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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Researcher in Gate Driver IC Design

SOD-9 Researcher in Gate Driver IC Design

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

MCCI is Ireland’s national Microelectronics Circuits Research Centre. MCCI has a team of over 90 researchers and engineers hosted across Tyndall National Institute (www.tyndall.ie), UL, SETU Carlow and UCD, collaborating on more than 50 research projects. Funded by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, its focus is to generate innovative technologies, which create high impact. Specifically, MCCI’s mission is to carry out industry-led, excellent Analog, Mixed-Signal, RF and Power Management Integrated Circuit research.

As part of its smart gate-driver IC research theme, MCCI offers this prestigious Post-Doctoral Research opportunity at its Tyndall National Institute based Cork office.

The Research Area

Huge growth in power electronics’ market areas such as automotive EV and renewable energy integration is driving the imperative for higher power densities, higher voltages and higher switching frequencies. Battery cell stacks and DC-Link voltages in automotive are trending towards 800 V and to greater than 1500 V for PV string inverters. Concurrently, there are also significant developments in power switch technologies across silicon DMOS, gallium nitride (GaN HEMT) and silicon carbide (SiC).  Our projects are focused on the design of power switch gate driver ICs for the distributed power electronic switching cells employing these switch technologies as stacked switches or in multi-level converter topologies. These gate drivers will be highly integrated with their switches and have new features to maximise switching speed, EMI performance, efficiency and protection.

Whereas our projects are primarily about gate driver CMOS design, the research will necessarily include systems related design for the advanced packaging technologies (PwrSiP) involved in the heterogeneous integration of the CMOS gate driver circuit and its switch. There is a focus on techniques to allow the miniaturisation of the gate driver galvanic isolation transformer to allow for substrate embedding or the use of advanced on-chip thin film magnetic materials.

The Role

The ideal candidate, with the support of the Principal Investigator, as a Post-Doctoral researcher, will collaboratively create high impact research in the development of gate driver solutions for multi-level topologies employing DMOS, GaN or SiC.

The candidate will have access to excellent research facilities and will collaborate with academic and industrial research partners, MCCI mixed signal designers and other Tyndall based research teams, such as its Magnetics-on-Silicon group and the International Energy Research Group (www.ierc.ie).

The candidate will both lead their own research program(s) and support other PhD students. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Create and collaborate on innovative and excellent research in gate driver IC and PMICs for Si, GaN or SiC based, multi-level, switching power converters.
  • Perform theoretical and experimental analyses of gate driver and switching performance in highly integrated power converters, to determine the ideal gate driving requirements.
  • Design, layout, validate and tape-out innovative gate driver IC research proof-of-concept circuits on CMOS technologies, such as 180 nm SOI or possibly with GaN based output stages.
  • Assist with design and fabrication of Power System-in-Package (PwrSiP) packing technology based test prototypes.
  • Perform hardware characterisation of IC samples and experimental evaluation in power converter systems.
  • Author peer-reviewed publications of international standing.
  • Participate in related research projects under the direction of supervisors.
  • Work on collaborative research projects with industrial or other academic partners.
  • Participate in CMOS design reviews with other researchers in the MCCI group
  • Participate in education and public outreach engagement activities, as required.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with MCCI Processes and the Tyndall Quality Management System.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Essential Criteria

  • PhD in Power Management IC (PMIC), Gate Driver design, Power Switch Device design, Power Converter design, or related area.
  • Strong knowledge of switch-mode power converter operation.
  • Strong knowledge of power converter topologies, magnetic component design and power switch operation.
  • The successful candidate will be highly innovative with a strong desire to create and contribute to world-leading gate driver and power management integrated circuit research.
  • The successful candidate will be highly analytical with good interpersonal and organizational skills and will be happy to support and coach PhD students and other team members.
  • The successful candidate will have a strong publication track record with tier-1 publications and/ or patents.

Desirable Criteria

  • Strong research or industrial design experience involving analog mixed-signal CMOS design of Power Management IC (PMIC) Circuits, Gate Driver IC or Power Switch Device.
  • Good knowledge of Analog Mixed Signal CMOS circuit design, such as including references, comparators, amplifiers or level shifters.
  • Good knowledge of CAD tools for CMOS circuit design and layout.
  • Previous silicon tape-out experience.
  • Good knowledge of power control system design techniques.

Informal enquiries may be made, in-confidence, to seamus.odriscoll@mcci.ie

The appointment may be made on the Post-Doctoral Researchers scale, €39,522 - €46,906 p.a. Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with the public sector pay policy and years of experience.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference SOD-9

Step 2 – Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to careers@tyndall.ie. Please ensure that your motivation letter, cv and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer. We have an inclusive and supportive work culture and we welcome applications from all persons, regardless of sex, race, disability or religion/belief.