SiRF was founded in February, 1995 to develop GPS and other wireless technologies for consumer applications. Its first product, introduced a few months ago, is a GPS chipset for low-cost consumer applications. The company raised $4.5 million through Ayala, FPHC, Mitsui, Yamaha, and the Walden Group, a V/C firm. SiRF acquired STS, a developer of GPS and spread-spectrum technologies, which also gave the company DoD development funding. The Chairman, Dado Banatao, was the founder of S3 and Chips & Tech. and is also the chairman of Marvell, clearly a successful line-up.
The GPS receiver market is predicted to reach $10 billion by the year 2000. To date, GPS has been an expensive high-end technology. Most of the growth will come from new low-cost applications. SiRF already has design-wins with several OEMs for low-cost navigation products. SiRF's solution is a two chip-set consisting of a RF front-end and a DSP chip. Software and reference designs are available which allow OEMs with no GPS expertise to design a complete GPS system. Advantages of the SiRFstar chipset include fast signal acquisition, positional updates with just one satellite, improved dual multipath rejection, and the ability to capture and process extremely weak signals. The SiRFstar chip-set is $49.95.
SiRF appears to be well positioned for success. It has assembled a world-class mgmt. team and is focused on an market ripe to explode with little visible competition. The product is technically superior to alternate solutions and is less expensive. The problem for reps. and distributors is that SiRF is targeting a very narrow market. However, the point is to incorporate GPS technology into many applications and to develop other wireless technologies as well.
Dado Banatao, founder & chairman
Jackson Hu, president & CEO
Kanwar Chadha - VP of marketing, founder
Mark Scheible, VP of Sales