Prof. Dr.-Ing. Friedel Gerfers
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Innovative Mixed Signal Circuit Design enables the Digital Future.
The mobile Internet access is the key technology revolutionizing our daily life in the last century. Thus, the unrestricted mobile access of our virtual digital media in the cloud from anywhere, or secure communication over networks with virtually unlimited bandwidth at home or from our mobile devices becomes increasingly important. These and similar technological challenges are addressed by Prof. Friedel Gerfers and his team through an interdisciplinary research program involving circuit design techniques, microprocessors, digital signal processing algorithms, semiconductor technologies, MEMS devices etc. The Company NiederRhein Technologies (California, USA), founded by Prof. Gerfers in 2009, focused on kin problems. Since January 2015, Prof. Gerfers heads the "Mixed Signal Circuit Design (MSC)" department at the Faculty IV Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Berlin Institute of Technology, which is connected to a W3 professorship. Born on the Lower Rhine in Rheinberg, he studied microelectronics at the University of Duisburg-Essen and obtained his Dr.-Ing. Degree from the Institute for Microsystems Technology (IMTEK), Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg. He gained his first industrial R&D experience at Philips Semiconductor (nowadays NXP), Starnberg, Germany. In 2006, he joined Intel Research in Santa Clara, USA as post-doctoral research fellow working on new types of piezoelectric MEMS sensors and their readout circuits. His entrepreneurial spirit led him in the years 2007 to 2011 to the start-up companies Alvand Technologies and Aquantia (both USA). In the role of a technical director, he led the mixed-signal departments, which were crucial for the successful market positioning of these companies in the field of high-speed data transmission systems that operate close to the Shannon limit. Most recently, he was responsible for the worldwide development of high-precision analog-to-digital converters for Integrated Device Technology (IDT), USA. The team was later in 2014 acquired by Apple Inc. Due to his broad expertise Prof. Gerfers was appointed to the Advisory Board of Mentor Graphics Inc. and served from 2009-2014 on the Advisory Board of Berkeley Design Automation Inc., USA. Prof. Gerfers is a senior member of the IEEE and VDE and served on several technical program committees in the field of Solid-State Circuits and Systems. Prof. Gerfers is author of the book "Continuous-Time Sigma-Delta A/D conversion, Fundamentals, Error Correction and Robust Implementations".
The field of application spans from high-speed GS/s integrated circuits (IC) for wireless infrastructure applications (such as LTE base-stations), over energy-efficient DSP-based transceivers for optical applications (such as Silicon Photonics) to ultra-low power readout systems for optical and biomedical sensor as well as the design of ultra-robust automotive integrated circuits. Energy-efficient (RF-) transceiver architectures, energy harvesting approaches for mobile/hand-held devices and the large field of Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies are additional key research topics.
• Data conversion techniques with an emphasis on robustness, energy efficiency as well as silicon area / cost reduction
• Low-power wideband wireline- & wireless transceiver, low-noise sensor readout
• Mixed-signal error- and mismatch estimation algorithms, (self)-adaptive calibration techniques and highly scalable DSP-based design techniques
• Semiconductor design flow, design automation as well as CAD tool development down to 14nm FinFet technologies.