Wednesday, August 1, 2007
In my previous article, I had mentioned that Sirf will have to re-invent itself and align with a cellular or WLAN chipmaker to have a more secure future. I had, however, missed this press-release on that same day.
Sirf has inked a deal with Intel to license and co-develop GPS solutions for "Intel-inside" laptops. This is significant for the same reasons I had enlisted in my previous article. Bundling with a WLAN solution would help the marketability of Sirf's products. Besides, most laptops coming out today have WLAN in them and are likely to have mobile-chips in the future (dual-mode 3G/WLAN card and the likes). If Sirf can get something similar inked on the mobile-side, then it would be a more interesting future for them.
From Intel's perspective, this is almost a no-brainer. BroadCom purchased Global Locate and is sure to look at bundling the GPS receiver with their WLAN offerings for laptops and mobiles. Though the two companies' products don't compete directly in the WLAN market, any non-Intel laptop with an additional feature can be a market-grabbing product. Besides, QualComm is definitely targetting the data-card market for laptops. So, Intel had to fill in that feature deficiency.
Intel's move now adds pressure on other WLAN providers to deliver on the GPS front. It remains to be seen if these other WLAN providers will be pro-active and find a way to support GPS in their future products.