Based on an improved CMOS technology, the u‑blox 5 chip has a drastically reduced chip size, which in turn reduces the size of the GPS receiver. This engine has a 50‑channel architecture, capable of massive parallel satellite searches. In addition, u‑blox 5 is a hybrid positioning engine able to simultaneously track several satellite systems, including the European‑based GALILEO system. This enables u‑blox 5 users to benefit from improved positioning accuracy and satellite availability.
“Although the pricing of the u‑blox 5 is extremely competitive, the company seems to have no plans to be a price leader,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Manager Raman Monga. “Instead, its main objective is to provide high performance and market‑leading technologies at low cost, bringing its customers greater value for the money.”
The u‑blox products have various advantages over competing products. Being a standalone GPS receiver, the u‑blox 5 doesn’t need any support from the host, and can start sending out positions within seconds of being switched on. This is in contrast with most of the competitors’ products, which are host‑based and require host memory and processors to run the software.
“Conventional GPS receivers need a minimum of 18‑30 seconds after they are switched on to download the data from the satellites, and this time depends on the signal quality,” explains Monga. “u‑blox 5 products, used in conjunction with u‑blox's AssistNow A‑GPS services, cut acquisition times down to 1 second, even in difficult signal conditions.”
u‑blox' AssistNow server stores the satellite data, which users can download for free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through a simple IP connection. The satellite data is valid for up to 14 days, enabling applications with no Internet connectivity to benefit from instant positioning for extended time periods. u‑blox also scores high in terms of easy installation and simpler integration. In addition, the product comes with the ability of multiple interfacing depending on the requirement of the customer, which includes USB portability.
“u‑blox 5 has been well‑accepted in portable devices that include hand‑held GPS devices such as mobile phones or personal navigation devices (PNDs),” continues Monga. “The product has also been highly successful in the automotive market, in which major car manufacturers are integrating u‑blox 5 into several of their automotive product lines.”
Significantly, the company invests almost 15 percent of its annual sales in R&D, resulting in innovative products. With an R&D center in Switzerland, u‑blox has close ties with ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and also with other universities and shares the results of work performed in the field of GPS receivers.
Overall, the u‑blox 5, with its superior features of high performance and reliability, is well- positioned to continue to make a strong impact in the global GPS receiver market. In recognition of u‑blox’s growth and innovation, Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present the company with its 2008 Product Innovation of the Year Award.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company whose competitive strategy has yielded significant gains in market share during the research period. Often, the recognized company has taken advantage of recent market changes that facilitate the introduction of never‑before seen methods of capturing and solidifying market presence. Alternatively, the recipient may have executed an innovative strategy within the existing competitive landscape, empowering the company to overtake the competition. In either case, the company captures the attention of the competition, which quickly adjusts in order to protect its own market position. Frost & Sullivan analysts expect such innovations to produce lasting, precedent‑setting trends in the industry.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in‑depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.