PhD student on Ultra-low Power Processors for Acoustic Applications (V36.2983)

PhD student on Ultra-low Power Processors for Acoustic Applications

Department of Electrical Engineering
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Job description

Eindhoven University of Technology has a vacancy for a 

PhD student on Ultra-low Power Processors for Acoustic Applications 

in the Electronic Systems group, department of Electrical Engineering

Project description
Autonomous acoustic systems (AAS) can be found in various shapes and sizes, ranging from city wide acoustic monitoring systems to hearing aids worn by an individual. To deliver an improved quality and user experience, future generations of these systems should use adaptive signal processing algorithms, while staying within a stringent energy budget for autonomous operation. The ZERO-AAS project uses two of these systems (hearing aid and multi-array microphone) as driver cases to develop a novel programming paradigm and accompanying ultra-low power implementation platform for a wide range of autonomous acoustic systems. 

This PhD position is part the larger ZERO-AAS project. The two systems considered in the ZERO-AAS project use steerable acoustic beamformers that should (learn to) operate autonomously in an unpredictable volatile (acoustic) real-world environment. These beamformers use an intelligent agent back-end that learns in real-time the best listening direction for the beamformer. Deciding the best listening direction is a trade-off that involves intelligent reasoning. Within the ZERO-AAS project we will use a Probabilistic Modelling (PM) approach to developing these intelligent agents. As a unique feature, the probabilistic programming toolbox developed in this project aims at (low-power) probabilistic AI agents in dynamic environments. 

Within the larger ZERO-AAS project, this PhD project will focus on the development of a novel computer architecture and compiler infrastructure that allows applications written using the probabilistic programming toolbox to run under very low power conditions. This will involve a detailed study of the power requirements of the operations found in the toolbox on various existing architectures. Based on this analysis a novel architecture will be proposed that is capable of running the applications within their real-time constraints while consuming near to zero energy. To make the architecture usable, the PhD candidate must also develop an accompanying compiler infrastructure that enables compiling the applications with minimal effort from the developer on the developed architecture. To realize this goal novel research on compiler optimization steps will be required. 

Departments and collaborators
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a world-leading research university specializing in engineering science & technology. The Department of Electrical Engineering is responsible for research and education in Electrical Engineering. The discipline covers technologies and electrical phenomena involved in computer engineering, information processing, energy transfer and telecommunication. The department strives for societal relevance through an emphasis on the fields of smart sustainable systems, the connected world and care & cure. The TU/e is the world’s best-performing research university in terms of research cooperation with industry (#1 since 2009). 

The Electronic Systems (ES) group consists of six full professors, two associate professors, eight assistant professors, several postdocs, about 30 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. Within this area, prof.dr. H. Corporaal and S. Stuijk have developed various novel power efficient computer architectures and their associated compilation trajectories. 

The ZERO-AAS project team is designed to combine extensive knowledge in the key fields (hearing aid applications, multi-array microphones, probabilistic signal processing, compilers and computer architectures). The project team includes industrial partners from GN ReSound, Sorama. As part of this project, the PhD candidate will work closely with these industrial partners to ensure that the developed architecture is suitable for the applications developed by these partners. 

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates that match the following profile: 

  • A master's degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or related disciplines with excellent grades.
  • Excellent knowledge of signal processing and computer architectures.
  • Solid programming skills (e.g., in C or C++).
  • Experience with hardware design (e.g., in Verilog or HLS).
  • A team player that enjoys to work in multicultural teams.
  • Good communication and organization skills.
  • Excellent English language skills (writing and presenting).

Conditions of employment

We offer a fixed-term, 4 year position in a research group with an excellent reputation. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, including: 

  • A gross monthly salary between EUR 2222,- (first year) and EUR 2840- (last year).
  • Additionally, 8% holiday and 8.3% end-of-year annual supplements.
  • A minimum of 41 holidays per year (excluding bank holidays, for a full-time employment of 40 hrs/week)
  • Additional benefits, including excellent technical infrastructure, child care, holiday savings schemes, and sports facilities.
  • Assistance for finding accommodation is offered.
  • Personal development program aimed to develop your social and communication skills (see

Information and application



If interested, please use 'apply now'-button at the top of this page. You should upload the following: 

  • a detailed curriculum vitae, a letter of motivation and portfolio with relevant work;
  • a cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the position;
  • a detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications and key achievements in research project(s));
  • contact information of two references;
  • copies of diplomas with course grades; 

Candidates will be selected based on graduation mark and proficiency at university including consideration of the reputation of the university, relevant experience and skills, writing skills and publications, work experience as well as performance in relevant modeling exercises and interviews.

Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.