Image sensors have become a commodity in the consumer space. These days, smartphones have up to four image sensors, some of them operating up to 1000 frames per second (fps). Industrial applications such as security and surveillance, machine vision and medical diagnostic equipment require ever faster image sensors to enable new, better and more accurate use cases. Effective speed of >10,000,000 fps are known to unlock applications such as 3D Time-of-flight, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM), and burst-mode imaging. At the same time, high-speed operation comes with huge challenges on handling the large amount of data and to create the right circuitry and architectures to operate the sensors.
At imec, research is ongoing on the development of pixel technologies capable of operating in these ultra-high-speed conditions. In the proposed PhD, we will look into system and circuit solutions to build image sensors to operate with these technologies, and enable the high-speed imaging solutions of the future. Concepts which will be explored are high-speed readout architectures, high-speed, low-jitter and low-skew control architectures for event-driven applications, compatible with these new pixel technologies, such as novel pixel types, hybrid pixels or 3D stacking. These architectures and circuits should deliver the target challenging performance, while mitigating the specific issues encountered with the new technologies and specifications. During the PhD, literature study, design and validation on chips designed by the candidate will form the daily work.
Required background: electrical engineering or equivalent
Type of work: 15% literature, 45% technology study, 40% experimental work
Supervisor: Piet Wambacq
Co-supervisor: Jan Craninckx
Daily advisor: David San Segundo Bello
The reference code for this PhD position is SE1712-29. Mention this reference code on your application form.