Like some of our other Top Wireless Innovators, Jacobs is a former professor, who taught electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, San Diego. In 1972, he gave up academia and founded Linkabit along with Wireless Innovator Andrew Viterbi. After selling Linkabit, Jacobs, Viterbi and a handful of others former Linkabit employees founded Qualcomm. Jacobs is credited with developing CDMA, a digital air interface technology that today is used in millions of cell phones globally.
Jacobs stepped down as CEO of Qualcomm in 2005 but remains the company's chairman.