4/28/2004 - Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) and u-Nav Microelectronics Corp. announced that the companies have forged an alliance to jointly develop and market integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) chipsets and software solutions. The new solutions will incorporate Trimble's proven core GPS software and u-Nav's ultra low-power GPS chipsets. The combined solutions are expected to be the lowest power, smallest size, highest performance and most cost-effective chipsets on the market for portable electronic manufacturers.
As part of this alliance, Trimble will be licensing GPS software and providing technical support and training to customers using the combined chipset and software solutions. Trimble's core GPS software has been under continuous refinement in actual field use for more than 10 years. The software is currently shipping in embedded, automotive and timing products. Trimble core GPS software provides both stand-alone and assisted GPS (A-GPS) operation. The software includes Trimble's tightly integrated Kalman Filter that supports Trimble's optional sensor assisted (dead reckoning) algorithms. The parties expect to finalize a definitive agreement within the next three months.
u-Nav's patented semiconductor platform is based on an all CMOS design and features a powerful matched filter search (acquisition) engine, combined with an advanced tracking engine. This permits an extremely small, low-cost GPS architecture for devices with outstanding performance. This proven, low power, GPS chipset targets cellular handsets, PDAs, watches and other portable consumer and enterprise electronics products.
The u-Nav chipset is utilized by a variety of companies including two of the highest volume electronics manufacturers in Korea and Japan. In the last two years, u-Nav has experienced more than 300 percent growth, partially fueled by the high demand for affordable, low power and very compact GPS solutions. The u-Nav GPS reference design can be implemented on the single side of a 12x12mm printed circuit board area, which is smaller than a dime. Consuming less than 55mW (one-third of the power of competing chipsets) in a continuous GPS tracking mode, the u-Nav chipset is presently enabling a new generation of battery powered GPS products.
"We believe that u-Nav has a one to two year lead in GPS silicon architecture," said Dennis Workman, vice president and general manager of Trimble's Component Technologies Division. "We will be porting our core code to the u-Nav silicon and measurement engine firmware to produce, what we believe will be the best GPS solution available on the market relative to cost, power consumption, performance and size."
"Trimble's proven leadership in GPS software has continued to drive the GPS industry for over a decade, setting the standard for functionality and performance. The integration of their leading-edge core GPS software, and our advanced chipset architecture, will enable customers a higher level of differentiation and the capability to introduce new location based products and services," said Russ Garcia, President and CEO of u-Nav. "With Trimble, we are continuing to drive rapid improvements in GPS products by reducing cost and power while improving performance."
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., u-Nav is a privately held, fabless semiconductor company that develops GPS chipsets and software for the emerging mobile location based services market. u-Nav's 10 plus year GPS legacy and its experienced semiconductor management team has produced the industry's leading chipset combination of ultra low power, small form factor, high performance, and low cost. u-Nav's products support both conventional and high sensitivity, network assisted AGPS and deliver state-of-the-art performance, enabling operation indoors and in dense urban canyons. The company's easy-to-integrate GPS chipset is targeted for battery powered mobile applications, including wireless handsets and personal precision navigation and tracking devices. In addition to the U.S. headquarters, u-Nav has offices in Europe and Asia and distributes its products worldwide.
For additional information see: http://www.unav-micro.com/.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
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