Fastrax Introduces Two New OEM GPS Receivers

Fastrax Ltd., a provider of programmable OEM GPS receivers as well as open and portable GPS Software Development Kit environments, announced two new products in its receiver range. The new Fastrax UC322 and Fastrax IT321 products are a significant expansion of the company’s product line.

Fastrax UC322, A Compact OEM GPS Receiver For Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs)
The new Fastrax UC322 GPS receiver enhances Fastrax’s focus on the Personal Navigation Device (PND) market. The receiver is based on a completely new concept and includes a unique integrated chip antenna that provides optimal performance and sensitivity. With its cost-effective surface mount technology and ROM based firmware, the module is ideally suited for high-volume consumer devices.

The Fastrax UC322 with on-board chip antenna enables very slim design of PNDs. While a standard solution with a patch antenna typically requires a thickness of 20 mm, the Fastrax UC322 cuts the size by up to two thirds by enabling a thickness of just 5 mm.

The Fastrax UC322 features an innovative embedded antenna design that does not necessitate a separate large antenna ground plane, as the end device’s printed circuit board functions as part of the antenna. The convenient SMT mounting requires no cable assembly, connectors or manual soldering, which reduces the manufacturing and bill of material costs of the completed end product. The receiver has an extremely thin form factor, with external dimensions of only 30.0 x 10.4 x 2.9 mm.

The Fastrax UC322 is based on the SiRFstarIII LT chipset that offers state-of-the art navigation performance. The ROM based firmware eliminates the need for an expensive flash memory and simplifies the design of GPS-enabled mass-market navigation devices. The strong performing receiver uses only 90 mW of power during navigation with a high sensitivity of -159dBm.

Fastrax IT321, A New Ultra-Compact 20-Channel Receiver
With a tiny form factor of only 10.4 x 14.0 x 2.6 mm, the new Fastrax IT321 is one of the smallest complete 20-channel receivers on the market. The receiver is designed for devices that require a combination of small size, low power consumption, and state-of-the-art navigation performance.

Key features of the Fastrax IT321 encompass a SiRFstarIII LT chipset with ROM based firmware. The receiver is a complete OEM GPS receiver including a TCXO oscillator, Real Time Clock (RTC) and Low Noise Amplifier (LNA).

The Fastrax IT321 is designed for demanding navigation applications such as car navigators, asset tracking devices, sports accessories and handheld battery operating devices like mobile phones, PDA’s and PND’s. The receivers have very high sensitivity (-159dBm) and very fast time to first fix and re-acquisition.

“These new products are the next step in the evolution of our OEM GPS solutions. Recent developments in the mobile industry anticipate a significant increase in the demand for GPS receiver solutions in location-enabled devices, and with the Fastrax UC322 and Fastrax IT321 receivers, we are ideally positioned to address this rapidly growing worldwide market,” said Mr. Taneli Tuurnala, President and CEO, Fastrax.

Concurrently with the new receivers, Fastrax also announced a revised product naming system. The previous iTrax receivers will now be called Fastrax ITxx, with ‘xx’ standing for the specific model number of the receiver. Similarly, the uPatch product line of OEM GPS receivers with integrated patch antenna will be renamed the Fastrax UPxx receivers.

The new Fastrax UC322 and Fastrax IT321 receivers are available as samples at the end of February 2008 and will be in mass production at the end of March 2008.

About Fastrax Ltd
Fastrax provides industry-leading receivers and software solutions for optimal utilization of GPS (Global Positioning System) and other GNSS location services (Global Navigation Satellite Systems). Fastrax transforms GPS technologies into highly scalable solutions with open interfaces, combined with ultra low power consumption and miniature hardware design. With industry-leading performance, Fastrax GPS receivers navigate continuously even in extreme conditions. Receivers are ideally suited to both industrial location applications and high-volume consumer products such as cell phones and sports accessories. Fastrax Engineering Services provide expert services in application design. Headquartered in Finland and founded in 1999, the company is privately owned and backed by leading venture capital investors CapMan, Eqvitec, Startupfactory and Innocap, with a strategic investment by Suunto Corporation, a subsidiary of Amer Sports, a leading global supplier of sporting goods equipment.

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a worldwide satellite navigation infrastructure funded and controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense, originally developed for U.S. military purposes. GPS provides satellite signals that enable GPS receivers to calculate their exact position and velocity. The GPS infrastructure has three segments. The space segment consists of 24 satellites that orbit the earth every 12 hours. The control segment consists of tracking stations located around the world, with the master control station located at Falcon Air Force Base in Colorado. The user segment consists of GPS receivers and users utilizing the information provided by the system. GPS is widely used in applications such as marine navigation.