Roberto Padovani

Roberto Padovani
Roberto Padovani
Verona, Italy
Associated organizations
Qualcomm, Inc
Fields of study
Alexander Graham Bell Medal


Digital communication systems pioneer Roberto Padovani transformed wireless communications by developing and commercializing “third generation” (3G) cellular communications networks incorporating code division multiple access (CDMA) technology. Dr. Padovani created the original CDMA technology with digital processing algorithms and techniques for generation, acquisition and tracking of pseudo-random systems and modulation and demodulation of higher-order signal constellations and development of turbo codes, all incorporated on microchips that were continuously seeing reductions in size, power and cost.

The 3G cellular phones, smart-phones and data cards that consumers purchase today implement the ideas and techniques developed by these research efforts. Today 700 million users worldwide use 3G cellular phones. Dr. Padovani then evolved CDMA into a platform that could also support digital broadband data at rates that were much higher than those required for voice, resulting in the 1x and EVDO standards.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Padovani is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Qualcomm, Inc., San Diego, California. He received the 2016 Alexander Graham Bell Medal from the IEEE.