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Conceptual Thinking at u-blox


The u‑blox quality concept covers five areas

u-blox mission


In‑house IC design, testing and quality assurance

Values u-blox


World‑class semiconductor manufacturers

At u-blox, we place extraordinary emphasis on delivering high-quality, reliable wireless and positioning modules and chips. Quality runs through everything we do, from product development, prototyping and qualification to manufacturing and delivery as well as a relentless quest for a zero-defect policy and supply reliability.

Our internal quality control process extends to the manufacturing partners who adhere to stringent standards and industry‑recognized certifications, such as ISO/TS 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 80079‑34.

See a 2‑minute video about u‑blox' module manufacturing process (English):

u‑blox quality concept

The u‑blox quality concept covers five areas:

  1. Customer needs
    We strive to understand our customers’ evolving design, quality requirements and innovation cycles.
  2. Ongoing improvement
    We deliver superior solutions focused on high quality, product innovation and cost‑efficient design processes.
  3. World‑class partners
    We operate as a fabless integrated circuit (IC) and module design house, and work with high‑volume, state‑of‑the‑art suppliers who comply with the most exacting standards.
  4. Committed employees
    We offer unmatched technology, quality and reliability, underpinned by a corporate environment that fosters teamwork, enthusiasm and dedication in our employees.
  5. Environmental commitment
    We meet or exceed statutory requirement regarding the use of hazardous substances (e.g RoHS compliancy and REACH). All our contractual suppliers are ISO 14001‑certified.


u‑blox upholds the following certificates:

Headquarters (Thalwil, Switzerland) ISO 9001 certificate

Wireless R&D Center (Sgonico, Italy) ISO 9001 cerificate

Sony Green Partner certificate

u‑blox has production sites at Flextronics (Austria), Amkor (Philippines), Globalfoundries (Singapore) and TSMC (Taiwan). These production sites upholds the following certificates:

  • ISO/TS 16949
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 9001

Product design

Product grades

In order to meet specific customer needs effectively, u‑blox supplies the distinct product grades: standard, professional and automotive. All offer outstanding value for money and industry‑renowned u‑blox quality.

Standard Grade
Consumer applications are designed for recreational devices, mobile computing, cameras, displays, routers, and test equipment subject to moderate environmental and mechanical conditions.

Professional Grade
Industrial and professional applications are designed for industrial equipment, safety and alarm systems, broadcast and telecom equipment, asset tracking, fleet management, where mechanical durability and reliability are important throughout the product’s service life.

Automotive Grade
Applications are designed to withstand harsh environmental and extreme usage conditions for use in automotive, transportation and other business‑critical applications. With ISO 16750 / AEC‑Q100 qualification, they have the lowest‑possible field failure rate and guaranteed long‑term availability.

Find out more about u‑blox’s product grades here.

Product design flow

u‑blox is set apart from the competition through our core competency; we are a leading‑edge semiconductor company and, contrary to most, we have our own in‑house IC design, testing and quality assurance departments. We are in full control of our product roadmap, software stacks, features, quality and costs.

We offer reliable, high‑quality, cost‑effective modules and chips where the entire product definition, production, test and quality processes are under our full control. The following advanced product development processes define our design flow:

  • Requirements management
    Our global market presence and close relationships with customers enable us structure requirements tracing.
  • Technology development
    We are committed to technical innovation developing key features and enhancing performance and functionality.
  • Product development program review
    We continuously assess programs to ensure efficient use of R&D resources for market‑driven product solutions.
  • Product life cycle structuring
    We ensure stage‑by‑stage product development with defined qualification criteria at each stage.
  • Semiconductor design simulation
    We test semiconductor designs to ensure compliance with functionality and performance.
  • Risk management
    To minimize potential delays, risk management in our product development is a standard procedure.
  • Chip design optimization
    We aim for optimum conditions at every test and assembly stage to maximize quality and yield.
  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
    We use FMEA to early on identify potential failures and define actions to increase detection and reduce occurrence.
  • Design verification
    We verify the product design before actual tape‑out through simulation and integrity testing.
  • Built‑in Self Testing (BIST)
    With BIST, we accelerate testing of complex system‑on‑chip designs, increase coverage and lower testing costs.
  • Environmental stress tests
    We have invested heavily in in‑house fatigue testing equipment to simulate years of field operation and identify failure mechanism causes.
  • Firmware testing
    We have adopted fully automated hardware‑in‑the‑loop (HIL) simulation testing.


Zero defect policy

We work exclusively with world‑class semiconductor manufacturing partners. Our collaborative approach creates synergies, leveraging our product know‑how and our partners’ manufacturing expertise to go in line with our zero defect strategy.

Our specialized in‑house team of test and production engineers develops and verifies all chip and module tests before installation at mass‑production assembly and testing facilities.

Our chip production process includes 100% wafer sorting and packaging as well as 100% final testing. Our automotive‑grade integrated circuits (ICs) are qualified according to AEC‑Q100, the automotive standard that includes the requirements of the common JEDEC standard JESD47 for ICs.

Qualification tests are performed at our laboratory facilities following the zero defects flow for automotive grade semiconductors (see diagram).

Zero defects flow diagrams

Supply reliability

u‑blox does everything humanly and technically possible to produce market‑leading, state‑of‑the‑art chip and modules that meet our customers’ needs precisely. But that is only half the story. Keeping customers satisfied means delivering the right products in the right quantities at the right time. And ensuring that they reach the customer in perfect condition.

To guarantee timely deliveries, we make use of multiple safety measures:

  • We plan production of modules and ICs 12 months before they are needed
  • We plan short‑term, just‑in‑time deliveries weekly
  • We require long‑term, committed production capacity from our contract manufacturers
  • We maintain a safety stock of components for our products that includes the following:
    • six weeks’ supply of finished products at three different inventory locations
    • a two‑month safety stock of all components
    • a one‑month safety stock of wafers

As a result, we are able to meet the demands we place on ourselves:

  • outstanding service levels; our target is to meet 95% of all delivery requests
  • very short delivery lead times
  • flexible, responsive delivery for small-, medium- and high‑capacity requirements

Packaging and delivery

To ensure perfect quality when our products reach the customer, u‑blox delivers chips and modules packed on reels, which are, in turn, packed into dry‑sealed ESD (electrostatic sensitive device) and moisture‑shielding bags with detailed care instructions about moisture sensitivity levels and maximum factory floor times. Sample deliveries are put on trays and likewise packaged in ESD and moisture‑shielding bags. For more information, see the u‑blox package information guide.

For Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions, module samples are shipped from our headquarters in Switzerland or assembly center in Austria. Chipsets are sent from the Philippines. For the Americas, all shipments, regardless of quantity, are sent from our US headquarters in Reston, Virginia, USA.

Samples and small production quantities can be purchased directly from our online shop.