Atheros to acquire GPS chip maker u-Nav

Atheros agreed to acquire GPS chip maker u-Nav for $US54 million.

Silicon vendor Atheros Communications has agreed to acquire u-Nav Microelectronics, a GPS (Global Positioning System) chip maker, for approximately $US54 million in cash and stock, the companies announced after the close of trading Thursday.

As GPS becomes part of the toolkit users are looking for in networked devices, Atheros wants to add that technology to its lineup. Customers of Atheros put its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips into notebooks, dual-mode phones and other products.

"GPS is something that these guys were asking us for," said Atheros Chief Financial Officer Jack Lazar.

Broadcom, a rival of Atheros, acquired GPS chipset maker Global Locate earlier this year. Atheros chose u-Nav because it makes a single-chip GPS system using CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor), a standard technology that has been key to Atheros' own success in Wi-Fi, Lazar said. Using CMOS has helped to reduce the size and lower the cost of many types of chips.

Privately held u-Nav was founded in 2001 and is based in Irvine, California. Its approximately 54 employees will join Atheros but remain in Irvine and at u-Nav's European engineering facility in Tampere, Finland, Lazar said. Greg Winner, CEO of u-Nav, will become the head of Atheros' GPS business following the close of the deal, expected this month. Atheros is based in Santa Clara, California.

Although GPS is an obvious fit for cell phones, there are many reasons to put it in other devices too, Lazar said. For example, GPS in a notebook PC could be used by enterprises to track the PC, and a notebook with built-in GPS could serve as a personal navigation device without any external hardware. UMPC (ultramobile PC) devices for specific purposes such as construction already have GPS built in, Lazar said.

It should be possible in a year or two to integrate Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS in a single chip, though Atheros probably wouldn't do that unless a customer asked for it, Lazar said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?