State and Industry Partners Invest $3.5 Million in Research at UCSD Center for Wireless Communications


San Diego, August 28, 2003 -- Twenty researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering have won more than $3.5 million in state-funded UC Discovery Grants and contributions from industry. A total of eight new projects will be carried out through UCSD's Center for Wireless Communications (CWC), on topics ranging from multimedia transmission over wireless networks, to high-bandwidth wireless spaces and "smart" sensor networks. "These projects reflect the broad range of wireless research we do here at UCSD, and the support we enjoy among technology corporations and state funding agencies," said CWC director Lawrence Larson, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) in the Jacobs School. "This new funding is a clear signal that some of the most exciting research in wireless communications anywhere is being done right here at UCSD -- helping to keep San Diego and California on the cutting edge of this important industry."

CWC's consortium members are funding the new projects. They include Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intersil, Nokia, QUALCOMM, Skyworks Solutions, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments.

The UC Discovery Grants were approved by the University of California's Industry-University Cooperative Research Program (IUCRP), which was launched by the State of California in 1996 and which invests up to $60 million a year in telecommunications and four other fields of science and engineering ( . "The goal is to encourage research at UC campuses in collaboration with California companies in these critical technology sectors," said Susanne Huttner, Associate Vice Provost for Research in the University of California system and Executive Director of the IUCRP. "These new Discovery Grants underscore our belief that teaming university researchers, companies, and the State will help California retain businesses and attract new companies and investments."

All eight projects are two-year programs beginning in August 2003, and will be carried out by faculty from the Jacobs School's Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department (except where otherwise noted):

- High-Bandwidth Wireless Spaces. Two professors from the Computer Science and Engineering department -- Joseph Pasquale (lead PI) and Andrew Chien -- will work with Anthony Acampora, Lawrence Larson and Mohan Trivedi to investigate system design issues to support high-bandwidth (over 100 megabits per second per user), limited-distance wireless spaces. The goal is to develop an integrated multi-layer solution topped off with a driving application based on smart visual environments.

Funding: UC Discovery Grant $258,247, Industry Sponsor $359,600; Total funding: $617,847.

- Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MIMO) Wireless Communication Systems. Led by Bhaskar Rao, a team including Elias Masry, James Zeidler, Truong Nguyen and Rene Cruz will focus on enhancing the capacity and quality of wireless communication networks using multiple transmit and receive antennas. The research will examine important issues in channel estimation and equalization, space-time coding, and networking.
Funding: UC Discovery Grant $227,012, Industry Sponsor $302,400; Total funding: $529,412.

- Low-Power Mixed-Signal Circuits for Wireless Transceivers. Lead PI Ian Galton and CWC director Larson will each develop techniques intended to reduce power consumption in critical high-performance circuit blocks for wireless communication systems. These include a new way to suppress interference in third-generation (3G) cellular handset receivers.

Funding: UC Discovery Grant $210,944, Industry Sponsor $291,200; Total funding: $502,144.

- Digitally Controlled Transmitters for Next Generation Communications Systems. CWC director Larson and co-PI Peter Asbeck will develop innovative transmitter architectures and designs for 3G CDMA wireless linear handset power amplifiers. Various novel power amplifier approaches will be investigated.

Funding: UC Discovery Grant $190,092, Industry Sponsor $253,000; Total funding: $443,092.

- "Smart" Sensor Networks for Visual Context Capture and Interactivity. Mohan Trivedi will lead this investigation spanning distributed video capture, transmission and analysis as well as wireless networks. The research will focus on fundamental issues that arise as multimedia sensors are deployed over large areas, with varying levels of mobility or access to power. Co-PIs on the project are Anthony Acampora, Sujit Dey, Truong Nguyen, Ramesh Rao and Rene Cruz.
Funding: UC Discovery Grant $195,927, Industry Sponsor $245,200; Total funding: $441,127.

- Error-Resilient Multimedia Communications for Wireless Channels. Pamela Cosman is the lead investigator. She and other researchers will conduct a systematic study of several aspects of multimedia transmission over noisy channels, with the goal of improving their robustness to errors. Alon Orlitsky, Alexander Vardy and Kenneth Zeger are co-PIs on the project.
Funding: UC Discovery Grant $184,818, Industry Sponsor $252,400; Total funding: $437,218.

- Application and Network-Aware Multi-Layer Adaptation of Wireless Protocols and Architectures. Lead investigator Sujit Dey and co-PIs Ramesh Rao and Rene Cruz will focus on ways to exploit configurability in communication protocols and appliance platform architectures. The goal: enable wireless applications at low cost (i.e., energy, service cost and the like) to accommodate future wireless networks and appliances that will have to support richer and more diverse applications, services and protocols.

Funding: UC Discovery Grant $126,647, Industry Sponsor $175,000; Total funding: $301,647.

- Mobile Orthogonal Frequency Division Modulation (OFDM) Communications. Most previous studies on OFDM have been for either fixed wireless systems or pedestrian-speed systems, but this project will build on prior work done at the Jacobs School on using this technique for systems experiencing high degrees of mobility (such as Wi-Fi 802.11). Laurence Milstein is leading this project, with co-PIs Truong Nguyen, John Proakis and James Zeidler.
Funding: UC Discovery Grant $114,805, Industry Sponsor $152,800; Total funding: $267,605.

For more information about the Center for Wireless Communications, go to A list of previous UC Discovery Grants in communications and networking is located at

Doug Ramsey , Jacobs School/CWC, (858) 822-5825
Jill Laufer, UC Discovery Grants, (510) 642-4221