Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. was an American multinational corporation headquartered in Austin, with design and development, manufacturing and sales operations in more than 75 locations in 19 countries. The company employed 17,000 people worldwide. On December 7, 2015, NXP Semiconductors completed its merger with Freescale for about $11.8 billion in cash and stock. Freescale shareholders received $6.25 billion in cash and 0.3521 of an NXP share for each Freescale common share. Including the assumption of Freescale's debt, the purchase price is about $16.7 billion. Freescale was one of the first semiconductor companies in the world, having started as a division of Motorola in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1948 and becoming autonomous by the divestiture of the Semiconductor Products Sector of Motorola in 2004. In 1955, a Motorola transistor for car radios was the world's first commercial high-power transistor, it was Motorola's first mass-produced semiconductor device. In the 1960s, one of the U. S. space program's goals was to return him safely to Earth.
In 1968, NASA began manned Apollo flights that led to the first lunar landing in July 1969. The Apollo program was significant for hundreds of employees involved in designing and producing its electronics; the division of Motorola which would become Freescale Semiconductor, supplied thousands of semiconductor devices, ground-based tracking and checkout equipment, 12 on-board tracking and communications units. An "up-data link" in the Apollo's command module received signals from Earth to relay to other on-board systems. A transponder transmitted voice and television signals and scientific data; that year, Motorola's technologies were used to introduce the first two-way mobile radio with a transistorized power supply and receiver for cars. Motorola has continued its growth in the networking and communications sector in years, providing the tools behind the radio transponder, going on to develop the first prototype of the first analog mobile phone in 1973; the company's first microprocessor was introduced in 1974, was used in automotive and video game applications.
Motorola's next generation 32-bit microprocessor, the MC68000, led the wave of technologies that spurred the computing revolution in 1984, powering devices from companies such as Apple, Atari, Sega and Hewlett-Packard. In the 1990s, Motorola's technology was the driving force behind intelligent power switches for anti-lock brake systems, one of the first microelectromechanical systems inertial sensor for automotive airbags, Motorola's MPC5200 microprocessor deployed telematic systems for General Motors' OnStar systems. Since Freescale continued to provide the technology behind consumer, medical and automotive products from microprocessors for the world's first tubing-free wireless insulin pump, to and automotive microcontrollers for efficient engine design. Freescale's motion-sensing accelerometer powers the interactivity of the Guitar Hero video games; the number one provider of eReader processors worldwide was Freescale. In 2009, Freescale demonstrated the world's lowest startup voltage single inductor DC/DC converter for use in solar and thermoelectric energy harvesting applications.
In 2011, the company launched the industry's first multimode wireless base station processor family that scales from small to large cells – integrating DSP and communications processor technologies to realize a true "base station-on-chip". In addition, a recent ABI Research market study report states that Freescale owns 60% share of the radio frequency semiconductor device market. In 2011, Freescale announced the company's first magnetometer for location tracking in smart mobile devices. With the partnership of McLaren Electronic Systems, they helped the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicles convert from carburetors to fuel injection starting in 2012. On March 8, 2014, Freescale announced that 20 of its employees were passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; that plane, carrying the Freescale employees, was lost, with only small part of it found over a year later. In March 2015, a merger agreement was announced through which Freescale Semiconductor would be acquired by NXP Semiconductors and that the companies would be merged to form a US$40 billion company.
The acquisition closed on December 7, 2015. On February 26, 2013, Freescale Semiconductor announced the creation of the world's physically smallest ARM-powered chip; the Kinetis KL02 measures 1.9 by 2 millimeters and is a full microcontroller unit, means that the chip supports a processor, RAM, ROM, clock and I/O control unit. The chip competes with the Atmel M0 + offerings. One application that Freescale says the chips could be used for is swallowable computers. Freescale works with a variety of health and wellness customers. Both the Fitbit and OmniPod insulin pump use Freescale chips; the new chip was on display at'Embedded World' in Nuernberg, from February 26–28, 2013. Up to now devices with leading letter codes L, E, M, W containing ARM Cortex-M0+ cores and letter code K or KW containing ARM Cortex-M4 cores are known. QorIQ is a brand of ARM-, PowerPC-, Power ISA-based communications microprocessors from NXP Semiconductors; the QorIQ brand and the P1, P2 and P4 product families were announced in June 2008.
