Postdoctoral Researcher Architecture and Circuit Exploration for 3D Monolithic Logic Integration

Leuven - Research & development
More than two weeks ago

Explore 3D Monolithic Logic Integration as a postdoctoral researcher.


Postdoctoral Researcher Architecture and Circuit Exploration for 3D Monolithic Logic Integration

What you will do

3D logic integration or stacking is a very attractive option now that the pure 2D planar dimensional CMOS roadmap is showing strong signs of saturation in terms of PPAC figures of merit. However, direct stacking of multiple CMOS FEOL-BEOL layers in a sequential way has major challenges in terms of cost scaling so this is economically not that attractive. 3D Flash memories have overcome this hurdle by a pure
monolithic scaling process with a mask and process step scheme that is shared across all layers.
To extend this towards logic we see several technical and scientific challenges however:
  • The goal is to have a 1 process step/mask-set based flow which can generate a wide N-bit digital programmable microprocessor, similar like 3D NAND Flash implementation achieves now. But it is highly non-obvious to generalize the NAND solution to a programmable logic core because this requires a pure planar metal, active and gate material layout without any crossings. No solution has been found for that yet in literature.
  • In order to achieve a large enough market volume to motivate the huge NRE costs, the application domain where such a programmable microprocessor is focused on should be very broad. That creates even more challenges for the process step/integration flow and no-crossing layout scheme. It also requires to support advanced microprocessor features such as support for subword parallelism/SIMD and more complex ALU instructions.
  • We need to pass instruction bits through the vertical monolithic stack to program the ALU bit slices and that is again highly non-obvious. Several innovative technology solutions have to be explored to create such a "vertical delay line".
  • We should not only have a solution for the logic core, but we have to add foreground memory, background data memory, instruction storage and an I/O interface.  The standard/conventional circuit and architecture techniques for these crucial components have to be adapted to fit into the monolithic 3D integration flow. That is again highly non-obvious.
In this postdoc period, we would also like to tape out a small prototype/test structure to evaluate the viability of the proposed key solutions and to calibrate the layout and electrical models in our simulation flows. 

What we do for you

We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow. 
We are proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth. 
We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a competitive salary.

Who you are

  • You have a Ph.D. degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering
  • We are looking for your knowledge in advanced CMOS and memory technologies
  • We need your experience with logic synthesis and computer architecture
  • We value your experience with industry-standard EDA tools like Cadence/Synopsys
  • We are looking for a good team player and your ability to work independently
  • You have excellent English communication skills and enjoy working in a multicultural environment
This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).

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