December 4, 2002 — SiRF Technology has unveiled a GPS platform that supports E-911 and location-based services in mobiles. Through the new platform, dubbed SiRFLoc Multimode platform, designers can develop mobiles that tap into an aided-GPS (A-GPS) mode for E-911 applications and a standalone GPS mode for handling location-based content.
A-GPS has captured quite a bit of attention in the wireless sector over the last year. Through this approach, raw GPS signals are collected at the mobile handset. Then using data collected from the network, carriers can accurately determine the position of a mobile user in E-911 situations.
The problem designers face with A-GPS is expanding it out to revenue-generating location-based services. Since the network is required to determine locations, SiRF says opening A-GPS to location-based services could put big strains on the network. To solve this problem, SiRF is also implementing a standalone GPS support in its new SiRFLoc platform. To support standalone operation, the platform provides a standalone-positioning mode that enables positions to be computed and displayed locally on the handset. According to SiRF, this mode is good for applications requiring continuous or frequent position data in the handset.
The SiRFLoc Multimode platform includes the SiRFstarII GPS chipset, client software for the handset, and server-based location software. Motorola has committed to using the technology in 3G mobile phones (See Motorola, SiRF ally for GPS-enabled chipsets). Motorola also plans to implement the technology in its iDEN phones.