KDPOF, a leading fabless company in the design of ICs for Gigabit communications over fiber optics, is looking for a Senior Mixed-Signal IC Design Engineer to grow his AMS team. As a member of the mixed-signal design team in the R&D department of the company, you will be a key part in the definition, design and development of the future products of the company. As a senior Mixed-Signal IC Design Engineer, you will be responsible of the following tasks:

  • Specification of the analog and mixed signal blocks that are embedded in the system (ADC, DAC, PLL, data interfaces, optoelectronics…).
  • Design (from schematic to full verification at extracted level) of the analog and mixed-signal blocks in nanometric CMOS processes. It means been involved in the full AMS design flow: schematic, layout and full verification.
  • Definition of layout guidelines for layout engineers and review of their work.
  • Collaboration with the test engineers for the test of the fabricated ICs. Review and analysis of lab characterization data, for validation and correlation improvement with simulation results.
  • Cooperation with the rest of the team to define the characterization tests for the circuits in which the analog and mixed-signal blocks are integrated.
  • Cooperation with the system-level engineers for the generation of models of analog and mixed-signal blocks for its use at system-level evaluation.
  • Assist on the integration of the complete analog subsystem to be used in complex mixed-signal design with integrated digital logic. This will include mixed-signal verification with the digital processing.
  • Research on new architectures and efficient solutions for the future products of the company and generation of new patents.
  • Internal meeting presentation and documentation of the developed work

Requirements

  • Degree/Master/PhD in Electronic Engineering
  • At least 5 years of experience in similar tasks
  • Experience in delivering successful design in silicon: product definition, characterization, qualification and productization
  • Experience on designing full-custom analog IP blocks in sub-nanometric CMOS technology (65nm or below), as well as with analog and mixed-signal IC design tools, such us Cadence or Synopsys
  • Design (from schematic to full verification at extracted level) of the analog and mixed-signal blocks in nanometric CMOS processes
  • Good knowledge of full-custom analog layout techniques, including the ability to review the work of others.
  • Excellent written and verbal English communication skills

Conditions

  • Salary according to experience
  • Work in our design offices of Madrid (Spain) or Caen (France)
Connection and Traffic Testing with the KDPOF Automotive Evaluation Kit
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The video demonstrates the connection and traffic test for the KD1053 evaluation boards included in the automotive evaluation kit.  Connecting gigabit Ethernet over fiber optics, the automotive kit supports OEMs and Tier1 suppliers in technology evaluations. The kit is self-contained and includes all the necessary components to establish 100 and 1000 Mbps links over Plastic Optical Fibers (POF). The boards are versatile, auto-grade for SFP-POF. They are optimized for lab measurements in extreme operating temperatures, radiation, and voltage supply corners.

The automotive evaluation kit contains:

  • 2 SFP-POF media converter boards
  • 15 meters/4 in-line connectors POF harness or 40 meters/0 in-line connectors POF harness
  • 1000BASE-T SFP modules/UTP & SFP twinax cables
  • USB2ALL POF link

KDPOF presents the brand new integrated Fiber Optic Transceiver (FOT) KD7051. It is the first device for optical in-vehicle connectivity that incorporates the transceiver IC, optoelectronics, and optics. The integrated FOT is a 100 Mb/s optical port in one single component. “By constructing the ASIC IC, photodiode and LED as one single device, we significantly reduce cost and footprint for automotive Ethernet connectivity at 100 Mb/s,” stated Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-Founder of KDPOF. “The decreased number of parts also reduces the effort in testing and qualification.”

Cost and Size Reduction by Integrating Transceiver IC, Optoelectronics, and Optics into One Fiber Optic Transceiver

KDPOF’s new KD7051 thus substantially reduces the overall expense compared to STP (shielded twisted pair of copper wires). Further advantages are no margin stacking between links in the supply chain and supply chain simplification. Consequently, it offers competitive pricing for EMC critical or galvanic isolated critical links. Applications include battery management systems, camera and sensor links, fast Ethernet links and smart antenna links.

All New Physical Layer

KDPOF’s new transceiver IC KD7051 offers a complete new FOT design. It reuses low cost MEMs encapsulation and allows SMD reflow assembly with 8 by 7 mm LGA components. The FOT is fully shielded against electromagnetic radiation. Fiber connection is done with a very simple plastic connector placed on top. The temperature range, from -40 °C to +105 °C, conforms with harsh automotive environmental requirements. With a vibration class of V2, it withstands motor conditions. Additionally, the device endures water without sealing. EMC performance is excellent even with the ECU shield case removed, as shielding is integrated into the PCB component. The assembly of the FOT and the IC in the PCB is simplified. Optics implement Tx and Rx lenses. The first prototypes are available.

