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Ventures • December 21, 2007

NXP Semiconductors to Buy GloNav

NXP Semiconductors has announced plans to acquire GloNav Inc., a US-based fabless GNSS semiconductor company, for $85 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008, subject to regulatory approvals.

According to NXP, the company plans on integrating GloNav’s GPS technology with NXP’s expertise in Bluetooth, FM radio, and USB “to offer a broader connectivity suite to the mobile phone market.”

December 20, 2007

Additional GPS IIR-M Satellite Launched, Quickly Begins Transmitting

The U.S. Air Force launched the fifth modernized GPS Block II Replenishment (IIR-M) satellite at 3:04 p.m. EST (20:04 UTC) December 20 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, (December 20) aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. Air Force controllers set the spacecraft to "healthy" status on January 2, in what is probably a record time of 13 days.

New Builds • December 18, 2007

GPS Wing Exercises MUE Contract Options

The U.S. Air Force has exercised new options on contracts with three companies for development of GPS Modernized User Equipment (MUE) for future military applications.

Under the new awards, Raytheon will receive $65 million; Rockwell Collins, $50.7 million; and L-3/Interstate Electronics Corporation, $36 million. All options were awarded on or about October 19.

Ventures • December 14, 2007

Atheros Communications Buys u-Nav

Continuing a trend of GPS technology acquisitions designed to facilitate mixed technology wireless products, Atheros Communications has announced a definitive agreement to buy the assets of u-Nav Microelectronics, an Irvine, California–based fabless GPS semiconductor company.

Atheros, with headquarters in Santa Clara, California, is a nine-year-old developer of wireless semiconductor products, including 802.11 standard-based wireless local area network (WLAN), Bluetooth, and personal handy-phone system (PHS) equipment.

December 13, 2007

Navigable Map-Device Mergers Advance

Finland’s farflung mobile phone manufacturer Nokia and Dutch personal navigation device (PND) vendor TomTom continue to make progress toward their multi-billion-dollar acquisitions of navigable digital mapmakers Navteq and Tele Atlas, respectively. But a regulatory challenge in Europe may complicate TomTom’s effort, while Nokia appears likely to sail through unchallenged in the United States.

December 7, 2007

GNSS, the Book

SpringerGeosciences has announced release of the latest book by Bernhard Hofmann-Wellenhof: GNSS — Global Navigation Satellite Systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo & More. Coauthors are Herbert Lichtenegger and Elmar Wasle.

Inside GNSS • November/December 2007

Measuring Up: Certification Processes and Testing of A-GPS Equipped Cellular Phones

More and more GPS-enabled devices are entering the consumer marketplace, many incorporating assisted-GPS (A-GPS) technology. These include not only cellular phones, but laptop datacards, PDAs, and other mobile equipment.

Increasingly, GPS devices that were previously standalone now incorporate a cellular modem for such applications as mapping download or live traffic alerts. The proliferation of GPS in the consumer space can also be seen in the availability of GPS automotive navigation systems in local supermarkets or large grocery stores.

Inside GNSS • November/December 2007

GNSS & Space Weather

Space weather accounts for the most substantial errors experienced by GPS/GNSS systems and their users. It is the single largest contributor to the single-frequency GPS error budget, and a significant factor for differential GPS.

But exactly what is space weather? And how does it affect satellite navigation systems?

Ventures • December 2, 2007

EDO Shareholders to Vote on Acquisition by ITT Corporation

EDO Corporation will hold a special meeting of its shareholders on December 18 to complete previously announced plans to be acquired by ITT Corporation, a global aerospace and defense company with headquarters in White Plains, New York.

Thinking Aloud • November/December 2007

GNSS Believer

Technology-agnostic. Now there’s an interesting term.

I first heard it from engineering staff at the Federal Communications Commission as they backpedaled away from a premature assumption that network-based solutions would meet the agency’s E911 mandate for wireless phones. After, that is, their assumption was confronted with a more accurate, more far-reaching GPS technology.

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