Navigation innovation

October 1, 2008 OpenSystems Media

Navigation innovation

Hit the road, single-function GPS devices. Consumers have moved on to greener, multimedia-rich pastures, wanting mobile gadgets that not only tell them where they are, but also how to get where they want to go and what they can expect to find along the way.

Location-aware technologies go beyond conventional GPS by providing continuous navigation capabilities. Combined with connectivity, media, and content functions, these systems fulfill consumer demand for flexible, highly integrated portable devices.

Juiced-up GPS drives convergence

Stand-alone GPS devices that pinpoint the whereabouts of something or someone might have scored with disoriented tourists and directionless motorists a few years ago, but today’s consumers prefer tricked-out tech toys that navigate and entertain. As the distinctions between portable navigation devices, mobile phones, handheld computers, and cameras continue to blur, OEMs are scrambling to add multimedia, 3D map content, and other features to differentiate their products in an increasingly competitive market. With the expected growth in location-based applications, ABI Research estimates that worldwide sales of these convergence devices will exceed 100 million units by 2011.

To enhance the next generation of location-aware mobile devices, SiRF Technology has integrated a GPS/Galileo location engine, application processor, audio/video recording and playback capabilities, sophisticated 3D graphics, and a variety of peripheral interfaces into a powerful, single-chip architecture.

The SiRFprima multifunction platform includes an ARM11 core, on-chip DSP, and hardware-scalable location engine featuring 64 channels with -161 dBm sensitivity. A vertex geometry processor, PowerVR MVED1 video encode/decode accelerator, and OpenGL ES 1.1 2D/3D graphics engine enable the platform to encode and decode high-res video standards concurrently with navigation and other functions. In addition to packing all that processing oomph, SiRFprima offers a range of interfaces for hooking up to touch screens, video cameras, DVD players, satellite radios, and mass storage devices.

By incorporating these features into a single platform, SiRF helps embedded designers cut bill-of-material costs and reduce design complexity while meeting consumers’ escalating expectations for their gadgets to come with GPS, multimedia, and other bells and whistles du jour.

SiRF Technology
Founded: 1995
Management: Diosdado P. Banatao, Executive Chairman of the Board and Interim CEO
Headquarters: San Jose, CA

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