PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago
An ever-increasing demand for a huge amount of data from AI, AR/VR and 3D holograms in daily life necessitates communication systems with high data rates and low latency everywhere. Started from the 5G evolution, outperforming 4G communication systems, 6G utilizing even broader bandwidth at D-band (110-170 GHz) is rapidly emerging as a candidate for future wireless communication systems. Integrated radar sensors with low power, small area and high detection capability are another key enabler of the IoT era where numerous sensors collect data in various applications such as driving assistant systems, vital sign monitoring and gesture recognition. Since the radar’s range resolution and displacement detection capability improve with higher bandwidth and operating frequency, respectively, the frequency spectrum above 100 GHz where mm-range resolution can be achieved, draws huge attention in consumer markets. Another promising application that might use the D-band is joint communication and sensing (JCAS) where transceivers perform communication and sensing at the same time to mutually help target detection and communication.
Advances in CMOS technology have accelerated a drastic development of integrated transceivers for wireless communication and radar transceivers in the last few decades. However, silicon-based transistors operating above 100 GHz yield limited output power, efficiency and gain. As an alternative semiconductor technology, InP exhibits higher output power thanks to a higher breakdown voltage, higher gain, higher efficiency with higher fT/fMAX. World leading research groups including imec have already dived into the design of D-band front-end circuits in InP. Most research activities are limited to the power amplifier and the superior InP device properties are not yet fully explored for the other key building blocks of D-band transceivers.In this PhD work, you will focus on designing innovative front-end circuits for D-band transceivers in InP technology. Starting from the deep understanding of an InP transistor and the state-of-the-art D-band transceiver architectures with their limitations and challenges, the key building blocks of the communication and radar transceivers such as a power amplifier, frequency multiplier, mixer, low-noise amplifier, phase shifter and VCO will be implemented and, ultimately, a full D-band InP transceiver will be constructed by combining the gradually developed components. You will contribute to the InP design activities of imec while at the same time have the freedom to propose and develop your own ideas under supervision and support of analog/mm-wave/sub-THz design experts at imec.
Required background: We are looking for excellent candidates that have a strong background in RF and analog IC design and preferably have some experience with high-frequency design, layout or measurement techniques.
Type of work: 10% literature, 20% architectural study, 60% IC design, 10% measurement
Supervisor: Piet Wambacq
Daily advisor: Sehoon Park
The reference code for this position is 2024-079. Mention this reference code on your application form.