Pushed by ever increasing requirements in throughput, mobility and ubiquity, wired and wireless communications are constantly evolving towards more and more complex systems. Today, designing a new connectivity network cannot be seen any more as an isolated PHY and MAC exercise. The whole communication network is impacted or needs to be considered. This includes the WLAN or cellular network, the fixed access to homes and offices, the wireless or optical backhauling, possibly a high altitude platform (HAP) or satellite access component, etc.. Current examples in the making today are 5G-phase 2 going all the way from sub-6GHz to 90GHz, Extreme Throughput (ET) in IEEE 802.11, HAP or satellite access networks such as Google-X, SpaceX or OneWeb. These new systems are supported by advances in semiconductor technology such as deeply scaled CMOS, SiGe, III-V, improvements in phased array technologies such as MU-MIMO and hybrid beamforming and improvements in signal processing and, more recently, machine learning.
The goal of this PhD will be to develop and analyze the most challenging “building blocks” of future broadband wired, optical and wireless networks. That includes system level definition and simulations at the link and system level, finding optimal partitioning of technologies and processing. A critical aspect will be to include the performance of the semiconductor technologies, including limitations (e.g. output power) and non-idealities (e.g. linearity, phase noise) into account in the models. Signal processing and, probably, machine learning will be key ingredients of this research. New frontiers will be explored in terms of bandwidth (tens of GHz) and carrier frequencies (above 100GHz).
The successful PhD candidate will be part of a large IMEC team working on the research, implementation and prototyping of future communications systems: digital, analog and mm-wave ASIC designers, optical communications experts, PHY, MAC and higher layer experts, software and firmware experts.
Required background: Engineering science, Communications theory, Signal processing
Type of work: 90% modeling/simulation, 10% literature
Supervisor: Piet Wambacq
Daily advisor: Andre Bourdoux
The reference code for this position is 1812-83. Mention this reference code on your application form.