Former Qualcomm leaders join 5G-on-a-chip start-up

Former Qualcomm leaders join 5G-on-a-chip start-up

27 January 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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EdgeQ, a company developing 5G systems on a chip has hired two former top executives of Qualcomm, including ex-CEO Paul Jacobs, as advisors.

Jacobs, who was with Qualcomm for 28 years until 2018, will join EdgeQ’s advisory board along with Matt Grob, who Qualcomm’s CTO.

EdgeQ says it is close to delivery of what it called “the industry’s first fully open and programmable 5G platform” this year, using open systems and an open standard instruction set architecture, called RISC-V.

The company, founded by another ex-Qualcomm exec, Vinay Ravuri, has a reported US$51 million of venture capital funding.

Jacobs said the mobile industry is facing an inflection point which “creates the opportunity to build and leverage an open ecosystem based on new platforms and a greater diversity of participants. EdgeQ’s solution, based on the open design of RISC-V processors, enables innovation deeper in the wireless technology stack.”

Grob said: “5G opens an uncharted world of novel applications that require unprecedented wireless performance achieved with techniques such as joint processing, massive MIMO [multiple input, multiple output], and adaptive beamforming at the base station EdgeQ’s converged 5G and AI capabilities make for a unique solution to accomplish these tasks at lower hardware cost and at lower power.”

He spent almost 27 years at Qualcomm, rising from engineer in 1991 to CTO in 2011 before leaving in 2018.

EdgeQ said that the “wireless infrastructure industry is undergoing a sea change where the cellular stack is becoming disaggregated and virtualised. …With EdgeQ, customers can now leverage a RISC-V open ecosystem for cellular deployment, provide targeted differentiation and customisation, all while being capital efficient.”