SiRF Technology, Inc. announced Mar. 18 that Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA) will use SiRF's global positioning system (GPS) technology to location-enable a family of modules for the fleet management and telematics markets. These products, to be developed and marketed by the Sony Ericsson M2M Com (Machine to Machine Communication) Business Unit, will be powered by the SiRFstar IIe chipset to provide positioning and navigation information.

These products will be used primarily in fleet management and telematics applications. According to the company, fleet management is a fast-growing market for tracking and managing large fleets of vehicles including trucks, delivery vehicles, taxis, and more. The market for telematics -- the combination of location-aware devices in the automobile and wireless links to location-based services -- is expected to grow explosively over the next five years. Strategy Analytics estimates that by 2007, up to 55% of new cars produced in the U.S., Europe, and Japan will have built-in telematics functions.

"With their clear leadership in telecommunications and consumer electronics, we expect Sony Ericsson to be a major player in the fast-growing telematics and fleet management markets," according to Kanwar Chadha, founder and vice president of marketing at SiRF Technology. "We believe this alliance will help SiRF to advance its lead as the premier supplier to the automotive GPS market, which is and will continue to be an important market for us." Specific products will be announced later in 2002.

SiRFstarII Architecture

According to the company, the SiRFstarII architecture provides complete GPS functionality with the high performance necessary for telematics and fleet management, in which fast start-up (or time to first fix -- TTFF), high fix density, and accuracy in obscured sky environments is crucial. With its unique set of features such as SnapStart for quick start-up, SnapLock for fast acquisition, and FoliageLock for high sensitivity, the SiRFstarII architecture provides enhanced GPS-based location information in urban canyons and dense foliage -- where traditional GPS architectures fall short. The SiRFstarII baseband IP core provides a library of modular and portable building blocks, along with a complete set of tools, to enable integration into customer designs. SiRF has also developed technology implementations to facilitate and optimize GPS integration into specific platforms, such as automobiles, cell phones, and personal digital assistants.

About SiRF

SiRF Technology, Inc. develops and markets semiconductor and software products that are designed to enable location awareness in high-volume mobile consumer devices and commercial applications. Location awareness refers to the ability of a device to determine and make use of the information regarding its location. SiRF's products enable a range of devices to utilize GPS to detect location. They have been integrated into mobile consumer devices, such as automobile navigation systems, cellular phones, GPS-based mobile computing peripherals, and handheld GPS navigation devices, and into commercial applications, such as property tracking devices and fleet management systems. SiRF markets and sells its products in four target markets: wireless handheld, automotive, mobile computing, and embedded consumer applications.