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u-blox Holding AG
IndustryComputer software, Computer hardware
Thalwil, Switzerland
Key people
Thomas Seiler
André Müller
RevenueIncrease 403.7 Million CHF (2017),[1]
Number of employees
836 (2017),[2]

u-blox is a Swiss company that creates wireless semiconductors and modules for consumer, automotive and industrial markets. They operate as a fabless IC and design house. Their wireless solutions connect machines, vehicles and people to locate their exact positions and communicate via short range (WI-FI, Bluetooth) or cellular networks. Using their portfolio of chips, modules or software solutions it’s possible to create subsystems and products to fulfill needs for the Internet of Things (IoT), M2M or Car2Car (or Vehicle to Vehicle) solutions quick and cost-effectively.

They acquired a dozen companies after their IPO in 2007, the last two acquisitions were connectblue[3] in 2014 and Lesswire in 2015 [4]

u-blox was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Thalwil, Switzerland. The company is listed at the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX:UBXN) and has offices in the USA, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan, Australia, Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Greece.

In April 2015 u-blox successfully issued a 60 Million CHF Bond. The bonds bear a 1.625% coupon and have a duration of 6 years. The bonds were placed with institutional and private investors in Switzerland under the lead management of Credit Suisse AG and with Zürcher Kantonalbank acting as a co-manager.[5][6]

u-blox develops and sells chips and modules that support global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), including receivers for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS. The wireless range consists of GSM-, UMTS- and CDMA2000 and LTE modules, as well as Bluetooth- and WiFi-modules. All these products enable the delivery of complete systems for location-based services and M2M applications (machine-to-machine communication) in the Internet of Things, that rely on the convergence of 2G/3G/4G, Bluetooth-, Wi-Fi technology and satellite navigation.

u-blox provides starter kits which allow quick prototyping of variety of applications for the Internet of Things.[7]

Related technologies[edit]

Assisted GPS:The globally available online service assisted GNSS (A-GNSS) permits GNSS receivers to compute a position within seconds, even under very poor signal conditions.

3-Dimensional Automotive Dead Reckoning (“3D ADR”):[8] It aids traditional GPS/GNSS navigation via intelligent algorithms based on distance, direction and elevation changes made during satellite signal interruption. u-blox' 3D ADR GNSS chip blends satellite navigation data with individual wheel speed, gyroscope and accelerometer information to deliver accurate positioning regardless of changes in a vehicle’s speed, heading or vertical displacement, even when satellite signals are partially or completely blocked. This is especially important when quick navigation decisions must be made immediately upon exiting tunnels and parkhouses.

CellLocate®: Although GPS is a widespread technology, GPS positioning is not always possible, particularly in shielded environments such as indoors and enclosed park houses, or when a GPS jamming signal is present. The situation can be improved by augmenting GPS receiver data with mobile network cell attributes to provide a level of redundancy that can benefit numerous applications.

Timing: GPS/GNSS signals are widely used as low-cost precision time or frequency references by remote or distributed wireless communication, industrial, financial, and power-distribution equipment. By capitalizing on atomic clocks which are onboard positioning satellites, GPS/GNSS signals containing embedded timing information can be used to synchronize equipment to within 15 ns, as well as provide UTC time to an accuracy within 90 ns[9]

LTE (Long Term Evolution) stands for a standard in wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. u-blox delivers several products for this technique and is certified for all global markets and providers (e.g. Verizon, USA)[10]

GNSS Applications: delivering a complete set of wireless chips and modules u-blox can support system providers to create products with integrated location based functionality.

Short Range / Radio: Bluetooth and WiFi are technologies to exchange data within short distances.[11]

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology designed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as utility meters, building automation and smart cities, and available for deployment over existing mobile networks in licensed radio spectrum. Such applications have low data rates, require long battery lives up to 10 years, and operate unattended for long periods of time, often in remote or hard to reach locations such as basements and with varying temperatures. u-blox is participating in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) RAN working group meetings ramping up to the implementation of the 3GPP Release 13 of NB-IoT standards in June 2016.[12]

Centimeter-level precise positioning at u-blox is achieved by combining Real Time Kinematics (RTK) technology and u-blox Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) expertise. The base station module sends corrections via a communication link that uses Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) protocol to the moving end-user, the rover module, enabling it to output its position relative to the base station at centimeter-level accuracy. The demand for lower price high precision technology is growing, in particular for applications such as precision agriculture, UAVs, or robotic guidance systems. [13] [14]

The products of u-blox as well as the solutions are utilized by almost 5,200 OEMs in integrated GNSS and wireless applications. E.g. fleet management, remote monitoring and control, wireless data transmission, tracking of goods and people, navigation, emergency call systems (eCall, ERA-GLONASS), wearable devices, cameras, tablets and mobile phones.


External links[edit]