Simple Implementation

As a plastic optical fiber with a large diameter, POF is more cost-effective to manufacture and install: installation is just easy plug and play; winding and clamping is similar to copper cables. Moreover, during the car assembly, the optical harness can be installed in the same process as the copper harness. POF has been present in vehicles for more than 10 years and is installed in millions of cars.

KDPOF has conducted a study examining the influence of home networking on online gaming and video streaming. For online gaming, the delay between an action the player intends to perform in the game and its actual effect on the screen can totally ruin the experience. Among gamers, this latency is known as ping or lag. The action issued by the player has to go through different network segments until it reaches the game server; it is then processed and the response travels back to the gamer. Numbers over 150 ms are a total no-go experience while being under 20 ms is considered a very good behavior.

KDPOF Study Reports Significant Effect of Home Networking on Online Gaming Experience

“There are three main segments that can influence the latency level: online game servers, access network, and home networking,” explained Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. “Our study showed that the home network plays a key role in the whole experience. Average values as low as 1 ms and up to 30 ms could be found.” A good solution is wired connectivity over plastic optical fiber (POF). It provides very low latency and jitter, just like Ethernet wiring but without visible cabling installed.

The Importance of Low Latency for Home Networks

The number one home network technology used nowadays in any home is Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it provides little control over when each node has access to the air. Any packet loss is not noticeable for services such as web browsing, but when delivering video related services, these crashes generate peaks of latency. Those packets need to be retransmitted, extending the time required to reach the other end. If a device in the same environment is connected over Ethernet directly to the access router, the picture changes significantly. “It is not surprising that gamers prefer to connect over wires rather than Wi-Fi due to these effects,” added Carlos Pardo. “Delays are getting even worse with the rapid increase of multiple Wi-Fi access points of Wi-Fi mesh in the home.”

Plastic Optical Fiber Combined with Wi-Fi

Since wired connectivity adds only negligible latency to the path, it is recommended over wireless for the in-home portion. With its ease of installation, lack of aesthetic impact, robustness, and stability, plastic optical fiber is the ideal solution to contribute to a perfect online gaming experience. The ultimate home network solution is one that combines the advantages of a POF backbone with Wi-Fi access points throughout the home. It secures 1 Gb/s speed to each access point, avoiding any loss inherently present with wireless due to distance, walls or interference. While Wi-Fi links provide latencies on the level of milliseconds, POF is on the level of microseconds, i.e. 1000 times better.

POF can easily be installed in any duct throughout the home: power, coaxial, or telephone conduits, or easily hidden on walls, under carpets or through false ceilings. Devices that connect to the network via Wi-Fi will continue to use that connection, but will enjoy the dedicated 1 Gb/s speed of the POF network. This way, Wi-Fi speed experienced anywhere in the home is the same as next to the router.

Demo: World’s First 50 Gb/s Automotive-grade Optical Network

KDPOF has successfully participated at the virtual ISCAS 2020 in October with several contributions: a presentation on multi-gigabit Ethernet for the automotive industry, an overview lecture on high-speed data communications over POF, and an important role in the final industry panel session. The IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS) is the flagship conference of the IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society and the world’s premiere networking forum for researchers in the highly active fields of theory, design, and implementation of circuits and systems.

Towards the Multi-Gigabit Ethernet for the Automotive Industry

Session Chairmen Enrique Prefasi Sen, Analog and Mixed Signal Senior Designer of KDPOF, and Alberto Rodríguez-Pérez, Analog and Mixed Signal Manager of KDPOF, have presented the paper “Towards the Multi-Gigabit Ethernet for the Automotive Industry”. The paper, within the special session “Multi-gigabit Wireline & Optical Communication Circuits & Systems Session”, showed the status of Ethernet-based communication solutions, focused on optical links for the automotive industry. They displayed the implementation of a product compatible with the 1000BASE-RHC according to the IEEE Std 802.3bv, which is the first one able to transmit 1 Gbps over POF for automotive. In addition, the KDPOF experts described a new architecture to achieve up to 25 Gbps for automotive. The proposed multi-gigabit system leverages existing technologies such as VCSELs, multi-mode fibers, and photodiodes already developed for the data center industry.

