Three Institute Projects Win UC Discovery Grants

September 24, 2002 / By Doug Ramsey

Center for Wireless Communications Signs 3 New Members

San Diego, Sept. 24, 2002 -- Twelve researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering have won more than $1.8 million in state-funded UC Discovery Grants for four new research projects from the University of California’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Program (IUCRP). The research will be carried out through the Center for Wireless Communications (CWC) and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Calit²]. The state funding is provided as matching grants that complement and leverage funding for the projects from four industry partners: Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and IBM.

It was also announced today that IBM, Intel and Hitachi Ltd. have signed on as new members of CWC, bringing the Jacobs School research center’s corporate membership to 16.

The IUCRP was launched by the State of California in 1996 and invests $20 million a year in UC Discovery Grants to encourage research at UC campuses in collaboration with California companies in telecommunications and four other fields. "Governor Gray Davis and the legislature have championed industry-university cooperative strategies that advance research and education while simultaneously strengthening the competitiveness of California businesses," said Susanne Huttner, Associate Vice Provost for Research in the University of California system and Executive Director of the IUCRP. "Calit² is proving that this concept of teaming university researchers, companies and the State is a winning formula that will help California retain businesses and attract new companies and investments."

One of the grants below (on ultra-wideband technology) will go through CWC, while the other three will match donations from industry partners of Calit², a collaboration of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and University of California at Irvine (UCI). Taken together, twelve Jacobs School faculty will participate in the four projects:

  • Adaptive Systems. Electrical and computer engineering (ECE) professor Ramesh Rao, who is also Calit2’s division director at UCSD, will lead this multi-year project. The goal: design of an Adaptive System that can sense all available network access systems at any given location, seamlessly select the most cost effective service, and then dynamically adapt to the selected service in support of multimedia applications. ECE’s Pam Cosman, Sujit Dey, Rene Cruz and computer science and engineering (CSE) professor Geoff Voelker will also work on the Ericsson-sponsored research, with nearly $950,000 in matching funds from the UC Discovery Grant.
  • Ultra-wideband Technology for Communication and Position Location Applications. IUCRP will contribute $778,000 in UC Discovery Grant funds, on top of corporate grants from CWC members Intel and Hewlett-Packard. CWC director Larry Larson and ECE’s Larry Milstein will team on the project to develop a new form of digital wireless communication -- ultra-wideband (UWB) -- that has the potential to transmit voice and data much more efficiently than existing techniques.
  • CDMA Systems. Milstein also takes the lead on this Ericsson-sponsored project, with help from Pam Cosman, Paul Siegel, Alon Orlitsky and Ken Zeger (all ECE faculty). Their goal is the design of spectrally efficient code division multiple access (CDMA) systems when they are used in “bursty” transmission mode (arriving in large quantities at sporadic intervals). If successful, the research could lead to higher
    capacity CDMA systems. A UC Discovery Grant is contributing more than $460,000.
  • Optical Interconnects for On-Board Communications. ECE professor Sadik Esener will lead this planned 5-year effort to investigate the insertion of low-cost, high-speed optical interconnects into computer and communication switching boards to replace today’s electrical interconnects that will soon lose the ability to transport data streams between different chips, mainly because of high power loss and crosstalk between adjacent data lines. The $106,000 UC Discovery Grant will complement first-year funding of $150,000 from IBM. The project marks the first time IBM has
    signed a research agreement with Calit².

IBM as well as Intel and Hitachi Ltd. are the newest corporate members of the Center for Wireless Communications at the Jacobs School. With their addition, the center now has 16 industry partners. “The three newest are proven technology leaders with world-class development programs and tremendous marketplace presence,” said CWC director Larson. “They bring a worldwide perspective to our decision-making and add to the center’s technology knowledge base. IBM, Intel and Hitachi Ltd. will undoubtedly
make significant contributions to the research content and directions of the CWC.” Larson also said CWC and Calit² will continue to collaborate closely on wireless research.

For more information on UC Discovery Grants, go to

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Doug Ramsey (858) 822-5825