FPGA Design Engineer


The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC is seeking an FPGA Design Engineer.

Job Summary: The RF Engineering Group within APL's Space Exploration Sector (SES) is developing highly integrated FPGA-based space communications and DSP systems, and needs creative, capable FPGA design engineers for these System-on-Chip (SoC) FPGA implementations. In this role, the FPGA Design Engineer is responsible for developing complex, high quality FPGA modules suitable for integration into larger mission-critical space flight systems.


  • Design and verify high complexity VHDL-based circuits and systems, based on functional, performance, verification and test requirements defined by the FPGA system lead.
  • Develop effectively within a SoC FPGA environment containing embedded processors and IP blocks from both internal and external sources.
  • Interact with repositories of FPGA IP for communications, DSP, and instrument applications.
  • Produce high-quality documentation of design and test activities: test plans, user guides, memos.

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.

Required Qualifications:

  • B.S. or M.S. in Electrical or Computer Engineering
  • At least 3 years' experience in the design and validation of complex FPGA designs using VHDL
  • Experience with CPU architectures and on-chip peripheral core interconnects
  • Experience with integrating procured and custom IP cores in SoC FPGA designs
  • Demonstrated successful teamwork and leadership skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills

Desired Qualifications:

Knowledge of low and high speed serial I/O protocols for off-chip communication (e.g. SpaceWire, JTAG, PCIe, etc.)

Experience with software-defined radios and RF communications

Working knowledge of Python and MATLAB

Working knowledge of standard software version control systems such as Git, Mercurial, or Subversion

Experience with verifying digital designs in the lab using logic analyzers, pattern generators, and oscilloscopes

Security: Applicant selected will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

Benefits: APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at www.jhuapl.edu.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws, and values diversity in its workforce.

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