Details of P3 and P5 products were announced in 2010. QorIQ Layerscape product families were announced in 2013, based on Cortex A7, Cortex A9, A15, A53 and A72 cores upon the ISA agnostic Layerscape architecture. In August 2014, Freescale Semiconductor
Reduced instruction set computer
A reduced instruction set computer, or RISC, is one whose instruction set architecture allows it to have fewer cycles per instruction than a complex instruction set computer. Various suggestions have been made regarding a precise definition of RISC, but the general concept is that such a computer has a small set of simple and general instructions, rather than a large set of complex and specialized instructions. Another common RISC trait is their load/store architecture, in which memory is accessed through specific instructions rather than as a part of most instructions. Although a number of computers from the 1960s and'70s have been identified as forerunners of RISCs, the modern concept dates to the 1980s. In particular, two projects at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley are most associated with the popularization of this concept. Stanford's MIPS would go on to be commercialized as the successful MIPS architecture, while Berkeley's RISC gave its name to the entire concept and was commercialized as the SPARC.
Another success from this era was IBM's effort that led to the IBM POWER instruction set architecture, PowerPC, Power ISA. As these projects matured, a wide variety of similar designs flourished in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, representing a major force in the Unix workstation market as well as for embedded processors in laser printers and similar products; the many varieties of RISC designs include ARC, Alpha, Am29000, ARM, Atmel AVR, Blackfin, i860, i960, M88000, MIPS, PA-RISC, Power ISA, RISC-V, SuperH, SPARC. In the 21st century, the use of ARM architecture processors in smartphones and tablet computers such as the iPad and Android devices provided a wide user base for RISC-based systems. RISC processors are used in supercomputers such as Summit, which, as of November 2018, is the world's fastest supercomputer as ranked by the TOP500 project. Alan Turing's 1946 Automatic Computing Engine design had many of the characteristics of a RISC architecture. A number of systems, going back to the 1960s, have been credited as the first RISC architecture based on their use of load/store approach.
The term RISC was coined by David Patterson of the Berkeley RISC project, although somewhat similar concepts had appeared before. The CDC 6600 designed by Seymour Cray in 1964 used a load/store architecture with only two addressing modes and 74 operation codes, with the basic clock cycle being 10 times faster than the memory access time. Due to the optimized load/store architecture of the CDC 6600, Jack Dongarra says that it can be considered a forerunner of modern RISC systems, although a number of other technical barriers needed to be overcome for the development of a modern RISC system. Michael J. Flynn views the first RISC system as the IBM 801 design, which began in 1975 by John Cocke and was completed in 1980; the 801 was produced in a single-chip form as the IBM ROMP in 1981, which stood for'Research OPD Micro Processor'. As the name implies, this CPU was designed for "mini" tasks, was used in the IBM RT PC in 1986, which turned out to be a commercial failure, but the 801 inspired several research projects, including new ones at IBM that would lead to the IBM POWER instruction set architecture.
The most public RISC designs, were the results of university research programs run with funding from the DARPA VLSI Program. The VLSI Program unknown today, led to a huge number of advances in chip design and computer graphics; the Berkeley RISC project started in 1980 under the direction of David Patterson and Carlo H. Sequin. Berkeley RISC was based on gaining performance through the use of pipelining and an aggressive use of a technique known as register windowing. In a traditional CPU, one has a small number of registers, a program can use any register at any time. In a CPU with register windows, there are a huge number of registers, e.g. 128, but programs can only use a small number of them, e.g. eight, at any one time. A program that limits itself to eight registers per procedure can make fast procedure calls: The call moves the window "down" by eight, to the set of eight registers used by that procedure, the return moves the window back; the Berkeley RISC project delivered the RISC-I processor in 1982.
Consisting of only 44,420 transistors RISC-I had only 32 instructions, yet outperformed any other single-chip design. They followed this up with the 40,760 transistor, 39 instruction RISC-II in 1983, which ran over three times as fast as RISC-I; the MIPS project grew out of a graduate course by John L. Hennessy at Stanford University in 1981, resulted in a functioning system in 1983, could run simple programs by 1984; the MIPS approach emphasized an aggressive clock cycle and the use of the pipeline, making sure it could be run as "full" as possible. The MIPS system was followed by the MIPS-X and in 1984 Hennessy and his colleagues formed MIPS Computer Systems; the commercial venture resulted in a new architecture, called MIPS and the R2000 microprocessor in 1985. In the early 1980s, significant uncertainties surrounded the RISC concept, it was uncertain if it could have a commercial future, but by the mid-1980s the concepts had matured enough to be seen as commercially viable. In 1986 Hewlett Packard started using an early implementation of their PA-RISC in some of their computers.
