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Low Power Single-Chip Brings GPS Services To Mobile Phones

The Hammerhead A-GPS chip 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. Photo coutesy: Global Locate
San Jose CA (SPX) Oct 13, 2004
Infineon Technologies and Global Locate Tuesday 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, 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 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 by 7mm (about a third of an inch by a third of an inch) is no larger than a key on the dialing 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 of 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."

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Helsinki Transport Speeds Toward Future With Echelon's Technology
San Jose CA (SPX) Oct 12, 2004
Echelon Monday announced that the Helsinki City Transport (HKL) has begun an extensive upgrade of its metro train system using the LonWorks networking platform. By using this unique and flexible technology, HKL can increase the operating efficiency of its entire train system and expand that system easily and efficiently in the future.

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