PhD researcher on real-time digital signal processing for 6G, high-capacity wireless and wired communications


The Internet Technology & Data Science Lab (IDLab) is an imec research group at Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. IDLab focuses its research on internet technologies and data science. Bringing together more than 300 internet experts, we develop technologies outperforming current solutions for communication subsystems, high-speed and low-power networking, distributed computing, multimedia processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and web semantics. IDLab has a unique research infrastructure used in numerous national and international collaborations. IDLab also collaborates with many universities and research centers worldwide and jointly develops advanced technologies with industry (R&D centers from international companies, Flanders’ top innovating large companies and SMEs, as well as numerous ambitious start-ups). 

Within IDLAB, the Design team is internationally recognized as a leading research group on high-speed and high-frequency integrated circuits for next-generation communications systems. At this moment, the Design group is for example active in seven European projects and in direct research contracts with world-leading industry partners. Besides these high-profile projects, the Design group is also a core partner in the ERC Atto project of Prof. Piet Demeester. These roadmaps form the perfect basis for high-level and industry-relevant research in an environment with expert peers and top-notch test and measurement equipment.

The main research lines focus on wired (fiber-optic, radio-over-fiber, copper), wireless (RF, 5G-6G, mmWave) and instrumentation for which custom CMOS or SiGe BiCMOS chips are developed and integrated in (FPGA-based) system demonstrators. 

To strengthen our design team, this vacancy is looking for a strong research profile on real-time digital signal processing for wireless applications on FPGA and ASIC in the context of 6G and beyond massive MIMO communication systems. This PhD candidate will work on algorithms, designs, system prototyping, and experiments. 

Your Profile

  • You need to hold a relevant master’s degree (e.g., Master of Science in Electronics Engineering, Master of Science in Information and Communication Technology, …) with demonstrated first-class performance (e.g., outstanding grades, thesis result, or publications).
  • Your English is fluent, both speaking and writing.
  • You can demonstrate mastery of the following core aspects:
    • Digital design skills: RTL design and knowledge of Verilog / VHDL.
    • Basic knowledge about wireless PHY, OFDM modulation and detection
    • Expertise on synthesis and place and routing and digital implementation tools such as Xilinx Vivado / Cadence Xrun / Candence Innovus are a plus.
  • You are a team player with good networking and reporting skills.

Job Offer

We offer a fully funded PhD position to do full-time research in a highly international and friendly working environment, with a competitive salary at Ghent University. As a researcher you will publish and present your research results at major international conferences and in scientific journal in order to pursue your PhD degree.  

Typical research projects in the Design group involve multiple researchers with different specialties working as a team, stimulating knowledge creation across different domains. Further, we offer the possibility to follow various advanced training courses in Belgium or abroad.

After initiation in the field, you will perform research on real-time signal processing algorithms which will be implemented and demonstrated on our distributed massive MIMO testbed, consisting at the moment of 64 synchronously interconnected antennas, high-end FPGAs. After verification in the testbed, implementation in the in-house developed fronthaul ASICs will be considered.


Applications can be sent to dr. Haolin Li (, including a cover letter and CV. Suitable candidates will be invited for an interview and may get a small assignment. Application deadline is February 28 2022, but applications remain welcome until the position is filled. We offer you a flexible starting date, with a preference to start as soon as possible. For more information about the topic of the PhD itself, please contact Prof. Guy Torfs (