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FPGA Engineer

Thorlabs, Inc., Jessup, MD, United States
Employer Description

Founded in 1989, Thorlabs seeks to accelerate the forward movement of scientific discovery and advancement! As a vertically integrated manufacturer of photonics components, instruments, and systems, our vast product portfolio includes over 20,000 items, ranging from optics and optomechanical positioning components to imaging systems, many of which are customer inspired.

Photonics is the foremost technology driving innovation in science and engineering. As the number of technological innovations has grown, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments.

Headquartered in Newton, NJ, Thorlabs has grown to over 1800 employees with manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil. As light-based technologies push into new markets, Thorlabs plans to enter early with the products and services required to ensure the ultimate success of our customers.

Job Description

The position is responsible for the design and development of advanced optical imaging systems, from component level up to full system integration. As part of a small team, engineers focus on new product development with the expectation to work with limited guidance on complex engineering activities in a fast paced environment. The position conceives, designs, and prototypes FPGA-based hardware for data acquisition and post-processing of high speed and high fidelity optical signals. Activities include design documentation, prototype verification and debug, test development and transfer to manufacturing. This position requires troubleshooting of complex electronics and system problems and is committed to customer satisfaction. Although the location of the position is in Jessup, MD, from time to time it may be required to undertake duties at other ThorLabs locations.

Essential Job Functions include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Assist in the development of FPGA-based solutions for optical imaging systems.
  • FPGA programming in VHDL; Participates in cross-functional new product development teams as an FPGA/Digital electronics design expert.
  • Support electronic and electrical component, circuit, and board design for high-speed digital systems.
  • Assist in performance testing for new FPGA/electronics designs.
  • Assist in troubleshooting and determination of root cause for circuit design, board design, or fabrication failures.
  • Participate in lab testing of prototype imaging equipment and address FPGA performance improvements.
  • Other FPGA/electronics design activities may be added in the future as business conditions evolve.




  • 5+ years of FPGA design experience required.
  • Experience with FPGA-based data processing (FFT, digital filtering, etc.) for high-speed real-time systems.
  • Extensive experience with the FPGA firmware development process is a must; including VHDL code development, simulation, synthesis, and timing closure.
  • Experience interfacing with high-speed peripherals such as ADCs, external memory, DACs, camera chips, SERDES transceivers, etc.


  • Minimum of a B.S Degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering from an accredited university.

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Experience with laboratory instrumentation such as function generators, oscilloscopes, network analyzers, and logic analyzers
  • Strong sense of ownership and work ethic, written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient computer skills is a must
  • Strong ability to work well in a group atmosphere, and comply with high-quality standards
  • Proven expertise in troubleshooting and resolving electronic issues in instruments
  • Experience with Xilinx (Zynq) and/or Altera SOC products and development tools.
  • Experience with high-speed JESD204B based A/D converters and/or other high-speed serial transfer protocols.
  • Experience with implementation and optimization of Image processing algorithms in FPGA logic.
  • Familiarity with digital circuit design and Boolean logic
  • Mixed Signal PCB design is a plus.


Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.

11 June 2019
11 July 2019
Bachelor's Degree
Advanced Manufacturing