Excellence profiles

The six research excellence profiles of ICT at Chalmers gathers several internationally leading professors and their groups. The excellence is manifested through a critical mass of researchers, a long history (in most cases spanning over decades) of achievements in science, a bulk of winning external grants in competition, many generations of examined PhDs, and success in technology transfer.

Antenna systems

Professors: Irene Gu, Tomas McKelvey, Per-Simon Kildal, Mikael Persson, Mats Viberg
Contact: Professor Mats Viberg, viberg@chalmers.se

Chalmers has a long and strong tradition in antenna and antenna systems, the latter including integration with hardware and signal processing. Much of the research is focused on multi-elemental antennas for higher data rates in communication and radar but also applications for health and transport. Several strong groups are active in antennas, signal processing, computational electromagnetics, and biomedical imaging using antenna engineering.

In antennas, we are studying over-the-air characterization of Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna systems in reverberation chamber. This has resulted in a successful spinoff company. Moreover, a new invention has paved the way to a low-loss contactless waveguide technology for above 30 GHz. For the future radio telescope Square Kilometre Array, we have invented and developed an ultrawide (decade) bandwidth “eleven” feed system.

We have a long tradition in antenna-based signal processing. Here we study wideband MIMO radar, in particular the TX/ RX filter and waveform design. Another topic is compressed sensing and sparsity-based estimation. In the numerical modelling, we are using model-based evaluation and design. An example is the EM field from antenna integrated in the rearview mirror of a car.
In biomedical engineering, we are developing theory and instrumentation for microwave imaging and hypethermia, in particular breast cancer detection and treatment using active imaging and phase and amplitude control.

Communication systems

 
Professors: Thomas Eriksson, Tony Ottosson, Erik Ström, Arne Svensson
Contact: Professor Erik Ström, erik.strom@chalmers.se


The activities in communication systems focus on methods and algorithms for digital communications in an integrated approach. We possess expertise in channel estimation, synchronisation, modulation, error-control coding, and hardware implementation, mainly for wireless, and fibre-optical systems.
 
The research is often done in collaboration with antenna, microwave, and photonic hardware groups in common projects and PhD students, and an active exchange of senior researchers. Our research is done in a number of sub-fields. In information and communication theory, we study theory and algorithms for processing and transmission of information. We have long tradition in algorithms for future generations of cellular wireless systems. In fiber-optic communications, we have research in coding, modulation and signal processing.
 
In joint collaborations with microwave groups, we have developed techniques for RF hardware-aware communication. This is mainly modeling and algorithms for power amplifiers, oscillators, and mixers found in wireless transmitters for cellular communication. We have research in vehicular communications where we study wireless communications for traffic safety and efficiency. In addition, research is on-going in positioning based on cooperative localization of wireless network nodes.

 

Microwave technologies

Professors: Victor Belitsky, Spartak Gevorgian, Jan Grahn, Jan Stake, Herbert Zirath
Contact: Professor Herbert Zirath, herbert.zirath@chalmers.se

 
Chalmers is one of the strongest international microwave research environments, comprising several groups working from components to systems. Chalmers has its own microwave process line in the cleanroom combined with microwave measurement and modeling capability for development of full design kits. The most advanced in house technology is the MMIC line allowing us and our partners to design and test the capability of emerging microwave technologies in a fully integrated circuit process.
 
The research is focused on several fields from 1 GHz to several THz. We have long worked with InP HEMT technologies for lowest noise detection at very low power dissipation in the receiver where we recently presented new state of the art number for a cryogenic IF low-noise amplifier. In GaN HEMT technology, we have recently concluded a large microwave programme with industry where we now are heading more on functional integration as well as millimetre-way designs.
A strong tradition is to design microwave, mm-wave and THz circuits at external foundries (III-V HEMTs and HBTs in particular) where we have demonstrated multifunctional circuits above 200 GHz as well as integrated oscillators, and mixed signal circuits above 100 Gbps.
 
We have had a large activity on highly efficient linear power amplifiers for 3G communication where we have combined concepts from microwave design and digital signal processing. For the highest frequencies where transistors cannot reach, we are doing world-leading research on THz mixers based on Schottky diodes, our own invented heterostructure barrier varactor and hot-electron bolometers.
We are developing full receiver systems for millimetre wave radio telescopes based on SIS mixers. We have a strong activity on ferroelectric tunable devices, such as delay lines, phase shifters, filters and oscillators.

