation. A total of fifteen ESR PhD project will focus on different aspects of radiation effects in electronics.


The long-term reliability of recent CMOS technologies is impacted by different intrinsic degradation mechanisms that progressively alter their electrical characteristics (BTI, TDDB...). Those mechanisms exhibit significant dispersions related to the process details and variability, and due to the variety of mission profiles at gate-level. The parametric evolution induced by those mechanisms constitutes a reliability risk, both directly, by compromising the electronic functions, and indirectly, by weakening the circuit robustness to external perturbations like radiation. To date, radiation testing standards are based on fresh devices characterization. In this project, the impact of ageing on the radiation susceptibility of complex integrated circuits in sub-65nm technologies will be investigated. Key components of an application-representative on-board computing system will be selected and their susceptibility to radiation effects will be individually tested at different steps of accelerated ageing. Specific test procedures will be optimized for each type of component in order to be representative of different mission profiles in terms of electrical and thermal workload. Dynamic models of the components robustness to radiation effects will be developed, taking into account the intrinsic performance degradation, and calibrated based on experimental campaigns. Those models will then be linked to prediction tools from the other ESR projects. The impact of coupled constraints on ICs end-of-life reliability will be estimated for different environments. The results will be confronted to system-level results in order to validate the system-level testing approach.


We are looking for a candidate who holds (or will soon receive) a Masterdegree in Electronic Engineering or an equivalent degree. Some experience in orknowledge of CMOS integrated circuit design is required. The candidate shouldhave a strong interest in electronics and nuclear physics.  Finally, good knowledge of English isrequired.

The candidate should have a maximum of four years of full-time researchexperience, including any period of research training, after obtaining the degreewhich formally allowed them to embark on a doctorate in the country in whichthe degree/diploma was obtained or in the host country (irrespective of whetheror not a doctorate was envisaged).

ESRs cannot be PhD holders at the start of their employment contract.

The European Commission's mobility rules state : At the time ofrecruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided orcarried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of theirhost organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior tothe reference date. Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory nationalservice are not taken into account. In case above requirement prevents you fromapplying for a KU Leuven position, please look at the related positions at ourRADSAGA partner institutes.

Proficiency in English is required; training in other languages can beprovided through the ITN's training budget.


The duration of the PhD project is 4 years, starting between July and October, 2017.


For more information contact Prof.dr.ir. Paul Leroux (paul.leroux@kuleuven.be). The application process will be managed by CERN. Please refer to http://radsaga.web.cern.ch/how-apply.

You can apply for this job no later than March 31, 2017 via the

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