Qualcomm Founder Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs „It took us 9 years to enter the chinese market“

Qualcomm founder and CDMA inventor Dr. Irwin Jacobs and DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK editor-in-chief Frank Riemenschneider
Qualcomm founder and CDMA inventor Dr. Irwin Jacobs with DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK editor-in-chief Frank Riemenschneider

Without the technology invented by Qualcomms founder Dr. Irwin Jacobs there would be no mobile phone today. In one of his very seldom interviews during his almost 60 years of continuous career, the 84 years old Jacobs told DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK that he invented CDMA in his car on a highway.

DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK: Dr. Jabobs, please allow me to express my deepest appreciation for giving this exclusive interview to DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK, my team any myself feel very honored.

Dr. Irwin Jacobs: I heard, you guys are doing a very good job, providing great technical content (laughing).

DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK: Thank you very much ! This year you received the famous lifetime innovation award from IMEC, if you look back to your long lasting career, which have been the most innovative moments, can you remember for a very special one?

Dr. Jacobs: Oh yes, short time after starting Qualcomm we received an invitation for consulting because the  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wanted to launch a GEO mobile communication system. They had designed the system using TDMA[1] and hired us to have look at that. After a second meeting and thinking about it driving back from Los Angeles, where they have been located, to San Diego half a way we realized that CDMA[2] may be better for mobile.

The original thought was that you are not talking all the time, sometime you are listening, thinking and you cannot give up the channel easily and get it back again due to the satellite connection, there is no way to get back the capacity. But with CDMA the limitation is the ammout of interference, so if you stop talking you are generating less interference to the others and you may get back the capacity. This was the original thought, happening on a drive from LA to San Diego. That was Fun!