A.J. Paulraj, VSM, AVSM, Stanford University Professor Emeritus, has been inducted into the United States National Inventors Hall of Fame for his contributions to wireless technology. Dr.Paulraj was a key speaker at the Synergia Foundation’s Security 360 Conclave in November 2017.
A.J. Paulraj was born in the town of Pollachi in southern India. He joined the Indian National Defence Academy, and completed his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Naval College of Engineering. He received his doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, for work on signal filtering theory.
Dr. Paulraj played a crucial role in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, particularly in the development of the Indian Navy’s sonar capabilities. The Navy’s first sonar fleet was based on Paulraj’s APSOH sonar designs. He retired from the Navy after 25 years of service, as Commodore. He was the Founding Director of National Labs for AI & Robotics, Computing and Electronics.
In the 90s, he moved to Stanford and worked on the development of MIMO technology. He founded Wireless Inc, and Beceem Communications, both of which developed technology that helped advance WiMAX networks. The former was acquired by Intel while the latter was acquired by Broadcom.
Paulraj is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan award, the AtiVishishtSeva Medal, the VishishtSeva Medal, and the Raksha Medal, amongst others. His work has also been recognised through international distinctions such as the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, and the 2014 Marconi Prize, a Nobel equivalent for technology pioneers. He is currently Professor Emeritus (Research) of Engineering and Marconi Society Fellow in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University.
Dr. A.J. Paulraj was a keynote speaker at the Synergia Foundation’s Security 360 conclave in November 2017. In his address, he discussed the future of information technology and cyber security.
Early this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) inducted A.J. Paulraj, Stanford University Professor Emeritus, into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on MIMO wireless technology. Paulraj is one of 15 innovators who was inaugurated into the National Hall of Fame in 2018.
Paulraj expressed his gratitude at being chosen. “I feel humbled to be counted among the inventors who have made the modern world possible,” he said. “Paulraj, 73, has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his pioneering work on developing wireless technology to transmit and receive data at high speeds,” the USPTO told the Indo-Asian News Service.
MIMO or ‘Multiple Input, Multiple Output’ is a wireless technology that acts as a foundation for wireless internet and communication. It revolutionised broadband wireless communication including WiFi and 4G. "MIMO technology uses multiple antennas as a transmitter and receiver in a wireless link to boost wireless data rates. The 4G broadband wireless internet access and the next-generation 5G would not be possible without MIMO Technology," Paulraj explained.
Some precursors in the field, who have also been immortalised in the National Inventors Hall of Fame include: Edwin Armstrong, who pioneered the FM radio; Guglielmo Marconi and Oliver Lodge, for the wireless telegraph; Reginald Fessenden for the AM radio; Amos Joel for cellular technology; Andrew Viterbi and Irwin Jacobs for CDMA-3G; and Jan Haartsen for Bluetooth technology. Jagdish Chandra Bose also notably received a patent for his pioneering work in radio and microwave optics.
In December 2017, Paulraj was appointed Chairman of the National Telecommunication Department’s Steering Committee, ‘to prepare a vision, mission, goal and roadmap for 5G India 2020.’ “The Department has asked me to support its efforts to advance the applications and internal value addition in 5G wireless. I always felt that India needs to join the club of countries like the US, China, Europe, South Korea and Japan that dominate communications and computing technology," Paulraj said.
Our assessment is that it is essential to recognise and foster talent in order to cultivate home-grown innovation. We believe that A.J. Paulraj could provide valuable contributions to the development of telecommunications and 5G in India and the world.