In the meantime, the Berkeley RISC effort had become so well known that it became the name for the entire concept and in 1987 Sun Microsystems began shipping systems with the SPARC processor
PowerPC is a reduced instruction set computing instruction set architecture created by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, known as AIM. PowerPC, as an evolving instruction set, has since 2006 been named Power ISA, while the old name lives on as a trademark for some implementations of Power Architecture-based processors. PowerPC was the cornerstone of AIM's PReP and Common Hardware Reference Platform initiatives in the 1990s. Intended for personal computers, the architecture is well known for being used by Apple's Power Macintosh, PowerBook, iMac, iBook, Xserve lines from 1994 until 2006, when Apple migrated to Intel's x86, it has since become a niche in personal computers, but remains popular for embedded and high-performance processors. Its use in 7th generation of video game consoles and embedded applications provided an array of uses. In addition, PowerPC CPUs are still used in third party AmigaOS 4 personal computers. PowerPC is based on IBM's earlier POWER instruction set architecture, retains a high level of compatibility with it.
The history of RISC began with IBM's 801 research project, on which John Cocke was the lead developer, where he developed the concepts of RISC in 1975–78. 801-based microprocessors were used in a number of IBM embedded products becoming the 16-register IBM ROMP processor used in the IBM RT PC. The RT PC was a rapid design implementing the RISC architecture. Between the years of 1982–1984, IBM started a project to build the fastest microprocessor on the market; the result is the POWER instruction set architecture, introduced with the RISC System/6000 in early 1990. The original POWER microprocessor, one of the first superscalar RISC implementations, is a high performance, multi-chip design. IBM soon realized that a single-chip microprocessor was needed in order to scale its RS/6000 line from lower-end to high-end machines. Work began on a one-chip POWER microprocessor, designated the RSC. In early 1991, IBM realized its design could become a high-volume microprocessor used across the industry. Apple had realized the limitations and risks of its dependency upon a single CPU vendor at a time when Motorola was falling behind on delivering the 68040 CPU.
Furthermore, Apple had conducted its own research and made an experimental quad-core CPU design called Aquarius, which convinced the company's technology leadership that the future of computing was in the RISC methodology. IBM approached Apple with the goal of collaborating on the development of a family of single-chip microprocessors based on the POWER architecture. Soon after, being one of Motorola's largest customers of desktop-class microprocessors, asked Motorola to join the discussions due to their long relationship, Motorola having had more extensive experience with manufacturing high-volume microprocessors than IBM, to form a second source for the microprocessors; this three-way collaboration between Apple, IBM, Motorola became known as the AIM alliance. In 1991, the PowerPC was just one facet of a larger alliance among these three companies. At the time, most of the personal computer industry was shipping systems based on the Intel 80386 and 80486 chips, which have a complex instruction set computer architecture, development of the Pentium processor was well underway.
The PowerPC chip was one of several joint ventures involving the three alliance members, in their efforts to counter the growing Microsoft-Intel dominance of personal computing. For Motorola, POWER looked like an unbelievable deal, it allowed the company to sell a tested and powerful RISC CPU for little design cash on its own part. It maintained ties with an important customer and seemed to offer the possibility of adding IBM too, which might buy smaller versions from Motorola instead of making its own. At this point Motorola had its own RISC design in the form of the 88000, doing poorly in the market. Motorola was doing well with its 68000 family and the majority of the funding was focused on this; the 88000 effort was somewhat starved for resources. The 88000 was in production, however; the 88000 had achieved a number of embedded design wins in telecom applications. If the new POWER one-chip version could be made bus-compatible at a hardware level with the 88000, that would allow both Apple and Motorola to bring machines to market far faster since they would not have to redesign their board architecture.
