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Atheros Enhances GPS User Experience with Advanced Navigation and Low Power in Handsets, PNDs and PMPs

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis Dernière mise à jour: 20 octobre 2021

AR1511 Chip and ORION 3.0 Software Combo Delivers State-of-the-Art AGPS Performance for Standalone and Hosted Applications

London, May 06, 2008 — Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHR), a leading developer of advanced wireless and wired network communications solutions, today announced a new member of its Radio-on-Chip for Mobile (ROCm®) family of GPS solutions – a hardware and software GPS combination that targets mobile phones, Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) and Personal Media Players (PMPs).

Atheros’ new solution consists of its second-generation, single-chip GPS receiver, the AR1511, and companion ORION 3.0 software suite. This combination is ideally suited for integrating advanced navigation functions into mobile devices, with state-of-the-art Assisted GPS (AGPS) technology, advanced parallel search, and industry-leading tracking sensitivity of -160dBm, which together enable the most rapid and accurate location determination while conserving device battery power.

Atheros’ latest ROCm GPS offering provides developers with turnkey, high-performance options for both standalone and host-dependent designs. This platform flexibility enables customers to design a wide variety of location-aware devices and form factors, giving Atheros a significantly expanded GPS market opportunity.

The AR1511 and ORION 3.0 solution contains new patent-pending features specifically designed to address the most challenging navigation environments. These enhancements provide considerable performance advances with Time To First Fix (TTFF) reacquisition times reduced by nearly half, and positional accuracy increased by more than 50 percent.

“With the AR1511 and ORION 3.0 combo, Atheros is delivering state-of-the-art AGPS for today’s mobile phone, PND and PMP users, enabling quicker fix times that result in extended battery life,” said Greg Winner, general manager of Atheros’ GPS business unit. “Unlike most GPS silicon providers, we offer both standalone and hosted designs that enable our customers to add GPS to virtually any type of mobile consumer device.”

“Over 1.6 billion handsets are expected to ship with GPS between 2008 and 2011. With this growing penetration of GPS in handsets and other mobile products, it is more critical than ever that solution providers meet the consumer demand for high-performance navigation that’s easy on battery life,” said Morry Marshall, Partner – Strategic Technologies, Semiconductor Partners LLC. “Atheros, with its proven ROCm low-power techniques and new AGPS innovations, is well positioned in the emerging mobile GPS market.”

Atheros ROCm Combo Delivers High-Performance AGPS
Atheros’ Assisted GPS (AGPS) options speed navigation in challenging environments —indoors, in urban canyons and in other locations where broadcast satellite signals are obscured. AGPS can also accelerate the navigation process in conditions where broadcast ephemeris is available, by quickly securing location information from non-broadcast sources, thus reducing power consumed in satellite search mode.

– Real-time ephemeris through cellular networks
Mobile networks can enable handsets with ephemeris data, satellite orbital information, more quickly than it can be downloaded directly from the satellites. The AR1511 and ORION 3.0 combo provides GSM handsets with AGPS, exceeding the industry-standard 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications and the Secure User Plane for Location (SUPL) requirements, which facilitate communications between satellite location servers and GSM handsets. Bluetooth®-enabled PNDs and PMPs can also access cellular-based ephemeris by connecting through a nearby handset.

– Real-time ephemeris through the Internet Atheros’ new solution also provides conventional AGPS, access to real-time ephemeris over the Internet for PNDs, PMPs, and PCs—virtually any location-aware device that has Internet access over Wi-Fi. This allows GPS devices to have intermittent connectivity to real-time, Internet-accessed ephemeris when in the presence of a Wi-Fi access point, thus enabling accelerated location fixes, enhanced accuracy and reduced battery power.

