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Department of Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Edison - Faculty: Technical Sciences

Two-year Postdoc position on design and implementation of low power CMOS design for memristive neuromorphic computing systems

Deadline 31 Dec

Expected start 1 Mar

  • Department of Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Edison Finlandsgade 22 8200 Aarhus N

  • Fixed term full-time position 1 Mar 2021 - 28 Feb 2023 ID: 4749

The Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, invites applicants for a 2-year Postdoc position offering applicants an exciting opportunity to join a new research project on weighted spintronic-nano-oscillator-based neuromorphic computing system assisted by laser for cognitive computing. The successful applicant will be part of a FET-OPEN project called SpinAge funded by European commission under Horizon 2020. 
We are looking for an enthusiast researcher (post-doctoral researcher) who wishes to investigate in design and implementation of the CMOS parts of a neuromorphic computing system assisted by laser for cognitive computing. It includes the design, implementation, and test of a low power RF readout circuit, interface circuits (current and voltage DACs), and an on-chip laser chip controller.

The position is available from 1 March 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Research area and project description:

Spintronics is a strong candidate for implementation of neuromorphic computing systems. Despite some progress [1-3], challenges such as lack of proper artificial neuron and synapse implementation resembling biological neural components, low speed, lack of any forward-looking architecture implementation, lack of proper algorithms for spintronic networks, lack of any simulation platforms that combine libraries from several emerging technologies together for a better assessment of larger networks, have hindered scaling of complex architectures [4].

Within an interdisciplinary project, SpinAge, funded by H2020 [5], we aim at development of a brain-inspired (neuromorphic computing) networks using synchronized spintronic oscillators [6] together with other European research teams [5] leading to orders of magnitudes improvement in performance. 

For this position, we aim at development of low-power CMOS interfacing chip for reading out the spintronic nano-oscillators (SHNOs/STNOs) and controlling the laser sources, which requires a background in RF and mixed-signal integrated circuit design, with a good understanding of the functionality of spintronic devices.

[1] J. Torrejon, , et al., Nature 547.7664, 428-431, (2017)
[2] A. Awad et al., Nature Phys. 13, 292, (2017)
[3] H. Farkhani, et al. Frontiers in Neuroscience 13 (2019).
[4] Grollier, J., et al. Nature Electronics (2020): 1-11.
[5] https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/899559
[6] M. Zahedinejad, et al. Nature Nanotechnology 15.1, 47-52, (2020).

Work description
You are expected to contribute to the design and implementation of the CMOS parts of a spintronic-based neuromorphic computing system including:
  • Design and implementation of a low-power RF readout circuit for measuring the output power/frequency of the SHNOs/STNOs.
  • Design and implementation of an on chip laser sources controller
  • Design and implementation of an ultra-low-power and fast temperature sensor
  • Design and implementation of the interface circuits which includes SPI and DACs
Applicants should hold a PhD in electronic engineering (the degree should have been completed within the last 5 years at most) with 3 years minimum experience in Analog IC Design. Candidates, who will complete and defend their PhD thesis by December 2020, are welcome:
  • The candidate should have experience in some or all the following blocks: RF IC (LNA, oscillator, and mixer), power management (LSDOs, bandgaps, and current reference), DAC/ADC, and sensor interface design
  • Experience is required in the CMOS process and design flow with an understanding of CAD/PDK, cell specification, Design, Layout and Verification as well as behavioral circuit modelling.
  • Prior tape-out experience, the results of which have been successfully published
  • Concrete knowledge in Cadence, MatLab and Verilog-A,
  • Experience in spintronic and Background in modelling is a plus
  • The candidate should have excellent verbal and writing skills in English with very good communication skills,
About the Electrical and Computer Engineering Section
Electrical and computer engineering are closely related engineering disciplines that focus on the development of hardware and software for intelligent units and networks. This includes hardware at system and component levels as well as many different types of software for controlling electronic devices and networks.

The research areas within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Section at the Department of Engineering support the development within this area. The outcome greatly influences our daily lives as advanced technologies are incorporated into an increasing number of products, for example in industrial processes, at hospitals and in information infrastructures.

A process has been initiated in terms of reorganizing of engineering at Aarhus University. Read more here: https://eng.au.dk/en/news-and-events/news/show/artikel/new-organisation-to-strengthen-engineering-at-aarhus-university-1/

Place of Employment and Place of Work
The place of work is Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus N, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments. 

Further information about the position may be obtained from: Assoc. Prof. Farshad Moradi, moradi@eng.au.dk and  Assist. Prof. Hooman Farkhani, farkhani@eng.au.dk

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in ques-tion before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Questions about the position?

Farshad Moradi

Farshad Moradi Associate professor, Department of Engineering - Integrated Nanoelectronics +4541893344 moradi@eng.au.dk

Questions about application and proces?

Nat-Tech Administrative Centre - HR Department +4587151306 Nat-Tech.HR.Emply@au.dk


Deadline: Thursday 31 Dec 2020 at 23:59 CET