The result of these various requirements is the PowerPC specification. The differences between the earlier POWER instruction set and that of PowerPC is outlined in Appendix E of the manual for PowerPC ISA v.2.02. Since 1991, IBM had a long-standing desire for a unifying operating system that would host all existing operating systems as personalities upon one microkernel. From 1991 to 1995, the company designed and aggressively evangelized what would become Workplace OS targeting PowerPC; when the first PowerPC products reached the market, they were met with enthusiasm. In addition to Apple, both IBM and the Motorola Computer Group offered systems built around the processors. Microsoft released Windows NT 3.51 for the architecture, used in Motorola's
Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company founded on September 25, 1928, based in Schaumburg, Illinois. After having lost $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, the company was divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011. Motorola Solutions is considered to be the direct successor to Motorola, as the reorganization was structured with Motorola Mobility being spun off. Motorola Mobility was sold to Google in 2012, acquired by Lenovo in 2014. Motorola designed and sold wireless network equipment such as cellular transmission base stations and signal amplifiers. Motorola's home and broadcast network products included set-top boxes, digital video recorders, network equipment used to enable video broadcasting, computer telephony, high-definition television, its business and government customers consisted of wireless voice and broadband systems, public safety communications systems like Astro and Dimetra. These businesses are now part of Motorola Solutions.
Google sold Motorola Home to the Arris Group in December 2012 for US$2.35 billion. Motorola's wireless telephone handset division was a pioneer in cellular telephones. Known as the Personal Communication Sector prior to 2004, it pioneered the "mobile phone" with DynaTAC, "flip phone" with the MicroTAC, as well as the "clam phone" with the StarTAC in the mid-1990s, it had staged a resurgence by the mid-2000s with the Razr, but lost market share in the second half of that decade. It focused on smartphones using Google's open-source Android mobile operating system; the first phone to use the newest version of Google's open source OS, Android 2.0, was released on November 2, 2009 as the Motorola Droid. The handset division was spun off into the independent Motorola Mobility. On May 22, 2012, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Google had closed on its deal to acquire Motorola Mobility. On January 29, 2014, Page announced that, pending closure of the deal, Motorola Mobility would be acquired by Chinese technology company Lenovo for US$2.91 billion.
On October 30, 2014, Lenovo finalized its purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google. Motorola started in Chicago, Illinois, as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928 when brothers Paul V. and Joseph E. Galvin purchased the bankrupt Stewart Battery Company's battery-eliminator plans and manufacturing equipment at auction for $750. Galvin Manufacturing Corporation set up shop in a small section of a rented building; the company had $565 in five employees. The first week's payroll was $63; the company's first products were the battery eliminators, devices that enabled battery-powered radios to operate on household electricity. Due to advances in radio technology, battery-eliminators soon became obsolete. Paul Galvin learned that some radio technicians were installing sets in cars, challenged his engineers to design an inexpensive car radio that could be installed in most vehicles, his team was successful, Galvin was able to demonstrate a working model of the radio at the June 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
He brought home enough orders to keep the company in business. Paul Galvin wanted a brand name for Galvin Manufacturing Corporation's new car radio, created the name “Motorola” by linking "motor" with "ola", a popular ending for many companies at the time, e.g. Moviola, Crayola; the company sold its first Motorola branded radio on June 23, 1930, to Herbert C. Wall of Fort Wayne, for $30. Wall went on to become one of the first Motorola distributors in the country; the Motorola brand name became so well known that Galvin Manufacturing Corporation changed its name to Motorola, Inc. Galvin Manufacturing Corporation began selling Motorola car-radio receivers to police departments and municipalities in November 1930; the company's first public safety customers included the Village of River Forest, Village of Bellwood Police Department, City of Evanston Police, Illinois State Highway Police, Cook County Police with a one-way radio communication. In the same year, the company built its research and development program with Dan Noble, a pioneer in FM radio and semiconductor technologies, who joined the company as director of research.
The company produced the hand-held AM SCR-536 radio during World War II, vital to Allied communication. Motorola ranked 94th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. Motorola went public in 1943, became Motorola, Inc. in 1947. At that time Motorola's main business was selling televisions and radios. In October 1946 Motorola communications equipment carried the first calls on Illinois Bell telephone company's new car radiotelephone service in Chicago; the company began making televisions in 1947, with the model VT-71 with 7-inch cathode ray tube. In 1952, Motorola opened its first international subsidiary in Toronto, Canada to produce radios and televisions. In 1953, the company established the Motorola Foundation to support leading universities in the United States. In 1955, years after Motorola started its research and development laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, to research new solid-state technology, Motorola introduced the world's first commercial high-power germanium-based transistor.
