EngD Program at TU/e:
The post-master designer program is a prestigious two-year salaried program in the field of technological design, leading to an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) degree. It develops the trainee's capabilities to work within a professional engineering context, in an application- and system-design-oriented setting.Description of the HiCONNECTS project:
The project is a large consortium of companies, academics, and research institutes that are trying to address heterogeneous integration for connectivity and sustainability (HiCONNECTS). The high-level objective of HiCONNECTS is to support major societal and industrial challenges by developing heterogeneous integration (HI) technology solutions for energy-efficient and high-performance wireless/wired cloud and edge computing as well as automotive radar. The aim is to solve two of the main challenges: the transmission of Internet of Things (IoT) data over the IT network and the sensing of objects to enable Highly Automated Driving (HAD).
The high latency, limited bandwidth, and high energy consumption per bit of current wireless/cloud platforms cannot satisfy IoT applications. Furthermore, the current radars are not sufficient for Level 4 and 5 HAD. The objective of this project is to use the HI components to develop solutions in societal and economically important areas, with a major focus on RF technologies (Wi-Fi, 5G/6G, and radar) and IT data growth infrastructure (networking cards and switches) for the advancement of sectors such as connected vehicles, smart cities, and connected industry.
HiCONNECTS' s scope includes the design and manufacturing of high-performance Radio Frequency (RF) as well as energy-efficient cloud and edge Information Technology (IT) components and systems in addition to manufacturing technology enhancements. HiCONNECTS' s scope includes also 'Heterogeneous integration' pilot lines at multiple partners; manufacturing partners; key automotive applications demonstrators in Europe, public safety, and life science and health industries, where efficient high-speed transmission of data is essential and is relevant for society and the economic growth.Tasks for the EngD in the project:Ferdinand Braun Institute
(FBH) with academia, equipment manufacturer, IC, and packaging manufacturers is leading a pilot line that integrates high-speed electronics and photonics with broadband interconnect technology into a seamless module using heterogeneous integration (HI) technologies. The focus of this pilot line lies on high-speed wide bandwidth electronics development. The foreseen data throughput, as described above, necessitates instantaneous bandwidths well beyond 100 GHz. Direct modulated laser and modulator photonic chips are flip-chips mounted to electronic driver amplifiers forming high data rate optoelectronic transmitting components. In addition, TU/e will develop broadband SiGe BiCMOS driver amplifiers with beyond 100 GHz bandwidth connecting to the MZM modulators in InP technology. TU/e will employ a SiGe BiCMOS electronics technology, and this will pave the way to the hetero-integration of InP electronic and photonic components. This HI approach will be followed beyond HiCONNECTS activities.
The electrical driver in an optical communication system provides sufficient current/voltage signal for the optical modulator. This work will develop on the work carried out in the H2020 WIPE project
on the development of wide-bandwidth BiCMOS drivers for optical communication systems. This work would explore the development of 200 GHz bandwidth drivers in a SiGe BiCMOS technology. As a part of this development, several driver topologies will be considered and an improved design methodology will be implemented to enable wide bandwidth and low group-delay variation (less than 10 %) in the electronic driver.
Furthermore, this work will consider the co-design of the electronic driver and the optical modulator. This co-design will be a step towards the integration of BiCMOS electronics and InP photonics. This work would involve a re-think of the driver-modulator system and will explore several system-level designs to enable the co-integration. This task will be in synchronization with the electronic driver design. As a part of this co-integration, 3D packaging technology, such as flip-chip or through-polymer vias will be considered to enable the integration of BiCMOS and InP dies.