PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a method for determining distances by targeting an object with light and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. With the rapid development of machine learning and image signal processing technology, LiDAR is expanding its application to various fields and is receiving a lot of attention, especially in automotive (autonomous driving) and AR/VR applications.
Current mainstream LiDAR (i.e. direct time of flight using SPAD) technology has limitations. Noise arising from the ambient light and insufficient active light signal due to eye-safety restriction are a few of those limitations. FMCW LiDAR has the potential to overcome these limitations since the continuous-wave operation avoids eye hazards (as high peak powers are no longer needed) while the coherent detection provides immunity to interference from solar glare and other light sources—including lidars used by other cars.
However, the huge potential that the optical coherent detection offers to enable long-range, high-resolution FMCW Lidar systems has not yet been realized into its full application potential. Therefor advanced silicon design techniques should also be used, as have been done in the past in imec’s 140 GHz FMCW radar systems.
Imec has a good track record in developing building blocks of the FMCW LiDAR, such as light sources and photodetectors, and is also known as one of the best design houses of FMCW radar. The goal of this PhD is to develop a FMCW LiDAR readout IC by fully valorizing all the underlying technologies of Imec. You will design the FMCW readout IC and collaborate with the Imec optical experts and other researchers to build a high-resolution FMCW LiDAR system.
You are a highly motivated recent graduate, holding a Master’s degree in electrical engineering, or related. You have a strong capability in circuit design and basic device physics plus an understanding of modern semiconductor processing. You are a team player and have good communication skills as you will work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team spanning several imec departments. Given the international character of imec, excellent knowledge of English is a must.
Required background: electrical engineering with a strong affinity for RF IC design in advanced silicon technology nodes and a good background on optics
Type of work: 10% literature study, 20% simulation, 40% design, 30% characterization
Supervisor: Jan Genoe
Co-supervisor: Piet Wambacq
Daily advisor: Jiwon Lee
The reference code for this position is 2022-104. Mention this reference code on your application form.