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Defacto Industry GPS Chip Hits Next Generation

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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...

Link:
Press Release

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