CSR, SiRF Complete Merger - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

CSR, SiRF Complete Merger

CSR plc and SiRF Technology Holdings Inc., have completed the merger between SiRF and a wholly owned subsidiary of CSR.

CSR plc and SiRF Technology Holdings Inc., have completed the merger between SiRF and a wholly owned subsidiary of CSR.

The merger creates a provider of connectivity (led by CSR’s Bluetooth technology) and location platforms (powered by SiRF’s GPS technology). The enlarged CSR group will target manufacturers of a diverse range of devices such as mobile phones, personal navigation devices, in-car navigation and telematics systems, laptop and netbook PCs, mobile internet devices, digital cameras, gaming machines, cellular accessories, and consumer electronic devices.

In early June, SiRF introduced the latest of its GPS-powered products, the SiRFatlasIV multifunction location system processor designed for creating high-volume, navigation and location-aware products.

The SiRFatlasIV announcement came shortly after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection determined that SiRF GPS chips fell outside of an exclusion order issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The redesigned SiRF products, as well as SIRF customers’ products that contain the chips, can now be imported for sale in the United States.

Following lengthy litigation, the ITC had recently ruled that SiRF had infringed on three patents of the Broadcom Corporation — IP that Broadcom had acquired with its 2007 purchase of Global Locate.

The enlarged CSR group will have its global headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom, with SiRF’s headquarters in San Jose, California, becoming CSR’s U.S. headquarters. SiRF cofounder Kanwar Chadha will serve as a board member and chief marketing officer of CSR.

According to the company, the combined CSR group will be among the world’s top 10 fabless semiconductor companies, with a combined customer list that includes six of the top seven handset manufacturers, the top five personal navigation device makers, the top two automotive telematics suppliers, and other leading auto and consumer electronics providers.

SiRFatlasIV, available now in production quantities, combines the same location engine of the SiRFprima processor introduced last year with a multifunction feature set more optimized for entry level systems.

The 64-channel location engine, with more than 1,000,000 correlators reportedly provides -161 dBm tracking of both GPS and Galileo satellites. The SiRFatlasIV provides a 500-MHz ARM11 processor core with vector floating point unit complimented by a 64-bit system bus and a high-speed memory controller with DDR 400/Mobile-DDR 333 memory module support.

A built-in hardware video postprocessing accelerator handles video rendering and display, enabling mobile digital TV applications such as TDMB, DVB-H, and CMMB to run with minimal impact on CPU performance, according to the company. Integrated NAND and SD controller design supports both single and multi-layer cell (SLC/MLC) flash memory.

According to Chadha, SiRF designed the SiRFatlasIV architecture to reduce overall system bill of materials (BOM) costs, including the integration of many high-cost peripheral functions onto the single chip, while giving customers flexibility to differentiate.