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Hardware/Software Architect and Design Engineer


This position involves helping to architect, design and develop both hardware and software solutions to be adopted in NEC’s cutting-edge portfolio of O-RAN-compliant Radio Units (“O-RU”) and Distributed Units (“DU”), applying techniques such as massive-MIMO; Smart Antennas; 5G; software-defined radio, latest high-density FPGAs, ASIC, software for RISC platforms and systems design.

An enthusiastic and motivated architect/designer, covering both hardware and software projects, is required to join a growing team of engineers performing analysis and providing high-speed digital systems, IP components and real-time software required for the O-RUs and DUs, with special emphasis on the baseband signal processing and O-RAN packet processing. The team is multi-site, multi-disciplinary and multi-national in nature, working on analysis and implementation of complex SoC FPGAs, ASICs, and real-time RISC software as well system-level design and verification. 

Key responsibilities
  • To analyse, architect, design, develop, verify, debug and maintain complex digital systems and IP blocks according to a set of requirements.
  • To analyse, architect, design, develop, verify, debug and maintain complex software systems and subsystems according to a set of requirements.
  • To act as key technical expert (or technical lead, depending on experience), ensuring that the development tasks are carried out to an agreed schedule and set of requirements, and to high quality and efficiency standards.
  • To create verification strategies and implement test plans in order to ensure fault-free deliverables.
  • To rotate within and collaborate with the various RSD Groups according to the divisional workload and needs on multi-disciplinary projects.
  • To create and maintain all necessary documentation for the projects assigned.
  • To follow hardware and software life cycles and QA procedures.

Essential Knowledge and Experience:
  • VHDL and/or Verilog languages.
  • Strong software programming skills (ideally in C/C++ or any other OO language).
  • RTL simulation tools, synthesis and STA.
  • Scripting and modelling in Python.
  • Experience of architecture and implementation on FPGA or ASIC and related technologies e.g. high speed interface protocols.
  • Experience of software architecture and optimisation techniques.
  • Knowledge of embedded real-time and multi-thread software development for RISC platforms.
  • Good English skills, both written and spoken.

Desirable Experience and Knowledge:
  • Understanding of the LTE/LTE-A and 5G NR physical layer.
  • Real-time Linux development. Ideally to Kernel level. Ideally running on Intel architecture (embedded experience will also be considered)
  • Experience of algorithm development.
  • Experience of data analysis using MATLAB.
  • Tcl, Perl or any other scripting languages.

Soft skills:
  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic to learn and work closely with other team members.
  • Quick learner and keen to increase her/his responsibilities and to expand and deepen her/his technical knowledge.
  • Adaptable and versatile.
  • Happy to rotate within the division and work with different teams.
  • Logical thinker with effective analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Possessing integrity and a commitment to quality.
  • Able to work to tight deadlines.
  • Open to cultural diversity.

Other Requirements / features of the role:
  • Split between office, lab and home working. Occasional overseas travel, particularly to Japan may be required.
  • Interaction with external suppliers, customers and other consortium members is required.

Educated to a degree level, preferably in the area of communications, electronics, physics, computing, maths or similar relevant engineering related discipline. M.Eng/MSc./PhD would be a plus.


NEC Corporation (“NEC”) has a worldwide network of subsidiary companies, which includes operations in Europe where NEC performs various sales, manufacturing, and R&D functions. NEC includes the Network Services Business Unit (“NSBU”), based in Kawasaki, Japan and responsible for the development of NEC’s wireless network infrastructure solutions.

NEC Telecom MODUS Limited (“NECTML”) provides R&D services to the NSBU to enable NEC to manufacture and deliver advanced 5G mobile radio-communication base stations and associated switching and control systems based on international standards. Typically, almost half of the activities are development; a third applied research; one sixth standard setting and the rest other technical activities. The research and development functions include both hardware and software development.

The main activity areas within the Radio Systems Division (“RSD”) of NECTML are hardware development (PHY-H signal processing for DU products and PHY-L signal processing and packet processing for O-RU products); real-time software development for (v)DU and O-RU products and associated test and development Jigs, in-house C++ link-level and system-level platforms development; and 3GPP RAN1 standardization and IPR generation.

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