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Defacto Industry GPS Chip Hits Next Generation

Gordon Kelly


Defacto Industry GPS Chip Hits Next Generation

SiRF, it may have serious issues with upper and lower case letters but the company's SiRFStarIII GPS chip is by far the most prominent in the sat nav and smartphone world. It is starting to get long in the tooth however, which is where the SiRFStarIV comes in...

The new line will launch with the 'GSD4t' which the company claims will bring:

  • Twice the search capacity of the SiRFStarIII architecture, resulting in better sensitivity, half the time to get a lock and improved positional accuracy

  • Advanced micro-power management that allows the chip to run in the background all the time via a 'TricklePower mode' meaning fixes and tracking can be more easily maintained

  • The ability to work indoors by storing its last location and working with accelerometers and sensors to calculate positioning
In short then we are about to see the dawn of a new ultra efficient GPS chip which could potentially remove the performance/battery life compromise as well as operating with greater speed and accuracy.

Interestingly, SiRF (technically 'CSR' after the two merged in June - but it provides less keyboard fun) says the flexibility of affordability of the SiRFStarIV in bulk quantities could also see it used in a much wider range of electronics. This should help the proliferation of GPS into laptops while cameras are expected to be the next major beneficiaries.

So it may just be a GPS chip, but the SiRFStarIV looks set to be a jolly important one...


Press Release


July 29, 2009, 7:05 pm

maybe they will become cheap and low power enough to fix to my keys, so i can find them when lost....


July 29, 2009, 8:23 pm

That is a day we all celebrate!


July 29, 2009, 9:12 pm

@filey - but then your keys will know precisely where they are {but they always did "I'm here"} but that still won't tell you!



July 29, 2009, 10:24 pm

Any idea when these might start to make their way into Sat Navs etc? I'd like to upgrade my very very old Tomtom but i'll probably hold off if these are fairly imminent.

Tony Walker

July 30, 2009, 8:12 am

Wow! The SiRF Star III was a fantastic GPS chip so if this one is even better then it will indeed be worth waiting for.

@GearGeek one of the TomToms based on the III chipset will do you very nicely indeed (I have a Go 720 so blessed). They will probably use the IV but probably at least 6 months before release of products.


July 30, 2009, 2:12 pm

Tony Walker, thanks for that. 6 months might be just a little bit too long, so i might go for a current TomTom. Do all the current range use the III chip and if not is it relatively easy to find out which do and which don't?

Tony Walker

August 3, 2009, 3:13 am


Tomtom themselves just quote "a high sensitivity chipset". I've just googled "go 740 sirfstar" though and that appears to use it. Can't imagine the others wont though you can always google and double check.

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