MediaTek emerges as major threat to GPS IC vendors
Qualcomm does not surprise, with its emergence as the leading GPS chip vendor, followed strongly by Broadcom at the second place, according to the 2014 GNSS IC vendor matrix from ABI Research. The biggest victory though goes to MediaTek, finishing third after another year of strong growth and robust shipments as a result of its targeted design strategy.
The vendor matrix compares companies on 17 criteria across the broader categories of GNSS Innovation and Implementation. Qualcomm remains the dominant player with a very strong ubiquitous location platform in IZat—this will be vital for success in high volume cellular handsets in 2015. It is also in a strong position to grow in other GNSS markets.
Broadcom continues to compete aggressively through innovation, receiving the highest score for this category for yet another year. Already in 2014, Broadcom has announced its concurrent tri-band BCM 47531 IC and the BCM 4771 GNSS SoC designed for wearables, featuring a sensor hub and always-on capabilities. Finally it has also announced its 5G Wi-Fi SoC, which supports its new proprietary FTM-based AccuLocate technology.
u-blox has also moved up a position to fourth in this year's assessment. It continues to grow revenue year-on-year, with little to suggest this will change in the coming year. It is also the first time u-blox has finished ahead of CSR, which was ranked fifth. CSR carries through its transition and faces another arduous year in 2014. It will take one or two years before the effects of these tough decisions are proven out to be correct or not.
MediaTek has now emerged as a major threat, taking third on innovation and 2012 market share rankings, following very impressive shipments of its combo ICs into local Chinese smartphone manufacturers. It is also strong on PNDs/recreational and cameras, with a growing presence in other markets. Its move to fully embedded GPS in 2013 should prove significant in driving market share in the future.
Beyond this, ST-Micro also deserves a mention with its new Teseo III platform giving it significant design flexibility allowing it to compete aggressively in existing markets while expanding into new opportunities.
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