Irwin Jacobs and Klein Gilhousen

Klein’s Influence: Engineering a New World of Digital Communications

Paul Jacobs, Guest Contributor

Special Edition - Klein Gilhousen Memorial Inscribed

PHOTO ABOVE: Klein Gilhousen speaks with Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs.

Klein was a brilliant engineer and a member of the Qualcomm family for 30 years. He will be greatly missed by all of us who were fortunate to interact with him.


Klein was one of the seven co-founders of Qualcomm in 1985 and played a pivotal role in the development of CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology.

He was also an instrumental force behind our company’s collaboration with the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI), a non-profit public-private partnership that provides tuition-free telecommunications and broadcast training to professionals from the developing world.

In 2006, the USTTI honored Klein with its Chairman’s Award, stating, “Klein Gilhousen typifies the hands-on vigorous commitment of hundreds of USTTI volunteer professors who year-after-year provide the tuition-free communications training that has empowered 7,253 USTTI graduates from 165 developing countries.”

Klein was an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Burns Technology Center in Bozeman, Montana. He also served as an Ambassador for Montana State University (MSU) and an advisor to the Montana State Engineering Department. In 2001, he received an honorary Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from MSU.

Irwin Jacobs, who recruited Klein to work with him at Linkabit in 1970, says, “It is impossible to overstate the importance of Klein to both Linkabit and Qualcomm. He either originated or contributed greatly to the innovative ideas in both companies. Neither would have been a success without him.”

In addition to his groundbreaking work on CDMA at Qualcomm, earlier in his career at Linkabit, Klein made substantial contributions in the areas of satellite modem design, high-speed Viterbi and sequential decoding design, VLSI design, and in addressing control and key distribution for video scrambling systems.

Stay Connected

Sign up and receive insights on the cutting edge of spiritual thought leadership and theological education

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.