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Sr. Wireless Firmware Engineer (Direct To Cell)



Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Posted on Monday, June 3, 2024

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


The direct-to-cell program is working to provide global cellular connectivity from space. As a wireless firmware engineer, you will play a critical role in developing novel wireless signal processing algorithms, implementing optimized software for use on satellites and ground stations, debugging complex systems and performance issues, and developing production software. This is a unique position which will work closely with both wireless systems engineers and protocol firmware engineers to accelerate wireless PHY development and find solutions to interdisciplinary challenges. The ideal candidate will be equally comfortable with wireless signal processing algorithms and high-performance software development.


  • Design and implement physical layer (PHY) algorithms for satellite-based 4G/5G (LTE/NR) eNodeB/gNodeB.
  • Develop optimized signal processing algorithms running on resource-constrained CPUs.
  • Develop models and run simulations to analyze and validate overall system performance, including modem performance.
  • Design, implement, test, maintain, and document the wireless PHY and MAC layers of the protocol stack.
  • Identify and debug complex performance issues across the wireless PHY and MAC layers.
  • Participate in architecture, design, and code reviews. Contribute to system dimensioning and algorithm design for next generation hardware.


  • Master’s or PhD degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering or a STEM discipline and 5+ years of professional engineering experience; OR 7+ years of professional engineering experience, in lieu of a degree.
  • 2+ Years experience with; wireless signal processing, wireless communications, modem systems design, wireless systems engineering, DSP (digital signal processing), or physical layer processing (L1).
  • 2+ Years C/C++ and Matlab coding experience.
  • Experience developing algorithms.


  • Familiarity with 3GPP 4G/5G (LTE/NR) physical layer design or other modern broadband OFDM waveforms such as WiMAX, 802.11 WiFi, DVB-S2, DVB-C, 5G NTN (non-terrestrial networks).
  • Familiarity with forward error correction (FEC) coding concepts.
  • Basic familiarity with MAC layer (medium access control, L2).
  • Development and optimization of complex signal processing algorithms in both fixed and floating point.
  • Familiarity with Linux command line use, git-based version control, and python programming.
  • SDR (software defined radio) experience.
  • Experience supporting products through the full release cycle including commercial deployment.
  • Strong skills in debugging and performance optimization; exceptional analytical skills and engineering fundamentals.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in a dynamic environment with changing needs and requirements.


  • Must be willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed.


Pay range:
Software Engineer/Senior: $170,000.00 - $230,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k)-retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.