SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SIRF), a leading provider of GPS-powered location platforms, introduced SiRFInstantFixII, an autonomous version of SiRF’s original SiRFInstantFix technology that is designed to significantly improve the start-up times of portable navigation devices (PNDs) and other mobile navigation devices without needing any network connectivity for assistance or updates. Available now for both SiRFstarIII GPS receivers and SiRFatlas and SiRFtitan multifunction SoC navigation processors, SiRFInstantFixII achieves GPS start-ups in as little as five seconds so that mainstream consumers can begin navigating as soon as they’re ready to drive.
“Our groundbreaking SiRFInstantFixII technology makes the frequent start-up waits for PNDs a thing of the past,” said Kanwar Chadha, founder and vice president of marketing for SiRF Technology. “By not requiring any network connectivity or downloads, it significantly improves the daily navigation experience for consumers of mobile navigation devices.”
SiRFInstantFixII can reduce warm starts, the typical PND start-up mode, from over half a minute to as little as five seconds, and in urban canyons the difference can be even more significant. SiRFInstantFixII does this while demonstrating excellent positional accuracy, an important attribute for navigation devices. SiRFInstantFixII accomplishes this using sophisticated, patent-pending algorithms that enable the PND to model the behavior of visible GPS satellites during the day and predict their position in the sky for up to three days in the future. SiRFInstantFixII continuously refines its calculations based on the latest data it receives from the satellites being tracked every time the PND is used. SiRFInstantFixII performs these calculations completely autonomously, without ever needing updates of any kind from a network.
“We are very excited about the positive effect that SiRFInstantFixII will have on the PND user experience. Through our close alliance with SiRF, we look forward to bringing more innovative technologies to market and helping consumers to enrich their life and the way they see the world,” said Samuel Wang, President of Mio Technology. “Helping consumers to explore more is the Mio Technology company mission. As a leader in the mobile navigation device market, we strive to provide consumers with a positive, free-spirited, open, unexpected and seamless user experience, and we believe that eliminating the start-up wait commonly experienced by many PND users is a great step in that direction.”
The new SiRFInstantFixII has been specifically designed to meet the needs of mass-market consumers using non-connected devices where a network-based update would be cumbersome or otherwise undesirable. Manufacturers already using SiRF’s original SiRFInstantFix will find it continues to provide consistently high performance for network-connected devices and for products where updates can be performed seamlessly with little or no user interaction. SiRF offers manufacturers the greatest flexibility to choose between the new “unplugged” SiRFInstantFixII (with three days of satellite predictions) for PND type devices, which may have no connectivity, and the “classic” SiRFInstantFix (with up to seven days of satellite predictions) for connected devices to best meet their end customer requirements.
While in theory determining location using GPS satellites is a simple process of triangulation, the reality is much more complex. First, the GPS receiver needs to find and “lock” onto enough satellites to be able to calculate its location, a process called acquisition. With its 200,000 correlators, SiRF’s innovative SiRFstarIII architecture made the acquisition of satellites very fast. To calculate accurate position, however, the GPS receiver needs to know where each of these GPS satellites is in the sky with a very high degree of accuracy.
Every satellite requires 30 seconds to broadcast its precise location, and the GPS receiver must be able to download this data from each satellite it needs for a fix. This data is typically valid only for two to three hours. If anything interrupts the signal while receiving this data, such as a building or tree, the receiver has to wait another 30 seconds to completely download the data from the satellite. In real-world conditions, where the GPS receiver is usually moving, it can take up to several minutes to obtain all the data the receiver needs to perform its calculations and obtain a fix, resulting in a long period with a great deal of location uncertainty before navigation can begin.
Using SiRFInstantFixII, affordable PNDs can not only start tracking satellites and navigating more quickly, they can do it using signals much weaker than those needed to obtain satellite position data the traditional way, removing the barrier that often stands in the way of successfully navigating under tough GPS signal conditions.
Availability and Pricing
SiRFInstantFixII is available now and works with all SiRF multifunction SoC navigation processors and SiRFstarIII-based products. Customers can contact their SiRF representatives for pricing and more information.
About SiRF Technology
SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc. develops and markets location platforms based on semiconductor and software products that are designed to enable location-awareness utilizing GPS and other location technologies, enhanced by wireless connectivity and multimedia capabilities for high-volume mobile consumer devices and commercial applications. SiRF’s technology has been integrated into a wide range of mobile consumer devices such as automobile navigation systems, portable navigation devices (PNDs), mobile phones, mobile computers, GPS-based peripherals and handheld GPS devices, and into commercial applications such as location servers, asset tracking devices and fleet management systems. SiRF markets and sells its products in four target platforms: wireless handheld devices such as mobile phones; automotive electronics systems, including navigation and telematics systems; consumer electronics products such as recreational GPS handhelds, mobile gaming machines, digital cameras and wearable devices; and mobile computing systems, including personal digital assistants, notebook computers, universal mobile personal computers (UMPCs) and mobile internet devices. Founded in 1995, SiRF is headquartered in San Jose, California, and has sales offices, design centers and research facilities around the world. The company trades on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange under the symbol SIRF.