MSc Advanced Microelectronic Systems Engineering
This innovative programme spans topics from diverse disciplines required for rapid professional advancement in the microelectronics industry.
A range of taught subjects cover core topics such as advanced architectures and system design using FPGA and DSP platforms, before progressing into more specialised areas such as digital and analogue ASIC design, integrated sensors and actuators and mixed-signal design.
Changes are made periodically to reflect important emerging disciplines, such as electronics for internet of things (IoT), biological-medical applications and neuromorphic computing.
Current industrial research activities
As a student on the MSc AMSE programme you will have exposure to the latest industrial developments, as well as industry-standard tools and methods, at the cutting edge of microelectronics and chip design. The programme academic staff are involved in several industry led projects in the areas of nano-electromechanical relay-based integrated circuits with MicroSEMI, software methodologies and tools for chip energy management and fault-tolerance with Inria, advanced 5G and optical communications with Ericsson, high-performance computing using low-power ARM processors and Xilinx/Intel FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and many-core computing with Intel processors and Nvidia/AMD GPUs among others. AMSE students are encouraged to align their summer projects with these activities which regularly results in authored publications, placements and job opportunities.
Over the duration of the programme you'll be taught by experts in the field of microelectronic systems engineering, such as:
Dr Dinesh Pamunuwa
VLSI Design M
Dr Jose Nunez-Yanez
Advanced DSP & FPGA Implementation
Mr Simon McIntosh-Smith
Advanced Computer Architecture
Professor Kerstin Eder
Professor Naim Dahnoun
Advanced DSP implementation
Dr Paul Warr
Advanced Analog design
Our Students' Projects
On this programme you'll have the opportunity to work on fascinating and wide-ranging projects. Below are example project proposals from the current academic year:
Coverage-Driven Verification for Robots
Supervised by: Dr. Kerstin Eder
We are transferring Coverage-Driven Verification techniques from hardware verification to the verification of robotics code running in ROS, the Robotic Operating System. Projects are available to assess the suitability of the "e" language for test generation aimed at simulation-based verification of robotics applications. Target robotic platforms include the PAL Robotics Tiago robot and the BERT robot at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
Nanofabrication experience: wafer bonding for hybrid platforms
Supervised by: Dr Krishna Balram
Unlike electronics, wherein all functionality can be implemented in silicon, photonics requires multiple materials (for ex: III-V for sources, silicon for waveguides and Lithium Niobate for nonlinear optical properties). To achieve these hybrid platforms requires bonding of different materials (for ex: III-V on silicon, silicon on glass etc.) This project will be carried out in the Bristol nanofabrication facility (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/physics/facilities/university-cleanroom/) and will involve development and characterisation of surface activated bonding between different material platforms. To start with, we will attempt GaAs to silicon dioxide bonding, which is a preliminary step towards building III-V photonic integrated circuits compatible with silicon.
FPGA-based phased arrays for ultrasonic levitation
Supervised by: Dr. Jose Nunez-Yanez
A phased array is a grid of speakers emitting with the same amplitude and frequency. It is possible to steer and focalized the sound at different positions by changing the phases of each channel. The system can be considered to be formed by a host computer and a driver board which is the part that generates the signals for each speaker. The first objective of this project is to design/modify a driver board for ultrasonic phased arrays. In part two a FPGA device will be interfaced with the driver board and used to calculate the focal points that direct the ultrasounds to the correct points in space. Finally, the project will aim to demonstrate the correct functionality of the system levitating objects and performing haptic feedback. See video of initial results.
The programme director is Dr Jose Nunez-Yanez from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.