Research collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies selected to receive Dean for Research Innovation funding

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019
by Catherine Zandonella, the Office of the Dean for Research

A project from electrical engineering that brings together faculty researchers and industry to transform discoveries into real-world technological applications has been awarded support from the Dean for Research Innovation Fund for Industrial Collaborations.

The fund was established by the Office of the Dean for Research in recognition of the essential role that industry often plays in bringing research innovations to fruition and making them available to benefit society. This year’s two winning proposals were selected by a faculty review panel for their quality, originality and potential impact.

From electrical engineering, the winning proposal was:

Opening up the future of wireless communications

A collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and researchers from Princeton's Department of Electrical Engineering aims to open up new capacity for mobile phones and other wireless devices to connect to the internet by expanding use of the electromagnetic spectrum, the "highway" that carries wireless signals. Qualcomm intends to support researchers who seek to develop circuits capable of harnessing sections of the spectrum difficult to access with current electronics.

Kaushik Sengupta, assistant professor of electrical engineering, will coordinate with Qualcomm researchers to design technology for devices that harness the millimeter wave (mm-wave) frequency spectrum. To make the most of these channels, instead of operating at a fixed frequency like a car stuck in the same lane of traffic, the devices can rapidly switch frequencies like a vehicle weaving in and out of lanes to avoid traffic. With this dynamic use of the spectrum, researchers can build programmable wireless transmitters that allow faster and more flexible communication between the many devices – from autonomous vehicles to health monitors – expected to come online in the near future.