PhD position on high-speed IC design for optical I/O


Place:  Ghent, Belgium

About the employer

Ghent University is one of the most important education and research institutions in the Low Countries, ranked 71 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. On a daily basis, over 15,000 staff members and 49,000 students implement its motto "Dare to Think". Ghent University's mission statement is characterized by qualitative education, internationally renowned research and a pluralistic social responsibility. 

The IDLab research group is also a core group of imec. Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan.

All of these particular traits make IDLab a top-class research employer.

Description of post

The Design group of the Ghent University-imec IDLab research group is currently looking for several new PhD and post-doc researchers. The Design team is internationally recognized as a leading research group on high-speed and high-frequency integrated circuits for next-generation communications systems. At this moment, the Design group is for example active in nine European projects, one ESA project and in direct research contracts with world-leading industry partners. These collaborations form the perfect basis for high-level and industry-relevant research in an environment with expert peers and top-notch test and measurement equipment. The main research lines focus on wired (fiber-optic, radio-over-fiber), wireless (5G, mmWave) and instrumentation for which custom CMOS or SiGe BiCMOS chips are developed and integrated in system demonstrators.

To strengthen our design team, this vacancy is looking for a strong research profile on analog and mixed-signal circuit design for next generation high-speed driver, receiver and equalizer circuits with very-low power consumption for high-density optical I/O to provide Terabit per second connectivity in GPU-based computing systems. To realize compact, low-power, high-performance optical transceivers extensive co-design of photonic and electronic chips has become a necessity, one of the specialties of the research group. Furthermore, optical switching is envisioned in the optical network to efficiently distribute the workloads among computing units, requiring dedicated burst-mode circuits to handle such data packets efficiently. 

Our offer

We offer a fully funded PhD position for full-time research in a highly international, renowned and friendly working environment, with a competitive salary at Ghent University. As a researcher you will publish and present your research results at major international conferences and in scientific journals in order to pursue your PhD degree and you will receive the possibility to follow various advanced training courses in Belgium or abroad.

Typical research projects in the Design group involve multiple researchers with different specialties working as a team. Hence, a good team spirit, a good knowledge of English and effective communication skills (such as presenting and reporting) are of major importance for a successful collaboration.

Your profile

  • You need to hold a relevant master’s degree e.g., Master of Science in Electrical Engineering or Electronics Engineering
  • Strong background in the design and realization of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits using advanced SiGe BiCMOS or CMOS processes
  • Proficiency with design tools such as Cadence, Mentor Graphics, electromagnetic simulators, parasitic extraction and verification tools
  • Additional experience considered as a plus:
    • Work experience (academic or industrial) or publications
    • Experimental characterization of high-speed, high-frequency components and (sub-) systems
    • Principles of optical Communications, signal processing, optical devices and photonics circuits
  • Your English is fluent, both speaking and writing
  • You are a team player with good networking and reporting skills


Send your application or any questions concerning this vacancy to Prof. Johan Bauwelinck,

Applications should include a CV, a personal motivation letter, and contact information of three reference persons. After screening, selected candidates will be invited for an online interview as a first contact in a multi-stage selection process. Applications remain welcome until the position is filled.