QIF 2020 North America

2020 North America Program Details

We believe that research and development is the key to harnessing the power of imagination and to discovering new possibilities. We are excited to announce a new kind of Fellowship that promotes Qualcomm’s core values of innovationexecution and teamwork. Our goal is to enable students to pursue their futuristic innovative ideas.

Application Process
Areas of Interest
Participating Universities


Each team should submit an application by the specified deadline (see Timeline tab) that must include:

1. One page abstract of innovation proposal

2. Letter from one or two faculty members recommending the innovation
a. Why the proposal is innovative
b. Why the proposal is important
c. Why the current team is likely to succeed in their proposal

3. Each student's CV

4. Signed copy of QIF rules (both students)



The submission portal will open two weeks before the deadline.



Selected teams will be notified directly to participate in the next phase by submitting a final proposal that must include a Three-page innovation proposal (plus one for reference/bibliography) including:

a. Introduction and problem definition

b. Innovation proposal and relation to the state of the art

c. One-year horizon of the project, even if the proposal is a multi-year project

d. Strength of the team to achieve the proposal milestones



Finalist teams will be selected to participate in the final presentation phase of the Program. Each finalist team must prepare a 12-minute presentations for the judges. Presentation must be in PowerPoint or PDF format. The presentation generally includes:

a. The idea

b. The differentiating factors from state of the art

c. The execution plan / strength of the team

Winning teams will be chosen from these finalists after they present to the judging panel.



• Applications must be submitted online by the specified deadline (see Timeline tab). All proposals and presentations will be reviewed internally by a team of Qualcomm researchers.

• The official rules for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship are available for download and set forth the Program’s governing guidelines.

• All QIF-related information will be announced on this webpage. Please check back regularly for updates.

Qualcomm Research is a division of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


More Info?
See FAQs for more details
Do you need further Information?
Please direct your questions to: innovation.fellowship@qualcomm.com

Qualcomm Research is a division of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

We invite teams to submit proposals in the following areas. We also welcome proposals outside of the sub-areas listed below:

Advanced Semiconductor Electronics

• Ultra-low (uW) power embedded platform for edge computing (ULP architectures and designs, HW accelerators, power generation and management, novel memories, security)

• Novel materials and heterogeneous integration (2D semiconductors, GaAs, GaN, etc.)

• CMOS package integration (thermal-aware designs or circuits, advanced packaging techniques, antenna-in-package etc.)

• RF / analog ASICs and architectures (Sub-6GHz 5G power amplifiers, mmWave RFIC and Data Converters for 5G NR, adaptive RF signal processing algorithms, etc.)

• Advanced antenna (millimeter-wave and phase-array antennas), novel antenna materials, structures and implementations

• Power Management ASICs (wide bandwidth SMPS, wide bandwidth envelope tracker, embedded regulation)

• ASIC implementation methodology development for improved Performance, Power, Area, Yield. On-die power grid analysis and optimization, dynamic and static power optimizations, silicon-driven static timing analysis, design optimization for yield improvement



Advances in Communication Techniques and Theory

• Reliable low latency communications for low unlicensed and mmWave spectrum

• Machine learning designs for wireless communications systems and algorithms

• Advanced communication and positioning techniques for licensed and unlicensed spectrum

• Vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-pedestrian communications design

• Low energy networks (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, 802.15.4, Zigbee, etc.)

• Low-power signal-processing algorithms for mmW massive-MIMO communication systems

• Advanced low power HW/FW/SW modem implementation approaches

• New signal-processing techniques and use-cases using RF sensing (wireless channel capture)

• Iterative detection and decoding algorithms



Autonomous Driving

• Advanced sensors and sensor fusion

• Imaging radar

• Computer vision for autonomy

• Sensor fusion with deep learning

• Behavior planning with uncertainty



Machine Learning

• Natural language processing

• Computer vision

• Reinforcement and continual learning

• On-device training

• Intermediate representation for machine learning workloads/compilers

• Transfer learning and Knowledge distillation

• Novel compute architectures for ML tasks, e.g. in-memory compute, analog compute

• Extreme energy efficient inference hardware accelerators for ML loads and lower complexity algorithms and convolutional nets

• Deep generative modeling and unsupervised learning

• Bayesian deep learning and uncertainty estimation

• Federated learning and quantum machine learning



Multimedia Computing

• Real Time 3D perception, mapping, reconstruction, and geometry interpretation

• Eye-tracking devices and algorithms

• Hand skeleton and multimodal human body pose estimation and tracking

• Low power/complexity rendering systems

• Lighting/illumination modelling

• Multi-focal, near eye displays

• High efficiency video coding techniques

• Deep learning based image and video compression (intra and inter prediction, in-loop filters, transforms, entropy coding)

• Deep learning based optimized video encoding

• Perceptually optimized video coding

• Image and video quality assessment

• 6DoF video compression, Point Cloud compression



Processor Architecture and Implementation

• Novel processor architectures, microarchitectures, extensions, and accelerators

• Multimedia and gaming architectures (not limited to GPU, GPGPU, VLIW, DSP, etc.)

• Novel architectures for artificial intelligence, edge training, inference and processing in memory

• Security features of CPUs and accelerators at the instruction set, execution, storage (including caches) and SOC levels

• Machine learning CAD for VLSI HW design



Secure System Design

• Isolation technologies: Virtualization, enclaves, and software sandboxing

• Key management for IoT: Establishing trust between embedded devices

• Machine learning model security: DRM for learning models

• Protocol security: Analysis and verification of communication protocols

• SoC security: Security of heterogeneous systems on chip

• Software-based exploitation of hardware vulnerabilities: Micro-architectural attacks, side-channels, and associated countermeasures

• User authentication: Biometric and behavioral authentication of users by mobile and embedded devices

• Vulnerability detection: New tools and techniques for finding exploitable vulnerabilities in Software, Trojans and Backdoors, with a focus on embedded systems

• Solutions for data provenance, privacy and security


Semiconductor Test, Quality and Yield Learning

• Defect-oriented testing and fault modeling in deep sub-micron process nodes

• Applications of Data Analytics, Machine Learning and AI in Test

• Test Challenges for 2.5D/3D Systems in Packages


Qualcomm is inviting applications for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship 2020 from PhD students in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (and related) departments at:

United States

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley (UCB)
  • UC Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • UC San Diego (UCSD)
  • UC Santa Barbara (UCSB)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


  • University of Montreal
  • University of Toronto

Submission site opens: November 12, 2019

Application submission deadline: December 9, 2019 (10:00AM PST)

Selection announcement: December 19, 2019

Proposal submission deadline: January 27, 2020 (10:00AM PST)

Finalists’ announcement: March 2020

Finalist presentations submission deadline: March 2020

Finalist presentations: April 2020

Winners’ announcement: May 2020

QIF Winners’ Day: October 2020

Fellowship Winners and Finalists

The Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship began in 2009, and has continued to grow with the addition of more universities, more candidates, and expansion to our research centers internationally. Take a look at a list of all our fellowship winners and finalists from years past:

Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship Finalists' Day

May 14, 2018