Jacobs Predicts Super Cell Phone

Jacobs Predicts Super Cell Phone

Jacobs Predicts Super Cell Phone

Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of QUALCOMM Incorporated, delivers the first Whiting-Turner Lecture of 2005-2006.
Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of QUALCOMM Incorporated, delivers the first Whiting-Turner Lecture of 2005-2006.

Telephone, pager, camera and camcorder—we all know these capabilities of the common cell phone, circa 2005. But what about TV, PDA, wallet, bar scanner, GPS, PC, MP3 player, walkie-talkie and FM radio? Not to mention glucose sensor and Holter monitor?

That's the future—near future—as described by Irwin Jacobs, co-founder and chairman of wireless technology giant QUALCOMM, in this year's first Whiting-Turner Lecture on October 12. He sees this super cell phone as "the one device that's always with you." It has all the computing power of a desktop PC, and the bandwidth of a UHF TV channel (capable of carrying 20 digital channels). It will all run on QUALCOMM's CDMA technology or some evolution of it, feature downloadable interfaces for different functionalities and different user sophistication levels, and extend the market viability of cell phones for at least another ten years.

Farvardin, Jacobs, Scholl

From left to right: Dean Nariman Farvardin, Dr. Jacobs and Thomas Scholl.

Dr. Jacobs was introduced twice. Clark School Dean Nariman Farvardin outlined Jacobs's career, including early years as a professor of engineering and computer science at MIT and UCSD; the dean showed the audience his copy of Jacobs's text book Principles of Communication Engineering, which Dr. Farvardin had studied in college. Then Jacobs's friend, Novak Biddle Ventures partner and Clark School Board of Visitors member Thomas Scholl, described Jacobs as "a role model for engineers," able to develop technical innovations, grow and run a successful company and become a leading philanthropist (as well as one of Forbes magazine's top 400 richest Americans).

Filled lecture hall

An overflow crowd in the Kim Building lecture hall.

At the conclusion of the lecture, Jacobs fielded questions from the large crowd that filled both the Kim Building lecture hall and PEPCO conference room. Dean Farvardin then presented Jacobs with the Clark School's Technology Business Leadership Award in recognition of his contributions to technical and business achievements at QUALCOMM and the seminal influence he has long exerted on the field of communications technology.

Dr. Jacobs' talk is available to watch online.

The next Whiting-Turner Business and Entrepreneurship Lecture will be given by Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and now venture capitalist at Polaris Venture Partners, on December 8, 2005. His topic is "Ethernet and Entrepreneurship."

Dean Farvardin with Jacobs' book

Dean Farvardin with his copy of Dr. Jacobs’s textbook.

The Clark School Technology Business Leadership Award

The Clark School Technology Business Leadership Award presented to Whiting-Turner lecturers.



Dr. Jacobs speaks with lecture attendees

Dr. Jacobs speaks with lecture attendees.


October 17, 2005


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