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Atmel, Thales partner on GPS chipsets

Atmel Corp. and Thales Navigation announced they would co-develop GPS chipsets, sub-systems and associated software.

The companies said they wanted to exploit the growth of the in-vehicle navigation and GPS-based asset tracking systems markets, which market research firm ABI Researcher estimates will reach $10 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, by 2008.

Under the partnership agreement, Atmel plans to sell a GPS chipset currently used in Thales’ Magellan eXplorist recreational GPS handheld, jointly developed by the two companies, along with a variety of other GPS chipsets, by mid-2005. Meanwhile, Thales plans to use the GPS baseband ICs to develop single-board GPS sub-systems for integration with in-vehicle navigation systems, and software to be marketed to OEMs in markets such as automotive, avionics and asset tracking.

The agreement makes Thales’ GPS mapping and user interface software available to Atmel customers as well, along with the Thales chipset as an IP block for use in Atmel’s SiliconCITY ASICs.