SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Qualcomm co-founder Anthony Viterbi donated $5 million to the Old Globe in Balboa Park in honor of his late wife, the theater announced Wednesday.

Viterbi, who created an algorithm nearly 50 years ago that paved the way for digital communications, also gave $2 million to the Old Globe in 2008.

His latest gift will create The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund, which will pay for programs that engage the public in the arts. Barry Edelstein, in charge of artistic programs at the theater complex, will carry the title of the Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director of The Old Globe.

"The Old Globe is proud to have been a beneficiary of their largesse for years, and we are thrilled to see our relationship with this remarkable family enter a new chapter with this extraordinary gift,'' Edelstein said.

"My wife and I enjoyed a meaningful friendship with Erna, and we share her conviction that the arts are a necessary part of a fully lived life,'' Edelstein said. "That Dr. Viterbi has framed this contribution as a spur to motivate others to support the Globe is an inspired gesture that will help ensure the Globe's high-quality work and stability for years to come.''

Viterbi, a native of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was recently honored with the $500,000 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering for his mathematical formula.

"I'm grateful for this opportunity to memorialize my beloved wife Erna by supporting an institution she valued,'' Viterbi said.

"She particularly enjoyed theater, as do I and my family, and I believe that the great work of the Old Globe deserves ongoing support, from us and from the wider community,'' he said. "I am pleased to attach her name to Barry Edelstein's work and the work of this important San Diego institution.''

Erna Viterbi died last year.