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Monday, May 04, 2009

Computing and CE Products Drive GPS Apps

Mobile handsets still dominate shipments of devices with integrated Global Positioning System (GPS), but the new growth will come from mobile consumer electronics (CE) and mobile computing applications, according to the latest study by In-Stat.

Mobile computing and CE devices will comprise over 100 million units in 2013.

"With growing attach rates and market maturity, GPS chipset providers must carefully evaluate which technologies to integrate into single chip solutions," says Jim McGregor, In-Stat's Chief Technology Strategist.

Integration of the RF front-end and base band processor may not be enough. For example, which radio makes the most sense to integrate with, given the single mini-card slot of PC-based platforms?

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Although the number of devices shipping with integrated GPS is increasing, the attach rates and the devices shipments have been hampered by the faltering economy.

- By 2012, there will be more CE devices with integrated GPS shipping than there are stand alone personal navigation devices.

- Mobile computing holds a lot of promise for GPS with 26 million GPS enabled units shipping in 2013, but there are barriers. In the netbook segment for example, cost, integrating yet another antenna, only one mini-card slot will inhibit adoption.

- CPUs must be integrated (ARM, x86, Mips) to manage the host processor load.

- Infrastructure radios (802.11, WiMax, LTE) are likely candidates for integration.