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In many ways it is unsurprising that Qualcomm have emerged as the leading provider of GPS/GNSS solutions. The sheer size of its shipments, means that it will always be in the running. However, over the last two years it has managed to get beyond its CDMA space, into WCDMA with design wins at a number of tier one OEMs. Similarly its snapdragon platform has proven to be hugely successful with high penetration expected in the tablet market. Qualcomm has also been involved in development of Glonass and is beleived to be working on new hybrid location technologies, which will be an essential offering in the future.

There is very little to separate Broadcom and CSR in the battle for integrated GS IC dominance. Broadcom offers a wide range of IC implementations, design innovations and major contract wins across a number of different vertical markets. The Apple design win also helps a bit!CSR continues to drive innovation in terms of optimizing GPS IC performance to meet growing demand in emerging markets, while continuing to generate significant revenue from established markets. This is reflected in CSR’s recent Samsung Galaxy S II design win, as well as a growing presence inthe camera and health and fitness markets.

Infineon/Intel drops out of the top 5 following the launch of the iPhone 4. Texas Instruments continues to hold a strong position, but is overly exposed to Nokia smartphones. St-Ericsson, Seiko-Epson, Mediatek and ST-Microelectronics also featuring amongst the 21 companies analyzed in the matrix

Smaller manufacturers appear to have successfully transitioned from largely missing the cellular and PND markets to establishing themselves within smaller niche markets. While larger competitors remain a threat as markets move into the mainstream, there is a still more than enough opportunity to continue to grow, particularly in the areas of telematics, fleet management and in-car. U-blox is a great example of this with almost 3000 customers and a strong position in the automotive sector.Following a strong 2010, it has featured prominently in the matrix.

To view a chart showing the rankings of the top ten firms in this Vendor Matrix, please visit GPS IC Market Vendor Matrix (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/1003220).

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