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PhD Studentship - Probabilistic Computing Hardware Architectures

Centre for Electronics Frontiers

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 31 August 2021
Reference:  1375121PN

Supervisory Team:    Alexander Serb, Themistoklis Prodromakis

Project description

The aim of this PhD studentship is to develop systems capable of operating on probability distributions much like current systems operate on scalars and vectors. These systems will be used for computing directly in the probability domain. Such systems could enable modern electronics to deal with ambiguity much more naturally, as well as much more reliably than current approaches. We anticipate this to become a key next-generation AI hardware accelerator type and has the potential to be applied in a variety of environments, especially safety-critical ones ranging from autonomous vehicles to industrial robotics and medical devices. The project covers a wide spectrum of experimental research, including mixed-signal IC and/or embedded design, machine learning and programming. The PhD student will have the opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary team and to be trained and work in the world-class facilities of the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics. We welcome applications from candidates with a background in electronics, computer science, physics and maths. Prior experience with programming (Python, Tensor Flow), circuit design and data science are highly desired.

The Centre for Electronics Frontiers

The Centre for Electronics Frontiers at the University of Southampton is a dynamic interdisciplinary Centre that delivers novel solutions for advanced sensory systems, energy technologies and unconventional computing architectures. 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.

Our ambition is to push the frontiers of electronics through emerging nanotechnologies, disrupting current ways of thinking by innovating advanced nano/bio-sensors, safe and efficient energy storage solutions and novel Hardware for AI. To realise this vision, we are seeking exceptional candidates to join our team, interested in devoting their passion for addressing some of the challenges we have identified.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Alex Serb, 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 Electronics, Engineering, Machine learning, Computer Science or a closely related subject.

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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