u-blox announces the acquisition of Geotate Print Print E-mail page E-mail page

  u-blox announces the acquisition of Geotate

Geotate’s geotagging solution will enable u-blox to expand its position in the consumer GPS market

Thalwil, Switzerland – March 30, 2009 – u-blox Holding AG today announced that u-blox AG has acquired Geotate B.V. (a joint venture between Road Group Holding AG and NXP B.V.). Geotate develops state-of-the-art GPS geotagging solutions based on software GPS technology and related web services. The acquisition represents an important strategic step for u-blox, as it allows the company to expand its position in the consumer markets with unique GPS geotagging solutions for digital camera manufacturers and other portable device manufacturers.

Key terms of the transaction include:
  • Patented technology and products in the area of software GPS and geotagging GPS
  • Total consideration EUR 5.5 million in cash
    • of which EUR 2.0 million for a royalty free patent license arrangement with NXP B.V. for selected patents
    • and of which EUR 3.5 million for the outstanding shares of Geotate B.V.
  • u-blox will integrate the Geotate business into its existing activities to leverage and further strengthen the mutual commercial activities
Through the acquisition, u-blox will gain access to a broad GPS patent portfolio and will be able to expand its GPS offering with GPS geotagging products. These products are based on Geotate’s software GPS technology “Capture and Process”, which enables portable devices to automatically add a geotag to a picture in a fraction of a second without compromising the user experience or the devices' power consumption. Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs and video.

The potential of geotagging in cameras is promising: The volume of digital images is growing rapidly and along with it the need for web-based sharing, browsing and searching. IMS Research forecasts that the GPS Camera market will grow to over 40 million units in 2012, across both professional and consumer orientated cameras. They highlight Geotate's Capture and Process GPS technology as enablers of this potential growth in their research report "The Worldwide Market for GPS in Portable Devices”. Popular photosharing websites such as Flickr, Picasaweb and Apple’s latest version of iPhoto already offer users new ways to further organize and share their images based on location-tags.

“The opportunity to acquire a company with extensive GPS geotagging expertise accelerates u-blox’ strategic initiative to advance its offering for the consumer mass market,” said Thomas Seiler, CEO of u-blox. “With two unique solutions – our existing standalone u-blox 5 positioning technology and the new GPS geotagging technology - we are uniquely positioned to offer camera manufacturers solutions for high volume, low power and space sensitive devices.”

“u-blox is recognized in the industry as a leading global supplier of GPS solutions,” added Hans Streng, CEO of Geotate. “This is a clear win-win as our customers will benefit from the combination of a revolutionary technology and a globally well established and trusted partner. Together, we will be able to drive our shared vision of accelerating the development and adoption of location-enabled products for consumers and commercial mass markets.”

Analyst and press conference call in German, Monday, 30 March, 14pm
u-blox will be hosting an analyst and press conference call in German. To receive webcast log in details, please contact:

Herber Blaser, VP Marketing
Phone: +41 +41 44 722 7469
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For additional information, please see the presentation on our website: www.u-blox.com/investors/IR_presentations.html

About Geotate’s technology
In contrast to normal GPS receiver technology the process of determining a position is split into two steps: A first step of capturing raw signal data for a fraction of a second, which is stored on the device, and a second step of data processing for calculating the position from this stored raw data which is typically performed on a PC. This receiver technology “Capture & Process”, offers significant advantages for low power and speed, optimizing the user experience dramatically, as in line with the normal point-and-shoot when taking a picture. The data processing on a PC benefits from the availability of aiding data which makes the system beneficial for high sensitivity and robustness. Geotate’s unique technology can be embedded into cameras to instantly tag digital images with their location – auto geotagging, as it is known. Its auto geotagging technology is low power, and easy to integrate into digital cameras and similar portable devices. Most critically, the technology overcomes the limitations of traditional GPS solutions, for example battery drain, time to fix, indoor location issues and cost. Geotate software enables users to easily get more from their digital image collection; improving visualisation, cataloguing and search. Additionally Geotate offers Software GPS, a technology where the majority of the GPS signal processing is being done by software on a standard embedded processor of portable devices such as smart phones or media players. This solution is effective for all such systems that have a powerful processor as a system back bone, and such resources are available for various applications. This form of receiver offers the lowest cost possible for a navigation positioning engine.


About Geotate
Geotate provides geotagging software and services to camera manufacturers and the digital imaging industry. Geotate is a recent spin-off from NXP B.V, previous Philips, has its headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands and a R&D office in Reigate, UK and has approximately 31 employees, mostly experienced GPS engineers. www.geotate.com.


About u-blox
u-blox is a leading fabless semiconductor provider of embedded positioning and wireless communication solutions for the consumer, industrial and automotive markets. Our solutions enable people, devices, vehicles and machines to locate their exact position and wirelessly communicate via voice, text or video. With a broad portfolio of GPS modules, cards, chips, and software solutions together with wireless modules and solutions, u-blox is uniquely positioned to enable OEMs to develop innovative solutions quickly and cost-effectively. Headquartered in Switzerland and with global presence in Europe, Asia and the Americas, u-blox employs 180 people. Founded in 1997, u-blox is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. For more information, please visit: www.u-blox.com


Contact persons
Thomas Seiler, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: +41 (44) 722 74 22, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jean-Pierre Wyss, Chief Financial Officer
Phone: +41 (44) 722 74 20, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Disclaimer
This publication may contain certain forward-looking statements, which can contain statements regarding acquisitions, new projects or potential future revenues or strategy, plans or intentions. All forward-looking statements are based only on data, appraisals and assumptions made and available to u-blox at the time of the preparation of such information. The actual situation and results can be materially different from forward-looking statements. u-blox does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.

The press release is published in English and German. Should the German translation differ from the English original, the English version is binding.

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