S3 and Iridium Partner

SAN JOSE, CA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- S3 Group, a provider of RF, analog, and digital integrated circuit (IC) design services, and Iridium Communications Inc., a global mobile satellite service company, announced that they partnered in IC design and delivery for Iridium's recently-announced 9602 full-duplex short-burst data (SBD) transceiver. The Iridium 9602 is a smaller, lower-cost next-generation SBD transceiver, and it is expected to be commercially available in June 2010.

S3 Group provided a full turnkey service to Iridium from feasibility study to the delivery of packaged tested parts. A thorough system analysis by S3 Group enabled a very high level of integration, resulting in a two-chip transceiver chipset, providing a lower-cost solution compared with previously used components. The approach entailed a complex system design that required a large team of S3 Group engineers, with expertise in RF, analog, and digital design, as well as the company's leading-edge mixed-signal IP portfolio.

The Iridium 9602 will serve as a data communications transceiver for a wide range of portable tracking and monitoring devices, leveraging Iridium's global coverage and low-latency, two-way data links. Applications for the 9602 will include remote asset tracking and monitoring, such as telemetry from unattended sensors, fleet management and tracking, enterprise logistics, and supply chain visibility, as well as personal two-way navigation and mapping devices.

The IC design, developed by S3 Group, has enabled Iridium to substantially reduce form factor, power consumption, and cost, as well as to expedite delivery of products to market. The IC design also allows Iridium's value-added manufacturers and resellers greater flexibility in embedding the 9602 into their products.

"S3 Group delivered a working IC design to us ahead of schedule," said David Schoen, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Product Development, Iridium. "Their engineering expertise and skilled program management experience ensured higher levels of cost savings than we anticipated and enabled us to get our 9602 to production and to market faster."

Commenting on S3 Group's success at Iridium, James Blair, Director of IC Design Services said, "This was a complex system design, where we brought our turnkey services capabilities, our partners, and our RF, analog, and digital IC design skills to bear. Once again, we have proven that we can accelerate the time-to-market, reduce costs, and increase flexibility for our customers' products. Iridium's 9602 satellite transceiver offers global, real-time service, combined with the highest value in the industry. S3 Group is proud to have assisted Iridium on this system design, from the drawing board right through to product delivery, and we hope to support further engagements with Iridium."

About S3
S3 Group is the Connected Consumer Technology Company, providing products, solutions, and professional services to the semiconductor, digital TV, and telehealth industries. For IC designers and product managers, S3 Group delivers a complete turnkey specification-to-packaged-parts service, leveraging our RF, analog, and digital design building blocks and using our comprehensive portfolio of mixed-signal IP to deliver power-efficient single-chip systems. Through our focus on RF and wireless solutions, product-cost reduction, and low-power design, we deliver the most cost-effective highly integrated solutions to our broad customer base. S3 Group's mixed-signal IP includes a wide portfolio of high-performance A/D and D/A converters, PLLs, analog front ends, and other miscellaneous circuits that have been silicon proven at a number of merchant foundries (TSMC, UMC, Chartered, IBM, Tower, SMIC).

Founded in 1986, S3 Group has design centers in Ireland (Dublin and Cork); Lisbon, Portugal; Wroclaw, Poland; Prague, Czech Republic, and San Jose, CA, U.S., with sales offices and representatives all over the global.

About Iridium
Iridium Communications Inc. is the "only mobile satellite service company offering coverage over the entire globe." The Iridium constellation of low-earth-orbiting, cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. The company's customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment, and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, U.S.

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