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Advancing 5G, One Wireless Patent at a Time

Intel Innovator: Alexei Davydov, Principal Engineer and Wireless Systems Architect

Alexei Davydov Intel
Alexei Davydov, principal engineer and wireless systems architect focused on 5G communications, is Intel’s 2018 Inventor of the Year – an annual award that recognizes groundbreaking inventions and the remarkable individuals behind them. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

How he’d describe his work to a 10-year-old: “I’m developing cool tech that lets phones connect to the Internet in faster, better and cheaper ways.”

More: Read about all Intel Innovators

Meet Intel’s 2018 Inventor of the Year: Based in Russia, Alexei is a wireless technologies expert in Intel’s Next Generation and Standards organization. He holds more than 144 patents, and is Intel’s leading contributor of new patents in cellular tech. This year, he was named Intel’s 2018 Inventor of the Year – an annual award that recognizes groundbreaking inventions and the remarkable individuals behind them.

Making wireless faster and more reliable: Alexei wants to make wireless way better by boosting the capacity and increasing the reliability of wireless links in mobile devices the world over, chiefly through MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) technology. How will Alexei achieve this feat? Simply, he’s finding new ways to boost wireless connection speeds by using multiple antennas on both transmitter and receiver devices without increasing the transmission power (high power levels can be dangerous to humans) or using additional frequency bandwidth (boosting wireless spectrum is costly, costing tens of millions of dollars in licensing fees). And though you may never bump into Alexei, you’ll certainly be familiar with the results of his work in the months and years ahead — what he is working on today will help power the connectivity of future phones and devices all over the world.

Soon to come – Wi-Fi that’s 95x faster: Alexei remembers the exact moment a decade ago, when wireless tech was introduced. The year was 2003, and he had just joined Intel after finishing his master’s degree at Nizhny Novgorod State University. At Intel, Alexei began working on advanced wireless tech, while pursuing his Ph.D. “At that time, I remember when basic Wi-Fi speeds were in the 54 Mbps range,” he says, referring to the year Intel launched the Intel® Centrino™ platform and the first rollout of Wi-Fi-enabled notebooks. How much faster has Wi-Fi become over the past decade? At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Intel showed off a prototype 5G 2 in 1 that streamed “Wonder Woman” at flicker-free data rates of 4 to 5 Gbps, or about 95 times faster than decade-old Wi-Fi.

Inventing new stuff is in his DNA: Both Alexei’s parents were engineers, and as a school boy in Russia he knew he wanted to be an engineer. His favorite subject in school? Physics. “I’ve always been fascinated in the way we communicate with each other, and I’m passionate in finding new ways to boost that level of communication, through the devices we rely on every day,” Alexei says. “It’s very humbling to know that we’re going to leave a legacy that my friends, family and others around the world are going to use in their everyday life.”

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