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Peter Asbeck elected to National Academy

Peter Asbeck elected to National Academy

If you like your slim cell phone, one of the many people you have to thank is Peter Asbeck, an electrical engineering professor at the Jacobs School . And while you're at it, congratulate him on earning one of the highest professional distinctions possible for an engineer—election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Asbeck's technical innovations have made their way into about 95 percent of the approximately one billion cell phones sold in 2006.Without the technology he pioneered first at Rockwell International Science Center and later at UCSD—heterojunction bipolar transistors or HBTs—we might be walking around with cell phone batteries the size of bricks. Asbeck's work is also influencing the field of optical networking, and it will likely turn up in many of the uncharted regions of our wireless, handheld future.

HBTs amplify cell phone signals to the point that they are strong enough to travel from a cell phone antenna to the closest cell phone tower. As HBTs have improved, cell phone batteries, and thus cell phones themselves, have decreased in size.

Asbeck heads UCSD's High-Speed Device Group and holds the Skyworks Chair in High Speed Semiconductor Devices and Circuits. A member of the Jacobs School 's Center for Wireless Communications, Asbeck founded the UCSD Power Amplifier Workshop which has now become a major component of the IEEE "Radio Wireless Week" conference.

Peter Asbeck (center, back row) and his students at a celebration for Asbeck's election to the National Academy of Engineering.
Peter Asbeck (center, back row) and his students at a celebration for Asbeck's election to the National Academy of Engineering.