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Department of Computer Science


Design and Exploration of a Memristor-enabled FPGA Architecture

Primary supervisor

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Other projects with the same supervisor

Funding

  • Competition Funded Project (Students Worldwide)

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

In the EPSRC funded project FORTE, we are examining analogue, digital and mixed-signal reconfiguration powered by memristive materials. In this PhD project, we will build new FPGA devices that are based on memristors as the configuration storage technology. The goal of this project is to get similar or better density than standard SRAM-based FPGAs but at lower power. As memristors are non-volatile and radiation-hard memories, our new FPGAs will be ideal for security and embedded applications. Memristors have different characteristics for configuration storage than the usually used SRAM cells found in FPGAs and this has to be incorporated into the fabric design. This may result in different Boolean function generators than the usual LUTs, but also in different implementations of the reconfigurable interconnection network than what is traditionally used in SRAM-based FPGAs. For testing and exploring different FPGA features, a retargetable FPGA CAD tool-flow will have to be developed (starting from existing open-source frameworks). Ultimately this PhD project will result in a fabricated chip running some example circuits mapped onto it.

The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, or a master???s degree (or equivalent qualification), in Computer Science or Electronic Engineering. Evidence of good spoken and written English has to proven with an IELTS score (or equivalent) of 6.5 or above for students whose first language is not English and who have no degree from an English speaking university. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality. The ideal candidate for this project has already a strong software engineering background and experience in hardware or FPGA design.

A scholarship for this project is available as one of a number of projects at this institution. This is in competition for funding with one or more of our projects. Usually the projects which receives the best applicants will be awarded the scholarship. Early applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Person specification

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Essential

Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.

Desirable

Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.
  • You will have good time management.

General

Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?