µ-blox Licenses Parthus Global Positioning System (GPS) Technology for Deployment in Next Generation Mobile Internet Devices
San Jose, Calif. and Dublin, Ireland - November 23,
2000 - Parthus Technologies PLC (Nasdaq: PRTH, LSE: PRH), a leading
developer of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) for the mobile
Internet market, today announced at Electronica 2000 in Munich, Germany,
that µ-blox, a provider of complex digital and RF electronic system design
for OEM applications, has signed a licensing and royalty agreement for the
Parthus NavStream™ GPS platform. Fabrication of the GPS technology
will be carried out by Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML), a worldwide
leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of advanced
semiconductors, including advanced logic, nonvolatile memory, mixed signal
and RF integrated circuits.
As part of the agreement, µ-blox will deploy the Parthus
NavStream 1000 baseband and radio platform to its global network of
partners and customers that includes several leading mobile phone
manufacturers. µ-blox is deploying the technology for use in both mobile
devices and road-tolling applications across Europe. Atmel, as well as
implementing and fabricating the chipsets, also has the option to
distribute the chipsets in its own right.
In Switzerland, µ-blox has been chosen as the sole supplier
of GPS technology into every Swiss-registered truck. This innovative
road-tolling system collects fees from truck owners based on their
location. So far, 65,000 trucks in the country have been deployed with the
technology and µ-blox has plans to expand the scheme beyond Switzerland.
GPS (Global Positioning System) is poised to play a critical
role in the mobile Internet arena. GPS utilizes information from
satellites and wireless networks to instantly locate any mobile device to
within 5-20 meters. A recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
mandate has dictated that by October 1, 2001, all cellular carriers in the
U.S. must be able to instantly locate cellular callers to emergency 911
services. GPS is currently the only technology that provides consistent
and accurate positioning to satisfy the FCC's requirement.
GPS also offers many commercial opportunities to wireless
operators through 'location-based m-Commerce'. Operators can sell many
unique services including real-time driving directions, traffic
information and personalized concierge services, such as locating nearby
restaurants, stores, ATMs and places of interest. As GPS becomes more
common in cars and mobile phones new uses will be possible such as
automated road tolling and parking fees based on location, and asset
protection - if a car or phone is stolen, it will be possible to locate it
over the Internet.
"We consider GPS to be an extremely important application
that will be included in next generation wireless devices," said Claus
Habiger, director of sales and marketing at µ-blox. "We chose Parthus'
NavStream platform as it leads the industry in the four critical areas for
implementing GPS in mobile phones - low cost, low power consumption,
pinpoint accuracy and noise immunity. By leveraging the considerable
technical expertise at Parthus, we are able to deliver a workable GPS
solution in a rapid time frame that is easily deployed in handheld
"GPS is a cornerstone technology of next generation mobile
Internet solutions ranging from automotive navigation systems to wireless
information devices. GPS offers endless commercial opportunities to
wireless operators through 'location-based m-Commerce'," said Bill McLean,
vice president of global sales at Parthus. "By licensing our NavStream
technology to key technology companies like µ-blox and Atmel, the promise
of multi-function mobile Internet devices becomes a reality."
The ARM7TDMI ® core-based NavStream technology is a complete
GPS Platform incorporating radio, baseband and software stacks for both
mobile phone and automotive markets. NavStream delivers unrivalled
location accuracy (locates users to under five meters within the five
second E911 guideline) to any device, be that a mobile phone, PDA
(Personal Digital Assistant) or GPS enabled vehicle and from anywhere in
the world. NavStream is architected to be air interference independent,
functions to any wireless standard and operates inside houses, moving
vehicles, under heavy foliage and in dense city locations across the
globe. Furthermore, the platform is designed to deliver lowest cost to
implementing GPS in handsets and automotive, with novel hardware and
software features that maximize sensitivity (-176dbw), eliminate frequency
jamming and minimize power consumption. Uniquely, NavStream can operate in
both GSM and CDMA networks.
µ-blox, founded in Zurich, Switzerland, provides innovative
and cost-effective electronic packaging solutions for a broad range of
applications. Combining its experience in complex digital and RF
electronic system design, µ-blox specializes in design and production of
self-contained modules for OEM applications.
In 1997, µ-blox launched its series of ultra-miniature GPS
receiver modules, of which GPSMS1 is the first member. With the steadily
growing demand for even higher system integration, µ-blox is now extending
its product palette to offer turnkey solutions for highly integrated
portable electronics applications.
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