HDL Developer

14 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
30 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


HDL Developer in the Beams Department (BE), Controls Group (CO), Hardware and Timing section (HT).

In the Beams Department (BE), Controls Group (CO), Hardware and Timing Section (HT) you will participate in the design of controls and data acquisition hardware within a team of electronics designers.

 As an HDL Developer you will join:

  • The Beams Department (BE), responsible for the beam production, beam and accelerator physics, beam diagnostics, radiofrequency, controls and performance optimization for the entire CERN accelerator complex including the LHC.
  • The Controls Group (CO), responsible for the specification, design, procurement, integration, installation, commissioning and operation of the controls infrastructure for all CERN Accelerators, their transfer lines and the Experimental Areas.
  • The Hardware and Timing Section (HT), responsible for the development, production and support of most of the BE-CO custom electronic modules. It also provides know-how for the technical choice of commercial modules to suit the needs of equipment groups in the Accelerator Sector. The Section is very active in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) design using Hardware Description Languages (HDL), as well as precision timing electronics such as those present in White Rabbit technology.


As an HDL Developer, you will:

  • Take responsibility for the design, evolution and support of the HDL code (mostly VHDL) in various key components of the accelerator control system.
  • Identify areas for improvement and propose solutions, including the development of new HDL and auxiliary software components, and the adoption of new technologies.
  • Collaborate with controls and data acquisition teams around CERN and support them, for the integration of the hardware and software components, that the Hardware and Timing Section develops, into complete systems.
  • Participate in the operational support of all the deployed solutions in the domain of distributed controls and data acquisition hardware.
  • Document and present your work as appropriate.


Master's degree or PhD or equivalent relevant experience in the field of Electronics, or equivalent.

Experience and competencies

The experience required for this post is:

  • Demonstrated experience working with programmable logic design using Hardware Description Languages, VHDL in particular. Experience with the Xilinx design tools would be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience in automated testing and verification of complex HDL components.
  • Experience in software development in C or Python.
  • Experience in in radiation-tolerant design of electronics and techniques to measure and increase reliability would be an advantage.
  • Experience in the design of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) would be an advantage.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Design of electronics based on field programmable logic-based devices (FPGA).
  • Digital circuit design, modelling and simulation.
  • Programming/Software development: knowledge of embedded LINUX and device driver development would be an advantage.

The behavioural competencies required for this post are:

  • Achieving results: delivering high quality work on time and fulfilling expectations; driving work / projects along and seeing them through to their conclusion; having a structured and organised approach towards work; being able to set priorities and plan tasks with results in mind.
  • Solving problems: identifying, defining and assessing problems, taking action to address them; anticipating obstacles; assessing alternative solutions in order to have a fall-back plan; producing workable and timely solutions that meet requirements.
  • Communicating effectively: expressing opinions, ideas and suggestions with conviction and in a logical/structured manner; keeping to the point; listening actively to others and letting others speak; delivering presentations in a structured and clear way; adjusting style and content to the audience; responding calmly and confidently to questions.

The language competencies required are:

  • Spoken and written English: ability to understand and speak English in professional contexts. Abilty to draw-up technical specifications and scientific reports and to make oral presentations.
  • The knowledge of the French language or the willingness to acquire this rapidly would be an advantage.

Eligibility and closing date

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization. Employing a diverse workforce is central to our success.

We welcome applications from all Member States and Associate Member States.

This vacancy will be filled as soon as possible, and applications should normally reach us no later than 30.01.2018.

By applying here, you allow CERN to consider your application for any position it considers relevant with respect to your profile. Please ensure you update your profile regularly with any relevant information and that you inform the recruitment service if you wish your file to be removed from the database.

Note on Employment Conditions

We offer a limited-duration contract for a period of 5 years. Limited-duration contracts shall terminate by default on their date of expiry.
Subject to certain conditions, holders of limited-duration contracts may apply for an indefinite position.

These functions require:

  • Stand-by duty, when required by the needs of the Organization.
  • Work during nights, Sundays and official holidays, when required by the needs of the Organization.