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PhD Studentship - IC Design for In-Memory Computing

Centre for Electronics Frontiers

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 31 August 2021
Reference:  1374421PN

Supervisory Team:    Dr Shiwei Wang, Prof Themis Prodromakis

Project description

In-memory computing (IMC) is an emerging technology for high-performance computing. It addresses the von Neumann bottleneck and is deemed as a key cornerstone for the future of machine learning and artificial intelligence hardware. The innovation in IMC today is driven by the emerging novel memory devices, evolving neural network models and architectures, and the dynamic demand in the real-world applications. These bring challenges as well as opportunities to integrated circuit developments that are essential to bridge the gap from theory to the hardware implementations that address real-world problems efficiently. 

At the Centre for Electronics Frontiers (CEF) at the University of Southampton, we have developed cutting-edge memory technologies, based on which the team is expanding to delivers novel solutions for advanced sensory systems, bio-signal processing, energy technologies and unconventional computing architectures. This PhD topic will focus on the integrated circuits design for efficient in-memory computing. The candidate will have access to the emerging memory technologies developed in-house in addition to the full CMOS IC design platforms, which brings this research to a unique position to build memory-centric AI accelerator chips with high computing efficiency. The candidate will explore IMC architectures in collaboration with our experts on memory technologies and AI computing, and focus on transistor-level IC design to prototype the chip and eventually benchmark the chip in a real-world application. 

The PhD student will learn industry standard IC design methodologies and will have the opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary research team and to be trained and work in the world-class facilities of the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics. Our team encompasses diverse expertise ranging from materials process development to electronic devices, circuits, and systems. This knowledge combined with our state-of-art facilities and strong collaborations with industry enables us to offer unique solutions to real-world problems. The candidate for this project will also have opportunities for placement and internships with our collaborators from industry and other leading research institutions. 

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Shiwei Wang, Centre for Electronics Frontiers, Email:

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent) or an MEng/MSc (or equivalent, or near completion) with first class honours or distinction in Electronic Engineering or a closely related subject such as Computer Engineering. We welcome applications from candidates with a strong background in analogue & mixed-signal circuit design. Knowledge on memory basics, computer architecture, neural networks, and prior design experience with data converters are highly desired. Industrial IC design or successful tape-out experiences will be a strong plus.

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Nanoelectronics (Full time)”. 

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

 For further information please contact: 


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