ON Semiconductor is a Fortune 500 semiconductors supplier company. Products include power and signal management, logic and custom devices for automotive, computing, industrial, LED lighting, military/aerospace and power applications. ON Semiconductor runs a network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and design centers in North America and the Asia Pacific regions. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, ON Semiconductor has revenues of $3.907 billion, which puts it among the worldwide top 20 semiconductor sales leaders. ON Semiconductor was founded in 1999; the company was a spinoff of Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector. It continues to manufacture Motorola's discrete, standard analog, standard logic devices. In April 2000, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of Cherry Semiconductor. In 2003, ON Semiconductor acquired TESLA TEROSIL in the Czech Republic. Both of these companies were the successors of the former state-owned company TESLA. In May 2006, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of LSI Logic Gresham, Oregon Design & Manufacturing Facility.
In January 2008, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of the CPU Voltage and PC Thermal Monitoring Business from Analog Devices, Inc. for $184 million. In March 2008, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of AMI Semiconductor for $915 million. On July 17, 2008, ON Semiconductor Corporation and Catalyst Semiconductor, Inc. announced the acquisition of Catalyst Semiconductor, Inc. by ON Semiconductor Corporation for $115 million. On October 9, 2008, Catalyst Semiconductor, Inc. announced the approval of the acquisition. On October 10, 2008, ON Semiconductor Corporation announced the completion of the acquisition. In November 2009, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of PulseCore for $17M. In December 2009, ON Semiconductor announced the acquisition of California Micro Devices. In June 2010, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of Sound Design Technologies, Ltd. for $22 million. In January 2011, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of SANYO Semiconductor. In February 2011, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of the CMOS Image Sensor Business Unit from Cypress Semiconductor, for $31.4 million In May 2014, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of Truesense Imaging, Inc.
In June 2014, ON Semiconductor announced a $400 million deal to acquire California-based Aptina Imaging Corp. In July 2014, ON Semiconductor and Fujitsu Semiconductor announced Strategic Partnership In July 2015, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of Axsem AG. In November 2015, ON Semiconductor announced the acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor. In August 2016, ON Semiconductor has entered into a definitive agreement with respect to the divestiture of the Ignition IGBT business to Littelfuse and has entered into a separate definitive agreement with Littelfuse to sell its transient voltage suppression diode and switching thyristor product lines, for a combined $104 million in cash. In September 2016, ON Semiconductor completed the acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor. In March 2017, ON Semiconductor announced that it is acquiring and licensing mmWave technology for automotive radar applications developed by IBM’s Haifa, research team, it includes staff, research facilities and intellectual property.
In May 2018, ON Semiconductor Acquired Ireland based company - SensL Technologies Ltd. In March 2019, ON Semiconductor to Acquire Quantenna Communications ON Semiconductor manufactures products in the following areas: Custom: ASICs; the company has three segments: Analog Solutions Group Intelligent Sensing Group Power Solutions Group There are several Solution Engineering Centers and Design Centers around the world. United States: San Jose, California.
ITap is a predictive text technology developed for mobile phones, developed by Motorola as a competitor to T9. It was designed as a replacement for the old letter mappings on phones to help with word entry; this makes some of the modern mobile phones features like text note-taking easier. When entering three or more characters in a row, iTap guesses the rest of the word. For example, entering "prog" will suggest "program". If a different word is desired, such as "progress" or words formed with different letters but requiring the same keypresses like "prohibited" or "spoil", an arrow key can be pressed to highlight other words in a menu for selection, in order of descending commonality of their use. Press keypad keys to begin entering a word; as the user types, the phone automatically shows additional letters that form a suggested combination. Scroll right to view other possible combinations, highlight the combination one wants. Press direction key "up" to enter the highlighted combination. A space is automatically inserted after the word.
In some implementations, pressing the button assigned the "space" character the star key, results in retaining the current stem, without inserting the rest of the offered completion. If the phone does not recognize a word it stores the word as an optional choice; when the memory space is filled the phone deletes the oldest word to make space for the new word. Similar to XT9, iTap is able to complete words and phrases. ITap will guess the best match based upon a built in dictionary, including words sharing the typed prefix; this dictionary contains phrases and used sentences. This way the predictive guesses iTap offers are enhanced based upon context of the word, being typed. ITap uses a different user interface than T9 does. However, T9 provides an API that can be used to create a similar UI if phone manufacturers decide to do so. ITap provides suggestions for word completions after only one key press in all cases. However, T9 completes custom words after one key press and on most phones other words that users have entered can be retrieved after three key presses.
