Parthus launches mobile tracker chip

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Shares in Parthus Technologies, the Irish chip designer specialising in mobile internet applications, soared 16 per cent yesterday after it unveiled a navigational technology called NavStream that will allow pinpoint location tracking.

Shares in Parthus Technologies, the Irish chip designer specialising in mobile internet applications, soared 16 per cent yesterday after it unveiled a navigational technology called NavStream that will allow pinpoint location tracking.

Parthus has also signed a licensing agreement with ARM Holdings, the mobile-phone chip designer. ARM will incorporate the technology into its chips, which are used in most of the world's mobile handsets.

The technology works by taking information from a global positioning system that uses satellites. Applications could aid emergency rescues and allow local area marketing to users of mobile phones.

Kevin Fielding, chief operating officer at Parthus, said: "Our technology will be used in automobiles for navigation. It will also be used in cellular phones and personal assistants like Palm Pilot or Psion."

Parthus stock, which floated on 19 May at 85p, closed up 38.5p at 271.5p, valuing the company at £1.45bn. Sales in 1999 were just £19m, but they are expected to grow rapidly as new mobile Net and other intelligent applications are incorporated into mobile handsets.

Brian Long, chief executive of Parthus, said location-based services would serve the markets such as real-time maps and pinpointing the nearest restaurants or banks.

Parthus, like ARM, licenses its designs but does not make the chips itself. It collects licence fees of $1m (£680,000) and upwards for a chip design and receives volume-based royalties for each chip manufactured.

"General packet radio switching (GPRS) and higher data rates will make the applications must richer in terms of features that can be added," Mr Fielding said.

GPRS networks, soon to be available in Britain, will allow mobile users to have always-on internet access.

The Federal Communications Commission, the US regulator, has mandated that all mobile handsets in the US after 2001 must have locational capability built in. A similar dictate by the European Union will apply from 2002.

Comments