Parallel & Distributed Systems

Professors: John Hughes, Mary Sheeran, Per Stenström, and Phillippas Tsigas.
Contact: Professor Per Stenström, per.stenstrom@chalmers.se
 
The advent of multicore processors is a paradigm shift in software development: applications can no longer use the hardware efficiently unless they operate in parallel. But parallel programming is notoriously difficult and error prone. Multicore systems must provide abstractions to enable programmers to use them.
 
Our vision is that the future of ICT will depend on new programming abstractions and associated architectural support that finesse these difficulties, and allow software developers to focus on functionality. We perform research in parallel computers where processor and memory system are designed for parallel computer systems. One well-known example is multicore systems. In parallel programming, we develop the techniques to enhance software productivity on parallel computers through concurrent data structures, algorithms and hardware organizations.
 
In distributed systems, we have research on cyber physical systems including sensor networks. One emerging research area is smart (electrical) grids. In fault-tolerant computers, we study the functional safety crucial for automotive and aerospace computer systems. In real time systems, we find the methods for guaranteeing that tasks get processed on time in parallel and distributed systems. In computer graphics, we have shown methods for the design of photo-realistic, real-time graphics algorithms and mapping of algorithms to GPUs (Graphics Processing Units).

Photonic technologies

 

Professors: Thorvald Andersson, Peter Andrekson, Magnus Karlsson, Anders Larsson and Shumin Wang.
Contact: Professor Peter Andrekson, peter.andrekson@chalmers.se

 

The research in photonics is mainly in the field of semiconductor lasers and fibre-optical communication. Semiconductor lasers are key components in optical communication and sensing systems. Today we master everything from epitaxial growth to laser fabrication and system evaluation. We are in a world leading position in certain areas, including vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) for high capacity data communication links (multi-mode) and access networks (single-mode) with record performance in terms of modulation bandwidth, transmission capacity and high-temperature performance.

We also perform pioneering work on lasers, e.g. for high power/short pulse generation, UV-emission and photonic THz generation. In fibre-optical communication, Chalmers has an outstanding international position. We are studying high capacity optical transmission where we approach the Shannon capacity limit for future Tb/s Ethernet. Another research is advanced modulation formats for transmission of information such as QPSK, m-QAM, sub-carrier and PAM-4. A “noiseless” optical amplifier has been successfully published based on phase-sensitive amplification in nonlinear optical fibers. A company has been successfully launched in ultrafast optical sampling systems.

Software engineering & technology

 

Professors: Jan Bosch, Koen Claessen, Jörgen Hansson, John Hughes, Patrik Jansson, Andrei Sabelfeld, David Sands, Mary Sheeran, Reiner Hähnle.
Contact: Professor Mary Sheeran, mary.sheeran@chalmers.se
 
Software errors cost the US alone 60 billion dollars per year. Improving software quality – at reduced cost – is a major challenge in the ICT area. Our work in the area of software reflects these two challenges, with strong emphasis on both software quality and productivity.

 

Our work in software productivity includes large-scale software engineering issues such as service-centric software engineering, shortening development cycles and customer-driven innovation. We also investigate alternative methods to construct software, in particular functional programming. Functional programming languages improve productivity and quality by raising the level of abstraction at which developerswork. We have used this technology to develop domain specific languages for real-time embedded systems.
 
Software quality addressed in our work on testing, formal methods, and software security. Our work on testing has focused on specification-based random testing. Specificationbased testing is a method for raising software quality that addresses this challenge by automating a substantial part of software testing and debugging. Formal methods are mathematically based techniques to improve the reliability and robustness of software designs. Our work in this area includes the development of systems for interactive program verification for the production of verified software, as well as methods and award-winning tools for model checking and theorem proving.
 
Software security is a crucial issue in modern systems. Security flaws may have severe consequences and because they are provoked, not by accidents, but by a deliberately malicious attacker. Over the last 10 years we have been spearheading the use of programming language technology to analyse software for vulnerabilities, repair security flaws, and create secure-byconstruction programming languages. Recent focus has been on the application of  this technology to web and cloud computing.

Published: Thu 03 May 2012. Modified: Fri 05 Jul 2013