.Qualcomm Inc, the US-based company that develops wireless technologies, inaugurated its design centre in Chennai on Thursday. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics & IT and Cristiano Amon, President & CEO, Qualcomm Inc., jointly inaugurated the centre set up with an investment of ₹177.27 crore.

The design centre will specialise in wireless connectivity solutions, focusing on innovations that complement WiFi technologies. Additionally, it will actively contribute to Qualcomm’s global Research and Development endeavours in 5G Cellular technology, reinforcing its commitment to staying at the forefront of the wireless communications industry.

Employment generation

The new Design Centre is expected to generate jobs for up to 1,600 skilled technology professionals, further contributing to the growth and development of India’s vibrant workforce. This investment will also open new doors for semiconductor design in alignment with the government’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and will unlock growth opportunities for a strong indigenous design ecosystem, according to a release.

Cristiano Amon told newspersons that the centre will be critical in the company’s wireless products, including WiFi technologies. India has a well-established IT industry with many multinational corporations working in a growth-oriented policy ecosystem supported by central and state governments, which has led to a conducive environment for tech talent to flourish. Qualcomm looks forward to the country’s growth opportunities.

6G University Research India Program

Qualcomm also announced the inaugural edition of the Qualcomm 6G University Research India Program, in line with the India Government’s Bharat 6G Vision and to support academic research impact and leadership in emerging 6G technologies. An expansion of the company’s existing university research program, the program supports a select group of professors from various IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and IISc (Indian Institute of Science) in their research in key areas of 6G technologies. The first cohort, comprising 17 academicians, will share the program funding of about $1.02 million over three years.

The program is spread across two phases. Phase One, which recently concluded, invited research proposals from the shortlisted universities. Phase Two will be spread across three years and will entail regular engagement between professors, students, and their assigned points of contact, talks on 6G by R&D leads from Qualcomm group companies, and periodic workshops for the participants.

Out of over 40 proposals received, the 17 selected are grouped into Physical Layer, Physical/Medium Access Control Layer, Medium Access Control Layer, Upper Layers, and Radio Frequency, with titles ranging from explorations on 6G with Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning to 6G Communications and Applications.

Academic research

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, said, “Even as 5G services roll out in India, the work towards the next evolution of wireless technology and 6G must continue. The collaborative R&D efforts of the private sector and academicians will play a vital role in shaping 6G and defining its standards.

India has the talent to drive world-leading R&D and create Indian-origin IP in this domain, and I commend Qualcomm Technologies’ vision behind launching the 6G University Research Program. It will inspire and support the engineering talent in our country in addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow,” he said.

“I had discussion Amon on the collaboration between the Government of India and Qualcomm on various sectors, including 6G,” the minister told newspersons.