Master’s Thesis or Semester Project

VLSI design of time-encoded spiking neural networks

Ref. 2023_003

IBM Research Zurich is one of IBM's 11 Global Research Labs. We are leading the research agenda for tomorrow's information technology. Besides groundbreaking technology innovation, we build strong relationships with academic and industrial partners to be one of the best workplaces for world-class researchers.

Our Emerging Computing & Circuits team offers a fantastic opportunity for a highly motivated student to join our unique research-corporate environment for a Master’s Thesis or a Semester Project on the following topics:

  • Investigation of signal processing and neuronal transmission in spiking neural networks (SNNs), based on encoding information as sequences of short pulses (spikes), and the application of neuronal dynamics
  • VLSI implementation of SNNs with application to classification tasks, where the transmitted neural information is encoded in a temporal manner, i.e., by the time intervals between spikes
  • Improvement to state-of-the-art synchronous and asynchronous SNN implementations, concerning latency, power/energy consumption, and silicon area
  • Investigation of alternative hybrid digital/analog SNN implementations

SNNs are computational networks that are inspired by the structure of the neurons in a biological brain. A unique aspect of our projects is the opportunity to investigate emerging temporally-encoded SNNs from algorithmic as well as implementation perspectives. As part of our team, you will collaborate with experienced Research Scientists and AI Software Engineers that will lead and help you to successfully complete the challenges of the proposed task. To perform the work, you will have access to Cloud infrastructure equipped with recent variants of GPUs and VLSI design tools for system implementation in IBM’s leading-edge technologies.


  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer science, or a related technical field, preferably including equivalent practical experience
  • Experience in digital design with VHDL/Verilog and Cadence tools
  • Proficient in working with Matlab/Python/C++ programming languages and in Unix/Linux environments
  • Experience in one or more of the following: CATIA/CAD, VLSI system implementation, test automation, deep learning frameworks such as PyTorch
  • Team player, self-motivated with a passion for technology and innovation

We offer

An exciting and challenging job in a highly interesting research environment on a beautiful campus with its own cafeteria. Excellent flexible work conditions to ensure the right balance between professional development and personal life. Opportunities for further learning and education.


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

If you are interested in this exciting position, please submit your most recent curriculum vitae.

For technical questions, please contact .