High-Speed Data Communications over Fiber Optics

In his lecture, Alberto Rodríguez-Pérez gave an overview of the use of Plastic Optical Fiber as a medium for optical data communications and the techniques needed to get high speed data bitrates over POF. It is an interesting alternative optical communication channel to the Glass Optical Fibers (GOF) for applications that are not required to cover long distances, such as home or automotive networking. However, the reduced low bandwidth of the POF channel imposes big limitations in the maximum data bitrate that can be transmitted through this medium. Consequently, advanced data communication techniques such as channel equalization, data error correction, or data signal modulation need to be applied to achieve data bitrates above 1 Gbps.

Please see here for the video explaining the Multi-Gigabit demo.

Work Profile:

We are hiring a member of the R&D team in charge of the design of very high-speed electrical connectivity working with ASIC and PCB design teams. Special focus on signal integrity, power integrity and EMI/EMS aspects of the signal transmission. Knowledge and experience on electromagnetics simulations and RF design and testing. Application to PCB design, ICs substrates and packages, wire bonding, etc. EMI/EMS testing and pre-compliance testing using the pre-compliance lab at KDPOF office.

The systems that need to be developed in collaboration with the R&D team include:

  • Opto-electronics Multigigabit Ethernet PHYs (e.g. substrate, package, wire bonding)
  • PIC test PCBs:
    • IC bring-up test PCBs,
    • IC PVT characterization tests PCBs
    • IC ATE PCBs
    • IC qualification PCBs (HTOL, HTB, ESD, etc)
  • IC evaluation boards and reference designs in collaboration with FAE and customer support,
  • The systems are wideband, covering frequencies from tens of kHz to tens of GHz

Required Skills:

  • Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering or equivalent
  • Solid understanding of electromagnetic theory applied to RF design and testing as well as EMC design and testing
  • Experience in RF design
  • Experience in EM simulation with Keysight ADS and EMPRO
  • Experience in PCB design, focused on high speed links
  • Working knowledge of analog and digital electronics, including details such as component resonances, power devices switching behavior, leakage reactance, plane resonances, and effects of dielectric constant variability, etc.
  • Experience with RF test equipment, use, calibration and interpretation of results (spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, oscilloscopes, signal generators, antennas, coupling clamps, field probes, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge in Matlab is welcome
  • Fluent written and verbal English communication skill is a must: all internal documentation is written in English

Desired Attitude:

  • Continuous search for technical excellence
  • Passion for learning from experience
  • Critical and constructive attitude
  • Capability to accept system design responsibilities. Design: in a broad sense, from the design to the validation in the laboratory and iteration
  • Proactive (problem solving) attitude,
  • Team membership attitude

Others:

  • The role is in Madrid (Tres Cantos)
  • The position reports to the ASIC Manager
  • The role works with all our product portfolios
  • Competitive salary to negotiate according to the candidate’s experience
  • Total employee health insurance and partial spouse and child insurance by KDPOF if applicable.
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Installing POF in the home is very fast and simple but, like other communication installations, it should be verified. The typical way to confirm that the installation is working is to check the link LED indicators. But this provides no indication of how well or how badly the POF link is working. It makes a difference because optical communication suffers attenuations from the fiber length, bending, a bad cut or bad insertion. An installation working close to the sensitivity limit may fail in the future due to small extra attenuations (aging, thermal changes, equipment is hit, etc.)

In order to ensure that the installation has been done properly and is operating with a sufficient margin, checking the link quality is recommended. This video demonstrates the KDPOF debugging tool. It allows monitoring of the POF links in an installation where a KDPOF daisy-chain outlet is used. The monitor application will give information about the outlet ID, operating time, connected ports speed and, of course, the link margin of the optical ports.

List of materials used in the video:

  • 2x POF media converters + PSUs
  • 1x POF daisy chain outlet + PSU
  • POF cable
  • 2x laptop
  • 1x STB
  • 3x UTP cable
  • KDPOF monitoring tool
Video: Point-to-point Link with POF Media Converters
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Installing POF will help to improve the Internet connectivity in the home. A POF link can cover up to 50 m, giving 1 Gb/s performance. The installation does not require high-level skills and can be done with simple tools. POF cable is typically installed through the existing conduits in the house, so it’s easy to reach any room and keep the cable hidden.

