PhD positions on Seamless design of Smart Edge Processors

PhD positions on Seamless design of Smart Edge Processors

Published Deadline Location
15 Aug 4 Sep Eindhoven

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The Electronic Systems (ES) group within the Department of Electrical Engineering of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is seeking to hire four outstanding PhD candidates within the Horizon Europe project CONVOLVE (

Job description


With the rise of deep learning (DL), our world braces for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in every edge device, creating an urgent need for Edge-AI processing hardware. Unlike existing solutions, this hardware needs to support high throughput, reliable, and secure AI processing at ultra-low power (ULP), combined with a very short time to market.

With its strong legacy in edge solutions and open processing platforms, the EU is ideally positioned to become the leader in this edge-AI market. However, certain roadblocks keep the EU from assuming this leadership role: Edge processors need to become 100x more energy efficient; Their complexity demands automated design with 10x design-time reduction; They must be secure and reliable to get accepted; Finally, they should be flexible and powerful to support the rapidly evolving DL domain.

CONVOLVE addresses these roadblocks in Edge-AI. To that end, it will take a holistic approach with innovations at all levels of the design stack, including:
  1. On-edge continuous learning for improved accuracy, self-healing, and reliable adaptation to non-stationary environments
  2. Rethinking DL models through dynamic neural networks, event-based execution, and sparsity
  3. Transparent compilers supporting automated code optimizations and domain-specific languages
  4. Fast compositional design of System-on-Chips (SoC)
  5. Digital accelerators for dynamic ANN and SNN
  6. ULP memristive circuits for computation-in-memory
  7. Holistic integration in SoCs supporting secure execution with real-time guarantees
The CONVOLVE consortium includes some of Europe's strongest research groups and industries, covering the whole design stack and value chain. In a community effort, we will demonstrate Edge-AI computing in real-life vision and audio domains. By combining these innovative ULP and fast design solutions, CONVOLVE will, for the first time, enable reliable, smart, and energy-efficient edge-AI devices at a rapid time-to-market and low cost, and as such, opens the road for EU leadership in edge-processing.


We are seeking highly skilled and motivated candidates to tackle any of the following four research areas:

PhD1: Ultra-low power CGRA for Dynamic ANNs and SNNs: Research and develop near-memory computing engines based on Coarse-Grained Reconfigurable Architectures (CGRA) using a flexible memory fabric for Dynamic Neural Networks. These designs need to be equipped with self-healing mechanisms to (partly) recover in the event of failures, enhancing system-level reliability. The accelerators may also have knobs to exploit near-threshold and approximate computing for extreme energy-efficient operation.

PhD2: Design-flow for SNNs and ANNs implemented in compiler: Research and develop a high-quality compiler backend for CGRAs targets supporting SNNs and ANNs. Compared to existing solutions, the energy efficiency needs to be improved by exploiting SIMD, memory hierarchy, reuse, sparsity, etc.

PhD3: Compositional performance analysis and architecture Design Space Exploration (DSE): Research and develop an infrastructure to model energy & latency at the SoC level, including the SoC level memory hierarchy and processing host, as well as integrating the different accelerator component models. To support rapid evaluations needed for the DSE, analytical models need to be pursued. The development of compositional models will moreover enable run-time performance assessment of an application when the platform configuration changes due to a failing platform component.

PhD4: Composable and Secure SoC accelerator platform: Research and develop novel composable and real-time design techniques to realize an ultra-low-power and real-time Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) for an SoC platform consisting of RISC-V cores with several accelerators. Different security features that protect against physical attacks need to be integrated into the SoC platform, while maintaining ultra-low-power and real-time requirements of the applications. The platform should allow easy integration of Post-Quantum Cryptography accelerators and Compute-In-Memory (CIM) based hardware accelerators.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


For all these positions we are looking for excellent, teamwork-oriented, and research-driven candidates with an Electrical Engineering or related background and strong hardware/software design skills. Applications from computer science and AI MSc students with affinity for hardware implementation are also welcomed.

Electronic Systems group

The Electronic Systems group ( is a top research group consisting of five full professors, two associate professors, seven assistant professors, several postdocs, about 40 PDEng and PhD candidates, and support staff. The ES group is world-renowned for its design automation and embedded systems research. It is our ambition to provide a scientific basis for design trajectories of electronic systems, ranging from digital circuits to cyber-physical systems. The trajectories are constructive and lead to high-quality, cost-effective systems with predictable properties (functionality, timing, reliability, power dissipation, and cost). Design trajectories for applications that have strict real-time requirements and stringent power constraints are an explicit focus point of the group.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V36.5607


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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