High speed ADC readout & data processing using a Xilinx FPGA

Master Thesis

In the network of science and industry, Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) offers re­search in four pionee­ring divi­sions: Sensor Systems, RF Systems, Power Elec­tro­nics and System Inte­gra­tion. SAL – a great place to re­search. 

Aim of the thesis / Tasks

  • In order to assess the performance of RF filter devices and improve their quality, equipment for the analysis of the surface or bulk acoustic waves generated in these devices is required. Measurement of such waves is usually performed by optical methods using scanning interferometers and photodetectors as readout units. Due to the necessary high frequencies, short wavelengths and very small amplitudes of the waves, the electrical readout system requires high speed ADCs and real-time data processing.

  • At SAL, an interferometer setup has been implemented during the last years which features a readout system using a VXI ADC unit and offline data processing on a desktop computer unit. To allow for fast two-dimensional scanning, a new RF readout hardware will be implemented using a Xilinx Virtex 7 FPGA prototyping board to read out and process several high-speed ADC channels.

  • The goal of the master thesis is to implement a real time readout and processing software implemented on the Virtex 7 FPGA using the Vivado design suite.

In particular, the candidate will:

  • Implement a readout for the multi-channel ADC connected to the FPGA using the JESD104D interface.
  • Convert the existing offline data analysis code (Matlab) to a corresponding real time FGPA code.
  • Test and evaluate the real-time readout using the interferometer setup.
  • Writing and defense of the thesis.            

Profile / Requirements

  • Master student in information technology, systems engineering, physics or similar fields.
  • Experience in FPGA programming / VHDL and data analysis is mandatory.
  • Experience with experimental data processing software (e.g. Matlab, LabView) is also beneficial.
  • Autonomous, well orga­nized and enjoying work in a dynamic and multi­cul­tural team.
  • Oral and written commu­ni­ca­tion skills in English.

About us

Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) has been founded to be Austria's top research center for electronic based systems (EBS). The application-oriented center offers cooperative research at three locations – Graz, Linz and Villach – in four pioneering research divisions: System integration, sensor systems, RF systems and power electronics. In the network of science and economy, SAL is offering “key enabling technologies” for electronic based systems and is laying the basis for smart products and processes that create the foundations for things such as Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IOT), autonomous driving, cyber-physical systems (CPS), AI, smart cities, smart energy and smart health.

We offer

  • State-of-the-art laboratories and equipment.
  • An international scientific environment and contacts with our industrial network.
  • Opportunity to work on a hot topic with industrial collaborations.

Start Date / Duration / Contract

  • Start date (planned): Spring 2020
  • Duration (planned): 6 Months
  • Payment: 1,385 € monthly gross (38,5 hours per week)
  • Place: Silicon Austria Labs, Villach, Austria