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Author Topic:   GARMIN Buys INTERPHASE
jimh posted 05-14-2012 11:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
This is really old news from February of 2012, but I have not heard much talk about it: Garmin has purchased Interphase, a maker of SONAR gear. The Interphase SONAR is one of a very few forward-looking SONAR devices. There has been a great deal of attention given to downward-looking and sideward-looking SONAR devices, but very little mention, talk, discussion, or even interest in forward-looking SONAR.

A forward-looking SONAR is perhaps not for the fisherman but for the cruising yachtsman who likes to go to strange places. It would be very comforting to have a reliable forward-looking SONAR to help enter strange anchorages or inlets.

Interphase SONAR is said to be based on "phased array scanning SONAR technology." It uses electronic phasing, not mechanical rotation to steer its SONAR beams. It will be interesting to see what comes of this marriage between Interphase and Garmin in the marine SONAR market. I suspect that Garmin will have some sort of new SONAR device on the market that utilizes the technology of Interphase

Mambo Minnow posted 05-15-2012 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
Thanks for sharing Jim. I had not heard this news over the winter hibernation.
My reaction is when it comes to Garmin and SONAR, things can only get better.
Most of the feedback I have heard is their SONAR technology is not on the same par as their chart plotters. NAVICO and Humminbird have closed the gap in terms of chart plotter technology and their sonar technology has been more advanced than Garmin.
bluewaterpirate posted 05-16-2012 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
[Re NAVICO and HUMMINBIRD SONAR technology as more advaced than GARMIN, Tom says] not any more. The new Garmin GDS24 and GDS26 [are] as good as anything on the market. In fact the GDS26--Garmin's Chirp Sonar that they call spread spectrum--is better than Simrad's BSM 2. Raymarine's DSM 450 just hit the market.--Tom
jimh posted 05-17-2012 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
INTERPHASE did not show any chirp or frequency-modulated or continuous-wave SONAR technology that I am aware of, and if GARMIN products now have those capabilities they probably did not get them from any technology they acquired from INTERPHASE. The purchase just occurred in February, and it is not reasonable that a product could be on the market in May that employs the acquired technology, other than just putting a Garmin label on an Interphase product.

The technology I am referring to in regard to INTERPHASE is their electronic phased array technology coupled with forward-looking scanning. The chirp SONAR devices are all down-scan devices, at least as far as I can tell.

I don't know what the basis might be for comparison of chirp or frequency-modulated or continuous wave SONAR devices might be. Perhaps a new thread on that topic is in order, if there is any real comparison data to present.

bluewaterpirate posted 05-17-2012 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
As for the Interphase acquistion there will be some interestng additions to the Garmin sonar lineup later this year. Interphase sonar units were top notch to start with as were the engineers who built them. A lot of that talent is now under the Garmin roof.


jimh posted 05-17-2012 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom--Yes, I agree with your speculation. When GARMIN bought INTERPHASE it was to acquire their intellectual property and their engineering skill, not to rebrand one of their products in its current form.

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