PostDoc on AI Enabled Large-Scale Beamformer for Beyond 5G Optical Front-Haul

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 30 Jun 2021

The aim of his/her Post-doc research project is to investigate a novel device and system concept of artificial intelligence for optically assisted radio beam steering for realizing high capacity and agile beyond 5G cellular communication systems.

Research challenges

More and more wireless devices will be needed in the foreseeable future, as sketched e.g. by the vision of the Wireless World Research Forum which states that we are evolving towards the era of 'hyperconnectivity', a state where the number of devices connected to the Internet vastly exceeds the number of connected people. Market forecasts show that more than 1000 wireless devices per person will be connected to the web in the very near future. This also is part of the ambitions for the current 5th and next 6th Generation wireless networks where not only capacity and latency are the main target, but also flexibility and agility where beam steering is a key functionality.

Photonics can play an important role here by designing and developing a compact, low-power consuming and high-capacity optical front-haul for feeding a smart antenna system consisting of phased-array antennas. As the number of antenna elements becomes larger and the requirements for steering accuracy become stricter, the control plane becomes more and more complex and therefore the current technology for control plane does not work effectively anymore. A new approach needs to be explored and realized in this program, which includes the development of artificial intelligence-based algorithms and the realization of artificial neural networks on electronic and photonic substrates and/or hybrid. The exploitation of brain-inspired architectures for the control plane optimization is foreseen to provide a step-change in wireless network performance. 

Indium Phosphide (InP)-based photonics offers a rich platform in terms of amplification, (de)multiplexing, nonlinear effects, and scalability, which are some of the main features requested for obtaining an all Optical Neural Network (ONN). Realizing a brain-inspired photonic integrated control plane using is a research area which has not been explored yet.

In this research program, the student will explore novel optical techniques for generating, transporting, detecting and controlling optical signals over hybrid networks partly consisting of fibers and partly of wireless links. He/she should design and realize integrated optical circuitry which can perform these functions (steering and control) efficiently. The work comprises analytical, simulation and experimental activities. The final goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of artificial intelligence concepts for radio communication using photonic integrated circuits.

The team

The Post-doc position is within the Electro-Optical Communication Systems (ECO) group, part of the Institute for Photonic Integration (IPI), in the Department of Electrical Engineering of Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. ECO has about 60 members, more than 40 of which are PhD students. The Institute for Photonic Integration (IPI) has five dynamic and ambitious research groups, which are closely cooperating: a systems group, a photonic integration technology group and three materials research groups. IPI has obtained a prestigious NWO Zwaartekracht research grant for interdisciplinary research into integrated photonics, including research into novel photonic materials, devices and systems. The Post-doc will participate in this research program and will collaborate with other IPI members. The IPI is internationally leading on advanced InP-based photonic integrated circuits technology and optical (sub)system demonstration.

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