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EPFL (Switzerland)

EPFL - École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - Switzerland

EPFL is a leading engineering university in Europe and one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology of Switzerland. Like its sister institution, ETH, it has three missions: education, research and technology transfer at the highest international level. With an annual budget of over 900M CHF, EPFL counts 7 schools in all major fields of science, engineering, and management and offers 13 complete study programs at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels (Bologna system). The EPFL campus is contiguous with that of the University of Lausanne and in 2015 it hosted a student body slightly over 10’000, active in all major technical disciplines: electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering, computer and communication sciences, bioengineering and biomedicine, architecture, and environmental science. EPFL is also very active in research: in 2010 EPFL had a total output of 2718 publications and a total of 237 patents granted in the 2001-2010 period.

With almost 1200 full-time equivalent employees, the School of Engineering (STI) is the largest of EPFL’s schools, home to more than 60 laboratories. STI has been developing rapidly over the past few years, the number of contracts with industry and other funding sources in Switzerland and Europe increasing by more than 50% in the past 6 years. During the same period, the School has put renewed focus on cutting edge research, which resulted in a continued increase in the number of scientific publications, helping to boost EPFL to 1st and 2nd place in the Leiden and ARWU (Engineering and Computer Science, Shanghai 2012) ranking for Europe.

ICLAB The Integrated Circuits Laboratory (ICLAB), headed by Prof. Christian Enz, operates within the School of Engineering (STI) as part of the Institute of Microengineering (IMT) in the new EPFL site of Neuchâtel. It is focused on the design of low-power and low-voltage analog and RF CMOS integrated circuits, on the modeling of advanced semiconductor devices with a particular focus on the MOS transistor for analog and RF design, and on the design of low-power error-tolerant circuits and systems. The strong background acquired over the years in compact modeling of the MOS transistor with the EKV model and its related design methodology applied to analog and RF circuits, helps finding optimum circuit solutions. Relevant research activities within the MOS-QUITO project: accurately compact modeling the effect of extremely low temperatures on MOSFETs.

Contacts: Prof. Christian Enz:,

AQUA The Advanced Quantum Architectures (AQUA) laboratory, within the School of Engineering (STI) and part of the Institute of Microengineering (IMT), is headed by Prof. Edoardo Charbon. Its research mission is to model and develop hardware/software systems based on quantum devices. The core competencies are VLSI design, CMOS processing and modeling, microelectronics and computer engineering. Particular emphasis is given to high-speed and time-resolved 2D/3D optical sensing, single photon avalanche devices (SPAD) and their applications (medical, security, ranging, environmental), as well as design optimization techniques. Another research direction is towards the design of cryogenic circuits for quantum computing applications, such as qubit readout and control. This is the task within the framework of the MOS-QUITO project.

Contacts: Prof. Edoardo Charbon:,

Main tasks in MOS-QUITO:
  • Creation of the classical infrastructure necessary to operate the proposed qubits (low-T amplifiers for single-shot readout, low-T oscillators to generate the appropriate microwave photons used to communicate with the qubits, and low-T microwave multiplexers to access multiple qubits efficiently)
  • Accurately model the effect of extremely low temperatures on MOSFETs using the industry-standard BSIM6 compact MOSFET model
Previous experience, skills and facilities relevant to the tasks in MOS-QUITO:
  • Expertise in CMOS  nanofabrication (MOSFETs and MOS-SETs ); State-of-the art nanofabrication facilities 300 mm process line
  • Expertise in ultrasensitive  microwave and DC electrical measurements at low temperature, high magnetic field, clean electromagnetic environment
  • Realistic ab-initio and NEGF simulation of CMOS devices (MOSFETs and MOS-SETs )
Key persons related to the proposal at EPFL:

Prof. Christian C. Enz (M’84, S’12) received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the EPFL in 1984 and 1989 respectively. From 1984 to 1989 he was research assistant at the EPFL, working in the field of micro-power analog IC design. In 1989 he was one of the founders of Smart Silicon Systems S.A. (S3), where he developed several low-noise and low-power ICs, mainly for high energy physics applications. From 1992 to 1997, he was an Assistant Professor at EPFL, working in the field of low-power analog CMOS and BiCMOS IC design and device modeling. From 1997 to 1999, he was Principal Senior Engineer at Conexant (formerly Rockwell Semiconductor Systems), Newport Beach, CA, where he was responsible for the modeling and characterization of MOS transistors for the design of RF CMOS circuits. In 1999, he joined the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) where he launched and lead the RF and Analog IC Design group. In 2000, he was promoted Vice President, heading the Microelectronics Department, which became the Integrated and Wireless Systems Division in 2009. He joined the EPFL as full professor in 2013, where he is currently the director of the Institute of Microengineering (IMT) and head of the Integrated Circuits Laboratory (ICLAB).

He is lecturing and supervising undergraduate and graduate students in the field of Analog and RF IC Design at EPFL. His technical interests and expertise are in the field of very low-power analog and RF IC design, semiconductor device modeling, and inexact and error tolerant circuits and systems. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and has contributed to numerous conference presentations and advanced engineering courses.

Prof. C. Enz is one of the authors of the compact MOSFET model known as the EKV model which has recently been integrated in the latest BSIM6 standard compact model. His research team has been active in the field of low-power and low-voltage analog and RF IC design as well as in the modeling of semiconductor devices (mainly bulk and multi-gate MOSFETs) since many years. Christian Enz was notably at the origin of the development of the EKV MOS transistor model, which is one of the few compact models used for the design of ultralow-power weak inversion CMOS IC, and now forms the core of the industry standard BSIM6 model. The latter has been extensively validated in a 40 nm CMOS process.

Our work on multi-gate MOS transistors and modeling of noise in nanoscale bulk and double-gate MOS transistors, led to numerous papers in the field of noise modeling. We were the first to present an analytical noise modeling methodology that can simultaneously handle any arbitrary doping profile and any kind of mobility model. Using this very general framework we showed that the noise properties of a non-uniformly doped MOSFET are very different from the conventional MOSFET and can lead to bias dependence of some important noise parameters that are significantly different compared to those obtained from the long-channel classical theory. This work has also shown the tremendous potential for improving noise performance of MOSFET through channel engineering.

The next step for the modeling activity is to leverage our expertise in modeling and design of deeply scaled nanometric technologies to model the low temperature effects in an accurate manner, and eventually incorporate it in the standard BSIM6 model.

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