Garmin to integrate STMicro's GPS chipset



Garmin to integrate STMicro's GPS chipset
STMicroelectronics today announced it has launched volume production of its Teseo GPS engine designed for use in certain Garmin Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and handheld GPS receivers.

"We are proud to announce that our state-of-the-art GPS technology has been selected for Garmin's new range of portable and handheld devices," said Domenico Rossi, General Manager of ST's Car Radio and Multimedia Division. "ST is one of the few players in this market that can offer high-performance and cost-effective GPS solutions, based on robust silicon technology, experience in the automotive market, and know-how developed in collaboration with leading navigation manufacturers."

“ST Teseo's TTFF (Time To First Fix) values, the time it takes a GPS receiver to find satellites, rank among the fastest in the industry” said the ST press release. A "warm start" - the acquisition of accurate time, satellite positioning and velocity (ephemeris) data that have been lost during the switch-off - takes less than 34 seconds.

ST's new GPS chipsets support satellite-based augmentation systems such as WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) and EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) that provide additional accuracy and reliability. Teseo's GPS accuracy expressed in circular error probability (the radius of a circle that represents a 50% probability of a position lying in that circle) is as low as 2 meters. ST's Teseo devices are ready for compliance with Galileo, the upcoming European navigation system complementary to GPS.

“ST designers are currently working on a System-on-Chip solution that integrates the Teseo GPS engine and an ARM9 core for GPS navigation processing”, said ST.

SiRF to fight back?
This announcement is surely not good news for SiRF which is currently the main provider of GPS chipsets to Garmin. Nevertheless, the recent acquisition of Centrality (read here) already offers SiRF this System-on-Chip (SoC) solution ST is now working on. “World class multifunction SoC platform expertise is a significant differentiator for us, especially as we address the emerging needs of portable navigation, automotive and consumer markets with value-added products,” said in June Dr. Michael Canning, CEO of SiRF.

With Texas Instruments, STMicro, Broadcom and CSR entering the GPS chipset market with serious ambitions, SiRF will have - more than ever – to both demonstrate its technological strength and price competitiveness.

Thursday, August 23rd 2007

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