PhD student

Photonic synaptic signal processor

Ref. 2020_024

IBM has an opening for a PhD position under the H2020 ETN project “POST-DIGITAL – Neuromorphic computing in photonic and other nonlinear media”.

POST-DIGITAL focuses on exploiting the potential speed and energy advantages that computing with light offers over computing with electrons, and the advantage that analog computing offers over digital computing based on parallel processing and the adaptive intelligence of biological brains, captured in novel artificial neural network designs. POST-DIGITAL brings together 14 leading academic and industrial players, including IBM and Thales, in optical and neuromorphic computing.

The PhD position is hosted in the Neuromorphic Devices and Systems group at IBM Research Europe in Zurich and is co-supervised by IMEC and the Spanish National Research Council. The goal is to develop a photonic synaptic signal processor in silicon photonics by co-integrating a photorefractive material in which non-volatile synaptic weights are stored.

Important tasks to be performed are:

  • Design integrated silicon photonic circuits.
  • Process and characterize the integrated synaptic photonic chips.
  • Develop an experimental setup to execute software-controlled training and inference tasks on the photonic hardware circuits.
  • Evaluate the newly developed hardware networks with common cognitive benchmarks and analyze their applicability to real-world problems.


IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent flexible working arrangements enable all genders to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.

How to apply

Candidates with a strong background and/or interest in integrated photonics and neural networks are encouraged to send their CV including references. The PhD position has a duration of 36 months.

For more information, please contact , Manager Neuromorphic Devices and Systems.

The application deadline is 31 May 2020.