The Qualcomm Museum

On September 23, 2010, we celebrated our 25th anniversary with the opening of What If: The Qualcomm Museum. Through the years, we’ve asked “what if?,” a question that’s inspired technologies that have gone from cutting-edge to industry standard. The museum brings this rich history to life, showing how our technology is changing the present and offering a peek into our vision for the future.

Two stories essential to who we are.

The Qualcomm Museum showcases a rich, varied history that stretches back to our beginning in 1985. But there are two stories in particular that have greatly shaped our culture, our approach, and our vision for the future.

The man behind a billion connections.

Our spirit comes directly from founder Irwin Jacobs, whose drive to explore what’s possible has fueled a lifetime of innovation.

The technology that almost wasn’t.

CDMA has a fascinating history, from its Hollywood beginnings to the skeptics who said the wireless technology would never work.

A History of Mobile

The vision was to create “Quality Communications.” Decades later, Qualcomm’s history is a timeline of some of the mobile industry’s most important breakthroughs. Here are just a few instances where our technology changed the way the world uses wireless.

Wireless before it was cool.

1988: The future of machine-to-machine communication begins with a truck. Qualcomm’s OmniTRACS vehicle communications and tracking system is one of the first large-scale commercial applications of wireless data technology.

Believers turned subscribers.

1989: Qualcomm and PacTel Cellular stage the first demonstration of CDMA mobile technology, which becomes the main radio system for some of the largest network operators in the U.S., and the base for the 3G mobile standard.

A processor powerhouse is born.

2005: Qualcomm introduces Scorpion CPU, the first mobile processor to break the 1 GHz speed barrier. It goes on to power the flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors found in hundreds of millions of devices (now products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.).

Leading the new frontier.

2010: A Snapdragon processor powers the first-ever 4G smartphone available in the U.S. Today Snapdragon processors (now products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.) continue to deliver unmatched processing and battery life at the heart of some of the most advanced user experiences and mobile devices.

Faster than ever.

2013: A Snapdragon 800 processor powers the first LTE Advanced smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A, offering data speeds of up to 150 Mbps. LTE Advanced continues to evolve, bringing better performance to unlicensed spectrum, direct device-to-device, terrestrial TV, and more.

Museum Visits

Tours of the Qualcomm Museum are by appointment only and available to business organizations and educational institutions with a Qualcomm sponsor, either personal or business related. If you’re interested in a tour of the museum, please notify your sponsor.


Hours of operation: Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.


Qualcomm Museum
5775 Morehouse Drive
San Diego, CA 92121