imec - Analog-digital-converter for Neuromorphic Systems

At imec, systems4IoT

Student project: Analog-digital-converter for Neuromorphic Systems


Project Description

Analog-digital-conversion   circuits (ADC) are the core of every integrated circuit (IC) that interfaces with sensory inputs or other analog information processing elements. The
performance of the ACD block is crucial in guaranteeing a high fidelity of the signal processing carried out by the following computational stages.
Neuromorphic computing systems exploits digital pulses for both computation and communication, it is therefore crucial to develop novel ADCs that can directly interface with these new class of massively parallel processing units.
In this project we propose to follow a novel approach for analog-to-digital conversion: we propose to do develop an analog-to-digital converter system that can be directly interfaced to neuromorphic spiking neural processing circuits. This novel ADC will enable data compression by directly computing on the large amount of data available in the analog domain, resulting in the transmission of only the low-bandwidth outcome of the preprocessing. The output of the ADC will be a pulse of digital events (spikes) that will be sent to remote neuromorphic computing or actuating modules.
This project can result, depending on student performance, with the tape-out of the designed circuits, part of the work will also be spent in carrying out testing and characterization of the ADC. The outcome of the project is to be published in high impact journals and might as well be patented.


Your Tasks

  • Literature survey on delta modulators and the specific needs for neuromorphic devices.
  • Investigation and compare of different highly efficient delta modulators.
  • Propose a high-efficiency and miniaturized analog-to-digital converter with event-based output.
  • Schematic and layout design of selected architecture.
  • (Optional) implementation and measurement of the test-chip.
  • Thesis writing and documentation in imec-Holst Centre.


[1] Corradi, Federico, and Giacomo Indiveri. "A neuromorphic event-based neural recording system for smart brain-machine-interfaces." IEEE transactions on biomedical circuits and systems 9.5 (2015): 699-709.
[2] Mayr, Christian G., et al. "Configurable analog-digital conversion using the neural engineering framework." Frontiers in neuroscience 8 (2014): 201.
[3] Tapson, Jonathan, and André van Schaik. "An asynchronous parallel neuromorphic ADC architecture." Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), 2012 IEEE International Symposium on. IEEE, 2012.
[4] Yang, Minhao, Shih-Chii Liu, and Tobi Delbruck. "A dynamic vision sensor with 1% temporal contrast sensitivity and in-pixel asynchronous delta modulator for event
encoding." IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits 50.9 (2015): 2149-2160.


Your Profile

  • You are a MSc student with Electrical Engineering background with good analytical skills.
  • You are available for a period of 12 months.
  • Knowledge of analog design circuits using CMOS transistors.
  • Acquainted with the Cadence tool chain.
  • Structured way of reporting, both orally and written.
  • Motivated student eager to work independently and expand knowledge in the field.
  • Entitled to do an internship in the Netherlands, Eindhoven.


For all inquiries, please contact:

Click on ‘apply’ to submit your application. You will then be redirected to e-recruiting.


Please be advised that non-EU/EEA country students that are studying outside of the Netherlands, need to have a work-permit to be able to do an internship in the Netherlands.


Please note that in order to be considered for an internship you need to be registered as a student during the entire internship period. Formal documentation of which may be requested at any time.​


Location: Eindhoven

Ms Najat Loiazizi, HR specialist.

Telephone number: +31 (0)40 40 20 675


Apply now