First of Eleven New Chairs Funded Through Calit2

San Diego, June 26, 2002 --The University of California, San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering has named the first holder of an academic chair funded through corporate commitments to the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). The Skyworks Chair in High Speed Semiconductor Devices and Circuits is the first of eleven new chairs at the School to be funded by industry partners through Calit2.

ECE Professor Peter Asbeck holds the Skyworks Solutions Endowed Chair in High Speed Semiconductor Devices and Circuits

Other new chairs to be funded by Calit2 partners include four each from Qualcomm and Ericsson, and two from AMCC. Qualcomm has also committed to funding a chair through the institute at UCSD's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. Together with other new chairs already pledged by donors, total chairs at the Jacobs School will double from 16 to 32. 

Among those: Larry Smarr, the founding director of Calit2, has been appointed the first holder of the Harry Gruber Chair in Computer Science and Information Technologies at the Jacobs School. 

Skyworks Chair

Peter Asbeck, the first holder of the Skyworks Chair, has been a member of the Jacobs School's Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty since 1991, after spending 13 years at the Rockwell International Science Center. He is a world-recognized authority on the design and development of high-speed integrated circuits, power amplifiers and opto-electronic devices using advanced materials for wireless and other applications. Asbeck currently leads the UCSD High-Speed Devices Group. "We are delighted that Peter will be the first recipient of the university chair named for Skyworks," said David Aldrich, CEO of Skyworks. "Peter is a world-class researcher and we applaud his efforts in developing high speed circuits and power amplifiers for wireless applications based on Gallium arsenide and other high speed technologies."

Calit2 founding industry partner Conexant Systems, Inc., a worldwide leader in semiconductor solutions for communications applications, originally pledged the chair. Skyworks Solutions, Inc. ( is the industry's leading wireless semiconductor company focused on radio frequency and complete semiconductor system solutions for mobile communications applications. The company begins operations as an independent company in July, after the completion of the merger between Alpha Industries, Inc. and Conexant's wireless communications business.

Harry Gruber Chair

The Harry Gruber Chair is named after the co-founder and former CEO of INTERVU Inc., a San Diego-based pioneer in streaming video over the Internet. The chair was jointly endowed by Gruber, Brian Kenner, and Isaac Willis. Kenner (B.S. '89) was the co founder and chief technology officer of INTERVU and is currently President and CEO of San Diego-based Learning Framework, a company which provides leading performance management software for mid-market and enterprise organizations. Willis is an Atlanta-based physician and early investor in INTERVU. Both Willis and Kenner are members of the Jacobs School's Council of Advisors. "Today the School of Engineering is indeed a national treasure, and I am delighted to be able to support the school in its continuing quest for excellence with an endowed chair," said Gruber. "I am especially delighted with the selection of Larry Smarr as the first holder of this chair as he is a world-renowned visionary in modern information technology."

Gruber also founded and led three other pioneering San Diego companies--Aramed, Viagene, and Gensia Pharmaceuticals. He is currently founder and CEO of Kintera, Inc., the leading provider of advanced Web-based solutions to nonprofit organizations helping them raise funds and awareness. Gruber did his medical residency, fellowships in allergy/rheumatology and biochemical genetics, and was on the faculty of the UCSD School of Medicine. He has also served on the UCSD Foundation Board of Directors as Chair of the Development Committee.

Kenner has more than ten years of experience in the development and implementation of innovative technology applications in digital video imaging and distribution. He holds seven patents that encompass a range of inventions, including the complexities of multimedia management and delivery within a digital network and enhancement of multimedia playback. Kenner received a B.S. in electrical engineering at the Jacobs School and was named the School's alumnus of the year in 2000.

Willis has a private dermatology practice and serves as a clinical professor of medicine and director of dermatology research at Morehouse School of Medicine. He is credited with the development of several original dermatological drug formulations and devices. He is a consultant to several major pharmaceutical companies, has served on the research committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has been an advisor to the National Institutes of Health. A Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Willis received a B.S. in physical chemistry from Morehouse College and an M.D. from Howard University.

Calit2 director Larry Smarr has been a member of the Jacobs School's Computer Science and Engineering faculty since 2000. Prior to joining UCSD, he spent 15 years as founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is widely credited with helping to build the nation's supercomputing centers and was an early architect of the Internet and Web browsers. He is also a scientific advisor to Kintera. 

Media Contacts

Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825,