Senior Electronics Engineer (Test & Characterization) at XMOS
Bristol, GB

This role reports to the Director of Silicon Design, based in our Bristol office. You’ll need to be self-directed, proactive and able to work closely with our Silicon Design team to develop and automate tests to validate and characterize our latest silicon chip.


    Running and automating functional and parametric tests to validate and characterize the processor
    Taking test programs developed by our silicon verification engineers and software team, you will automate the execution of these tests, debug all aspects of the test setup and systematically execute the test plan whilst recording results.  To do this effectively, you will:
        Be familiar with scripting techniques to combine and execute tests and control lab equipment (such as a programmable power supply or setting the temperature of a thermal chamber)
        Have a strong electronics background, able to assemble, debug and modify circuit board designs, knowledgeable regarding handling sensitive components
        Have a good grounding in IT/software development skills, as you will be working in a Linux environment, using a database to log results and both programs and results will need to be version controlled
    Debugging suspected faults, providing insight and guidance on how tests can be corrected or extended
    Ensuring efficient automation of tests and results logging, optimizing run-times within an existing framework.
    You will also be responsible for testing prototype development boards (these include our processor, DDR memory, Flash, USB, MIPI and audio circuitry)
    You will manage the electronics lab, being responsible for specifying and procuring necessary equipment

Required skills

Your electronics skills will include:

    JTAG and working with test patterns/boundary scan
    Programming of Flash devices and OTP
    Debug of prototype PCB assemblies
    Understanding of SOC principles, such as programmable clocks, POR circuits, programmable IO
    Understanding temperature/voltage effects
    Using lab equipment to take system measurements such as slew rates, eye diagrams, skews etc

Your lab skills will include:

    Detailed understanding of, and hands-on experience with equipment such as oscilloscopes, logic analysers, programmable PSUs including controlling them remotely via scripts
    Hand assembly/modification of PCBs

Your scripting and software skills will include:

    Extending and maintaining existing automation scripts, ideally in Python
    You will have worked in a Linux environment, comfortable working from a command line interface
    You will be testing a processor device and some tests will rely on simple programs deployed on it.  To work with these programs, you will have experience modifying and compiling simple pieces of code (ideally in C)

Additional skills

Whilst not a fundamental requirement, the scope and challenge of the role could be extended to the right candidate who brings further skills and experience, such as:

    PCB development, which must include component selection, high speed design (100s MHz) and the ability to interface with the PCB manufacturer and assembler would allow greater involvement with the development of our development kits and demonstration systems
    Experience of test development and test infrastructure for circuit board assemblies would be highly beneficial and could lead to the responsibility for manufacture and supply of our development kits
    An understanding of micro-processor architectures would allow greater involvement in test development, as would experience of working with peripheral interfaces such as SPI, USB, MIPI or experience working with component level BIST

About XMOS

XMOS is a global business, backed by some of the best names in high tech venture capital. We’re headquartered in Bristol (UK) with offices across Asia and the United States.

A fabless semiconductor company, XMOS has a unique micro-controller design, underpinned by our own in-house tools. Our approach to multi-core, highly parallel stream processing and intrinsic support for high performance Edge-AI enables our software team to develop highly efficient “at the edge” intelligent sensor applications.

As a deep tech company working to develop more natural human machine interfaces, we’re always looking for questioning, flexible and determined people to help make that happen. Ours is a learning environment, which means we hire for capability and potential – and help you to achieve your best.
XMOS Origins

In 2005, a small team from the University of Bristol assembled. They saw that a fast, flexible and cost-effective microcontroller was needed that would enable designers to respond quickly to diversifying market demand. That first-generation microcontroller put unprecedented IO capability – available through software for the first time – alongside significant DSP and control processing. This established XMOS as a name in the USB audio sector: if you wanted to compete in a rapidly changing market, you needed to create something special – and you needed XMOS to do it.

The team’s initial vision quickly shifted towards developing a powerful AI processor. This led to a fork in the road in 2016. Caught between two very different technical and commercial models for the future, XMOS split into two entities: Graphcore was created to focus on server-side AI (huge Cloud-based intelligence engines), and XMOS continued the quest towards low-cost, efficient embedded intelligence (or edge-AI).

The early vision has become reality. Voice is the most significant AI application in the market, and in 2019, XMOS moved to make it mainstream, bringing out the highest performing far-field 2-mic voice-interface for just under a dollar. Adopted by leading brands, our high-performance, easily integrated voice solutions are transforming consumers’ interactions with everyday devices.

Today, with, XMOS has developed a new, disruptive crossover processor for the AIoT market. Fast, flexible and economical, puts intelligence at the core of smart products. For the first time, high performance AI, DSP, control and IO have come together in a single low-cost device.

The person

As XMOS launch our next generation processor we’re looking for energetic and versatile engineers to join the growing team.  Working in a highly dynamic environment, you will participate in and influence all aspects of device bring-up, characterization and ensuring a smooth transition from a newly taped-out device to mass production.

This role requires exceptional communication skills.  You will be collaborating with Silicon design engineers, Software developers, a Test development team in the USA and our Tools team who develop and maintain our compiler and tool chain.

You will be diligent and systematic in your approach to work. The accuracy and comprehensive attention to detail of your work will be critical to the quality of our devices and reputation of XMOS.

The role is based in Bristol, UK and we estimate the work will be approximately 50% lab-based.

The benefits

    Competitive Salary
    Share Options – EMI approved share options allocated at a level commensurate to seniority. A 4-year vesting profile with a 1-year cliff
    Holidays – 25 days paid with an additional 3 days over the Christmas period when the office closes
    Private Medical Insurance – membership of the corporate healthcare plan, currently held with AVIVA. Option of adding partner and children if they are residing in the UK (incremental premium must be paid by the Employee.)
    Group Income Protection Cover – the level of benefit payable is 75% of Scheme Salary and an employee will become entitled to benefit after being unable to work because of sickness or injury for 26 continuous weeks.
    Life Insurance – the benefit payable is a lump sum of 4 times Scheme Salary.
    Salary Sacrifice Pension Scheme – established for employee contributions, with XMOS matching these up to 5% of salary.