T9 enables these UI decisions to be up to the phone manufacturer and so far none of them have chosen to mimic the UI of iTap with T9. T9 LetterWise Some notes on iTap
Iridium Communications Inc. is a publicly traded American company headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Iridium operates the Iridium satellite constellation, a system of 141 active satellites used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite phones and other transceiver units; the Iridium network is unique in that it covers the whole Earth, including poles and airways, with 95 satellites launched so far. The satellites are visible in the night sky as satellite flares, a phenomenon observed as short-lived bright flashes of light. Iridium manages several operations centers, including Tempe and Leesburg, United States; the U. S. Department of Defense, through its own dedicated gateway, relies on Iridium for global communications capabilities; the company derives its name from the chemical element iridium which has an atomic number of 77, equalling the initial number of satellites which were planned to be deployed. The Iridium communications service was launched on November 1, 1998 by what was Iridium SSC.
The first Iridium call was made by Vice President of the United States Al Gore to Gilbert Grosvenor, the great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell and chairman of the National Geographic Society. Motorola provided major financial backing; the logo of the company represents the Big Dipper. The founding company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy nine months on August 13, 1999; the handsets could not operate as promoted until the entire constellation of satellites was in place, requiring a massive initial capital cost running into the billions of dollars. The cost of service was prohibitive for many users, reception indoors was difficult and the bulkiness and expense of the hand held devices when compared to terrestrial cellular mobile phones discouraged adoption among potential users. Mismanagement is another major factor cited in the original program's failure. In 1999, CNN writer David Rohde detailed how he applied for Iridium service and was sent information kits, but was never contacted by a sales representative.
He encountered programming problems on Iridium's website, a "run-around" from the company's representatives. After Iridium filed bankruptcy, it cited "difficulty gaining subscribers"; the initial commercial failure of Iridium had a damping effect on other proposed commercial satellite constellation projects, including Teledesic. Other schemes followed Iridium into bankruptcy protection, while a number of other proposed schemes were never constructed. In August 2000, Motorola announced. In December 2000 the US government stepped in to save Iridium by providing $72 million in exchange for a two-year contract and approving the fire-sale of the company from US Bankruptcy court for $25 million, in March 2001; this erased over $4 billion in debt. Iridium service was restarted in 2001 by the newly founded Iridium Satellite LLC, owned by a group of private investors. Although the satellites and other assets and technology behind Iridium were estimated to have cost around US$6 billion, the investors bought the firm for about US$35 million.
On February 10, 2009, Iridium 33 collided with a defunct Russian satellite, Kosmos 2251, 800 kilometres over Siberia. Two large debris clouds were created. Iridium replaced its original constellation by sending 75 new Iridium satellites into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets; the campaign consisted of upgrades to the Iridium Gateway and Command & Control ground facilities. The Iridium NEXT launch campaign was announced in 2007. Within three years, Iridium began work on the satellites and launch program. In June 2010, Iridium announced a fixed-price contract with Thales Alenia Space for the design and construction of the next-generation satellites for the upgraded constellation. Two weeks Iridium announced a $492 million contract designated the Falcon 9 as a major provider of launch services for the Iridium NEXT campaign, becoming the largest single commercial launch deal signed. On January 14, 2017, 10 years after the campaign was first announced, the first of eight Iridium NEXT launches took place with SpaceX from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Over the next two years, Iridium sent an additional 65 satellites into Low-Earth Orbit to replace the original satellite constellation. This program was the first retroactive replacement program in history, taking place without disrupting existing Iridium service; the final Iridium NEXT launch took place on January 11, 2019, less than 2 years after the first launch. Iridium Satellite LLC merged with a special purpose acquisition company created by the investment bank Greenhill & Co. in September 2009 to create Iridium Communications Inc. The public company trades on NASDAQ under the symbol "IRDM"; the company surpassed 1 million subscribers in March 2018. Revenue for the full year 2018 was US $523.0 million with operational EBITDA of US$302.0 million, a 14% increase from $265.6 million in the prior year. The system is being used extensively by the U. S. Department of Defense through the DoD Gateway; the commercial services gateway in Tempe, provides voice and data services for commercial customers on a global basis.
Iridium targets maritime, land mobile, IoT markets, in addition to supporting their government customers. Matt Desch is the CEO of Iridium LLC. Iridium is a founding member of the Hosted Payload Alliance, a satellite industry alliance formed to increase awareness of the benefits of