Infineon and Global Locate Develop an Extremely Sensitive, Low Power Single-Chip Enabling Assisted GPS Services for Mobile Phones

Oct 12, 2004 | Technology Media

Joint News Release by Infineon Technologies and Global Locate

Munich / Germany and San Jose / Calif. – October 12, 2004 – Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) and Global Locate today announced that they are jointly developing the industry’s highest performing Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) chip for mobile telephones, smart phones and PDAs. The new Hammerhead™ chip is optimized for cellular handsets and can bring GPS functionality to mobile phones. The Hammerhead chip will enable location-based services such as emergency assistance and personal navigation in deep urban canyons, in moving vehicles and even indoors. Global Locate is contributing its knowledge in baseband design, GPS signal processing and control software as well as system level know-how, Infineon its expertise in radio frequency design, system integration, process technology and manufacturing. Both companies will jointly market the Hammerhead chip.

The Hammerhead A-GPS chip from Infineon and Global Locate will be able to detect a GPS signal that is 1,000 times weaker than the normal “open sky” signal outdoors. All aspects of the design have been optimized for mobile handsets. The chip consumes very little power, has extremely robust performance and at 7mm on 7mm is no larger than a key on the dialling pad of a mobile phone.

“Once designed into a mobile handset, this state-of-the-art single chip will make it very easy for a user to find the nearest gas station, the nearest hospital, or the nearest restaurant,” said Dominik Bilo, Chief Marketing Officer at Infineon’s Secure Mobile Solutions business group. “It will enable mobile users calling 911 to provide emergency services with very accurate location information, both from indoors and outdoors.”

In the United States, A-GPS-enabled mobile telephones are in demand due to a U.S. Federal Communications Commission mandate, E911, which requires all wireless service providers to upgrade their infrastructure to enable accurate tracking of emergency calls placed from mobile telephones by the end of 2005. In Japan, all third-generation mobile telephones sold after April 2007 require A-GPS functionality to support emergency services as well.

“In 2008, we expect more than 730 million mobile phones to be sold worldwide,” said Bilo. “By then, greater than one in four mobile handsets will be equipped with GPS functionality.”

How GPS works

The Global Positioning System is a satellite navigation system that allows a user, i. e. of a mobile device, to pinpoint his exact position on the globe at any time, at any location, in any weather. More than 28 GPS satellites orbit the Earth and broadcast signals that can be detected by anyone with a GPS receiver. By using the receiver to measure the distances from a number of satellites simultaneously users can precisely determine their location at any point on Earth in a process akin to triangulation. GPS receivers are widely used in cars, trucks, ships and airplanes all over the globe.

Location-based services using GPS have been difficult to implement in mobile telephones because the weak signals are difficult to detect indoors, inside moving vehicles and other environments where mobile phones are commonly used. Even outdoors, a mobile phone’s traditional GPS receiver can take several minutes to receive satellite navigation data and to compute an accurate position. The technique of assisted GPS uses the cellular connection to transmit the remotely collected satellite navigation data from the basestation to the mobile phone allowing the user to pinpoint his exact position in only seconds. Thus, A-GPS and the unique signal processing of the Hammerhead chip result in unprecedented speed and sensitivity.

“Assisted GPS is the superior technology for revenue generating location-based services,” said Donald Fuchs, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Global Locate. “Users will rely on it for emergency services, finding friends or family; gaming or simple point-to-point navigation. Location-based services will provide value to users and an additional revenue stream to mobile network operators.”

Availability and Pricing

Infineon and Global Locate expect to have samples available in the first quarter of 2005. The price for the Hammerhead chip will be 6.50 Euros in quantities of ten thousand units.

About Global Locate

Global Locate, Inc. is a privately held company that provides A-GPS products and services for wireless devices and networks. Headquartered in San Jose, CA, the company has sales offices in the New York metropolitan area, Tokyo and Madrid. Its A-GPS product suite includes the World Wide Reference Network™ (WWRN), A-GPS Server™ and highly integrated Global Locate IndoorGPS® chipset. Further information is available at www.globallocate.com.

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wired communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA; in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore; and in Japan from Tokyo. In fiscal year 2003 (ending September 30, 2003), the company achieved sales of Euro 6.15 billion with about 32,300 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.

Press contact of Global Locate, Inc.:

Mr. Boaz Efroni Rotman
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Phone: +1 (408) 371-0580 278
Email: befroni@globallocate.com

Information Number

INFSMS200410.004

Press Photos

  • The Hammerhead chip is an extremely sensitive, low power single-chip Assisted GPS receiver specifically developped for use in mobile phones.
    The Hammerhead chip is an extremely sensitive, low power single-chip Assisted GPS receiver specifically developped for use in mobile phones.
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