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Linkabit was a technology company founded in 1968 by Irwin M. Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi and Leonard Kleinrock. Linkabit alumni have created a large number of technology companies, most notably, Qualcomm.

Linkabit is now a division of L3Harris Technologies and had been part of L-3 Communications, later named L3 Technologies, prior to its merger with Harris Corporation in July of 2019.[1]

Corporate history[edit]

Linkabit Corporation was formed in mid-1968 in Los Angeles by Irwin M. Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi and Leonard Kleinrock. Kleinrock soon left. [2]

Linkabit was sold for $25 million to M/A-COM in 1979. The Linkabit operation continued under M/A-COM for the first part of the 1980s.[3] VideoCipher, an analog scrambling system for television, was developed by the Linkabit works at M/A-COM in 1983. The first IETF meeting in January, 1986, was hosted by M/A-COM at its San Diego Linkabit facilities.[4][5] However, Jacobs and Viterbi, who had stayed with M/A-COM following the sale, left in 1985, and by 1990 M/A-COM had sold off Linkabit piecemeal.[2]

More than 75 direct or indirect Linkabit spinoff companies have been identified — a rate twice that of Fairchild Semiconductor, the legendary progenitor of Silicon Valley.[6]

The best known Linkabit spinoff is Qualcomm, which was founded by Jacobs, Viterbi and five other Linkabit alumni in July 1985.[2]

All three Linkabit founders have received National Medals for lifetime achievements. [7]


  1. ^ [1], L-3 Communications - Linkabit page.
  2. ^ a b c [2], Digitizing Communications - Linkabit page.
  3. ^ "M/A-COM Linkabit". The San Diego Technology Archive at UC San Diego. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  4. ^ [3], List of IETF Meetings.
  5. ^ Gross, Philip (January 1986). "Proceedings of the 16-17 January 1986 DARPA Gateway Algorithms and Data Structure Task Force". MITRE Corporation: 1. The fourth meeting of the DARPA Gateway Algorithms and Data Structures Task Force was held 16-17 January 1986 at M/A Com Government Systems in San Diego, California. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ [4], San Diego Union Tribune - Linkabit genealogy.
  7. ^ [5], San Diego Telecom - National Medals for Linkabit founders.