This video shows how to connect and check a point-to-point (P2P) POF link by using commercial media converters. Key points are the simplicity and quickness of the cut and connect. The media converter consists of one RJ45 copper port and one optical POF port. It allows the implementation of a P2P link which can cover, for example:

  • Improve wireless connectivity of the furthest room: [Router] <-> POF <-> [WiFi Access Point]
  • Move the router to the optimum place: [ONT] <-> POF <-> [Router]

List of materials used in the video:

  • 2x POF media converters + PSUs
  • POF cable
  • POF cutter
  • 2x laptops
  • 2x UTP cable
Photonics Days Berlin Brandenburg: Optical Automotive Ethernet Presentation

KDPOF is delighted to present at the virtual Photonics Days Berlin Brandenburg 2020 from October 5 to 8, 2020. On Monday, October 5 at 10:40, César Esteban, Application and Support Manager of KDPOF, will give the presentation “Optical Automotive Ethernet” within the session “Innovative Optical Fibers”. Plastic optical fibers (POF) are the most reliable solution in vehicles since they can withstand harsh environments, vibrations, misalignments, dirtiness, humidity, wide temperature range, etc. Additionally, optical Ethernet generates very low noise and can operate in noisy environments, such as in RF electronic boards.

Full Standardization of Optical Gigabit

Recently, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has added two new sections to the in-vehicle Ethernet series 21111. These newly approved parts are key components to assure reliable implementations of systems that realize in-vehicle Ethernet Optical 1 Gb/s as a physical layer. With the new ISO 21111 sections complementing the existing IEEE Std 802.3bvTM, optical Gigabit connectivity is now entirely standardized. Based on these standards, KDPOF’s optical technology allows a complete, compatible, and interoperating implementation for carmakers and Tier1s.

The KD1053 transceiver perfectly meets the requirements of carmakers by providing high connectivity with a flexible digital host interface, low latency, low jitter, and low linking time. The transceiver is optimized for low power and small footprint and transmits data at 1000/100 Mb/s on standard SI-POF, MC-POF, or PCS, according to 1000BASE-RH (IEEE 802.3bv).

Outlook on Optical Multi-Gigabit

With technological leaps such as electrical vehicles, automated driving, and V2X interconnection rushing through, automotive applications, utilization, and safety requirements are boosting the necessary network speed tremendously. Consequently, in-vehicle networks are on the brink of speeds from one to multiple gigabits per second. Optical Multi-Gigabit Ethernet in the car is on the verge of standardization and implementation. With the approval of the IEEE 802.3 working group, a team of individuals affiliated with more than 15 key carmakers and components suppliers, including KDPOF, has started the standardization of an IEEE 802.3 Automotive Optical Multi-Gigabit Standard with strong support from the industry. KDPOF has already displayed the world’s first demonstration of an automotive-grade optical transmission system with 50 gigabits per second single lane, leveraging datacom components.

Wire Harness Congress: EMC, Weight Reduction, and Multi-Gigabit Call for Optical Harness
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At the virtual WEKA Bordnetz-Kongress 2020 (Wire Harness Congress) on September 22, 2020, KDPOF displayed insights and update on Optical Multi-Gigabit Connectivity. Juergen Schachtschneider, Automotive Manager Central Europe & Greater China, and César Esteban, Applications & Support Manager, presented how automotive networks profit from optical technology. Electric and autonomous driving architectures are substantially pushing the challenges for wiring systems. Issues include electromagnetic interference (EMI), electromagnetic susceptibility (EMS), and weight reduction. On top, automotive applications, utilization, and safety requirements are boosting the necessary network speed tremendously. The new 48-volt electrical architecture in cars additionally pushes the envelope in terms of cross-domain isolation requirements. Copper links for communication rates above 100 Mb/s need heavy and expensive solutions to comply with the stringent OEM’s EMC specs, resulting in high cost and very difficult engineering. Moreover, the weight of the ever-growing diameter of the required cables plays against the race for range increase of electrical powertrains.

Optical network technology overcomes these trends thanks to its inherent galvanic isolation, robustness, low cost, and low weight. Carmakers will benefit from optical links for communications between the 48-volt and the 12-volt domains. For weight, the optical network will save more than 30 percent of the equivalent copper-based harness weight. Optical Ethernet provides 100 Mb/s and 1 Gb/s network solutions today, and multi-gigabit Ethernet is the significant upcoming breakthrough for in-vehicle networks. The standardization effort for optical multi-gigabit is already in progress within the IEEE as an amendment to the Ethernet standard 802.3.