– Extended Ephemeris when real-time access is unavailable
Atheros’ AR1511 and ORION 3.0 combo also supports extended ephemeris, stored satellite orbital data, for any location-aware device. This feature leverages RX Networks GPStream™ technology to accelerate TTFF and reacquisition times with high location accuracy. Extended ephemeris can be downloaded using wired or wireless connections from Internet- or cellular-based servers. The data is stored and provides tracking ability for up to seven days, minimizing the device’s need to scan the sky or frequently access networks to obtain real-time location information. The GPStream technology delivers ephemeris in highly compact 2KB files versus competitive solutions which employ bulky 40-50KB files, reducing the system memory requirement and demand on service provider networks. Like other forms of AGPS, extended ephemeris provides the added benefit of prolonging battery life through quicker location fixes.

Atheros’ ROCm portfolio, consisting of mobile solutions for all AGPS connectivity modes, including GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, provides design and performance synergies to readily enhance the design process and user experience.

Fast Location Acquisition through Advanced Parallel Search
The AR1511/ORION 3.0 combo features Atheros’ patent-pending advanced parallel search, which utilizes eight search engines teamed with 12 highly sensitive tracking engines. This enhanced approach to search results in significant performance advantages – reducing reacquisition time by nearly half and increasing positional accuracy by more than 50 percent in challenging environments. Atheros’ unique search capability offers considerably lower power consumption versus competitive solutions that rely on thousands of correlators to calculate positioning, resulting in prolonged searches.

GPS Options for Hosted and Standalone Designs
Atheros latest GPS solutions provide enhanced design flexibility with multiple options for either standalone or host-dependent applications.

• AR1511 – Available in a 5mm x 5mm CSP for standalone and hosted configurations, or a 10mm x 10mm BGA package for standalone and hosted configurations on low-cost PCBs
• AR1511F – 7mm x 7mm BGA package with integrated DSP and stacked flash die for small form factor standalone configurations

This AR1511F delivers GPS functionality without taxing the host processor and memory, and eliminates the need for dedicated Flash or fixed ROM. The chip provides significant advantages over competitive ROM-based solutions, with SDK support, selectable profiles and the ability to easily update software. Macronix is partnered with Atheros to provide the cost-efficient 1.8V, 8Mb MX29SL802CBXHI-90G flash option for standalone applications.

Atheros’ new GPS solutions also employ worldwide satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) to ensure the greatest accuracy, integrity and availability of GPS information within specific geographies. Systems supported by the ORION 3.0 software include WAAS (North America), MSAS (Japan), and EGNOS (Europe).

Product Availability
The AR1511 CSP package is pin-compatible to the uN3010 CSP package and provides an easy migration path from any existing design based on Atheros’ first-generation, single-chip GPS solution. The AR1511/ORION 3.0 will sample to customers in the second quarter of 2008.

About Atheros Communications, Inc.
Atheros Communications is a leading developer of semiconductor system solutions for wireless and wired communications products. Atheros combines its wireless and networking systems expertise with high-performance radio frequency (RF), mixed signal and digital semiconductor design skills to provide highly integrated chipsets that are manufactured on low-cost, standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes. Atheros technology is used by a broad base of leading customers, including personal computer, networking equipment and consumer device manufacturers. For more information, please visit or send email to [email protected]

Atheros, the Atheros logo, ROCm and ORION are trademarks of Atheros Communications, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the sole property of their respective owners.


Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including the features, benefits and performance of Atheros’ GPS and other products, and the anticipated growth of the market for GPS in handsets and handheld mobile devices, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, difficulties in the development of new and enhanced products, general economic conditions, the effects of any changes in government regulations that may occur, and the risks detailed in Atheros’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 2007, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in other reports filed with the SEC by Atheros from time to time. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Atheros disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Although we believe that the forward-looking statistical information from Semiconductor Partners is reliable, we have not independently verified this data. Semiconductor Partners generally indicates that it has obtained its information from sources believed to be reliable, but does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information.

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Fondateur de Rente et Patrimoine (cabinet de gestion de patrimoine), Pierre Perrin-Monlouis est un analyste et trader pour compte propre. Il vous fait profiter de son expérience en trading grâce à ses analyses financières et décrypte pour vous les actualités des marchés. Son approche globale des marchés combine à la fois l'analyse technique et l'analyse fondamentale sur l'ensemble des marchés : crypto, forex, actions et matières premières.