CSR plc announced the company is to provide the most competitive Global Positioning System (GPS) technology for mobile handsets and network operators. CSR has acquired NordNav Technologies AB and Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd that, combined, will allow the company to provide software-based low cost GPS suitable for mass-market mobile phones and PNDs (Personal Navigation Devices). CSR will apply its own experience in embedding radio technologies into the mobile platform and expects its first Autonomous and Assisted GPS product offerings that support satellite navigation and other location-based services to be available during H1 2007, with cost expected to subsequently reduce to less than $1.
CSR’s GPS technology will be demonstrated at 3GSM Congress, 12-15 February, Barcelona.
The two acquisitions enable CSR to offer a GPS solution to handset, PND and other portable device manufacturers, offering an important added-value technology. CSR’s acquired patented GPS solution is a software-based architecture that allows an incremental price that falls to less than $1 of the overall BoM when used with CSR’s Bluetooth technology. CSR’s patented methods to reduce both the number of processor cycles and the time to first fix, give an extremely power efficient overall solution with less than half the processing requirements of alternative solutions, whilst remaining flexible enough to perform highly dynamic and accurate tracking. With availability during H107, the software GPS technology acquired from NordNav will also take up 80 percent less area than competing hardware solutions and is the lowest cost solution on the market, with a price that is set to fall to less than $1. This means that CSR’s GPS technology is practical for mass-market mobile applications including low-medium end feature cellular handsets, Smartphones, PNDs, and other portable devices.
CSR saw that GPS solutions needed to be much smaller, lower cost, and less power – and processor – hungry to enable a dramatic increase in mobile handset attach rates for personal positioning and location based services. To ensure the technology is usable, it is also essential that it works in harmony with GSM/3G radios, that the satellite signal acquisition time is reduced, and that location fixes can be maintained in all environments – even indoors. CSR acquired NordNav Technologies AB and Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd to bring together the solutions to all these hurdles, and combined the technology with its own expertise in embedding wireless technologies into small and power sensitive mobile applications.
CSR has acquired Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd for its Extended GPS (EGPS(TM)) software algorithms for mobile handsets and network server software. These algorithms allow users to achieve a faster location fix (less than 3 seconds), and also provide GPS coverage in dense urban areas and even indoors where there is no access to GPS satellite signals. In addition to improved user experience, the faster fix means that in comparison to conventional Assisted GPS, power can be reduced by a factor of 10 or more.
With a combined GPS and EGPS software for handsets, CSR will be able to offer the most competitive, complete and technically advanced mobile GPS solution available to mobile handset, PND, and other portable device makers and operators. CSR’s GPS technology will support the Galileo global standard.
Matthew Phillips, SVP of CSR’s Mobile Handset Connectivity strategic business unit, commented, “At $5-$10, current GPS solutions are too expensive and just not practical for mainstream cellphone applications,” Phillips continued, “There are also performance restrictions in terms of both handset and network that have meant that the technology is not appropriate for the mobile platform. The two acquisitions mean that CSR has removed the barriers for mobile handset makers and operators to provide location based services for the mass market.”
CSR is the leading global provider of personal wireless technology and its product portfolio covers Bluetooth, FM receivers and WiFi (IEEE802.11). CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions, based around its silicon platforms, that incorporate, fully integrated radio, baseband and microcontroller elements. CSR’s customers include industry leaders such as Apple, Dell, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, RIM, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TomTom and Toshiba. CSR has its headquarters and offices in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, France, Denmark, Sweden and both Dallas and Detroit in the USA.