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OPEN POST-DOC POSITION-Low cost testing of IoT transceivers - Sourcing an RF signal with digital tester channels

 “Low cost testing of IoT transceivers - Sourcing an RF signal with digital tester channels” 

Location: LIRMM, University of Montpellier/CNRS, France 

Funding: HADES European Project (Penta) 

Duration: 9 months, with possible extension 

Date: flexible starting date from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019 

Collaboration: NXP Semiconductors, Caen, France 

Position summary 

The general context of this post-doc is the development of low-cost methods to test RF devices, and more specifically a Smart Home Transceiver (2.4GHz) from NXP Semiconductors intended for Internet of Things (IoT) growing market. The conventional approach for testing such devices is specification-based testing, which relies on the direct measurement of the circuit performance parameters. This approach offers good test quality but at the price of extremely high testing costs, principally because it necessitates the use of dedicated testers equipped with sophisticated and expensive RF resources in order to generate and capture RF signals. Therefore, there is an immediate demand to develop new solutions that permits to reduce the testing costs of RF devices. 

The objective of the post-doc work is the development of a test solution that can be applied on standard digital tester. The main expected benefit resides in the dramatic reduction in the necessary test equipment since it permits to get rid of the expensive RF tester resources required for the conventional test method. Moreover, because digital channels are usually available in a large number on a standard ATE, it also offers the possibility to implement multi-site testing to further reduce the testing costs. 

More specifically, the work targets the generation of RF signals using only low-cost digital tester channels. The idea is to use several standard digital channels, to merge them as needed, in order to create the desired RF signal. For instance, by combining 10 digital channels with time-shifted pulses every 5ns (200MHz), it is possible to create an RF sine-wave signal at 2GHz. In this work, the objective will be to create, not only simple RF sine-wave signals, but modulated RF signals that comply with ZigBee and BLE standards. The main tasks will be, (i) to study the influence of digital channel defects (edge accuracy, rising/falling time …) on the RF signal parameters (mainly phase noise at various frequency offsets) and, (ii) to provide a tool to generate the digital bit stream required to create ZigBee and BLE (“Bluetooth Low Energy) modulated signals in the 2.4Ghz range. The developed solution will be demonstrated first in simulation (Matlab/Simulink), and then validated through hardware experiments on Verigy 93K ATE.

This work will be conducted in the context of PENTA European Project “HADES” that involves several academic laboratories and industrial partners. This work will be performed in close collaboration with NXP Semiconductors. 

Candidate Profile 

We are looking for an excellent candidate with a PhD degree in Engineering Electronics or Electrical Engineering. Solid knowledge in the field of electronics/microelectronics is necessary (competences in the RF domain will be appreciated). Experiences in digital signal processing and programming (Matlab) are also required. A good knowledge in applied mathematics (statistics) will be a plus. 

Fluency in English is mandatory; French language is not necessary. 

How to apply 

Send an email to azais@lirmm.fr with one PDF attachment, containing: 

 Detailed Curriculum Vitae 

 Publication List 

 Motivation Letter 

 A list of 2 to 3 reference persons and their contact information 

Contact Dr. Florence Azais 

LIRMM, University of Montpellier, CNRS 

161 rue Ada, 34 095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France 

azais@lirmm.fr 

+33 467 418625

Dernière mise à jour le 15/10/2018