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© beisea dreamstime.com Business | September 24, 2012

Qualcomm beats Broadcom and CSR

Qualcomm has been named the leading GPS IC vendor in the latest Competitive Assessment released by ABI Research.
The company’s design strategy, dominant market share, multi-constellation support, and upcoming indoor location technologies were all fundamental to securing the top spot. Broadcom, CSR, u-blox, and TI fill out the top five, but ... only temporarily.

ABI Research’s “vendor matrix” is a key component of the overall assessment, providing a clear and unbiased understanding of vendors’ positions in specific markets. GPS IC vendors were compared across 15 criteria, falling under the broader categories of “innovation” and “implementation”.

On implementation, Qualcomm tops the list scoring highly for product strategy, market presence, organization health, and partnerships. Its new iZat platform will build on the market share position its embedded GNSS strategy has created, with exciting new services expected in 2013.

“U-blox also scored highly; its acquisition strategy enables it to maintain control of all elements of design, results in an optimized product line and a strong non-cellular market share. ST-Micro also features in the top 5 with an established market presence in PNDs and auto. Its new Cartesio+ and Teseo II platforms will enable it to regain market share, as well as expand into emerging module markets,” says senior analyst Patrick Connolly.

CSR has regained the mantel of most innovative GPS IC vendor. Its new SiRFStar V range scored highly in the multi-constellation support, indoor location technology (handset-based and LaaS), and power consumption (dedicated on-board processing) criteria. Its alternative location score is boosted by its efforts to support technologies from Boeing and NextNav. Broadcom is a very close second, matching CSR blow for blow on all innovation criteria. It also has a next generation IC in the works with an even stronger indoor location focus around MEMS, Bluetooth, and other technologies.

Intel, Samsung, ST Ericsson, and Mediatek represent the biggest emerging threats in the cellular GPS IC business. A number of companies discussed in the report are re-assessing their GPS module strategy as fitness, camera, tracking, and commercial markets emerge.

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