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Maxim, Philips partner on RF chip

Posted: 29 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:maxim integrated products? gps? front-end receiver ic? royal philips electronics? spot gps software?

Maxim Integrated Products' new GPS solution is based on its GPS front-end receiver IC combined with Royal Philips Electronics' Spot GPS software. According to the press release from the two companies, utilization of the system's application processor eliminates the need for a costly, bulky baseband ic. The highly integrated and flexible RF chip maximizes the reuse of the existing system resources, such as the reference clock, and offers a low BOM count for further size and cost savings.

Operating in both autonomous (unassisted) and assisted modes, the software solution can provide fixes every second for applications such as automotive tracking. It promises to significantly reduce cost, power consumption and size compared to other hardware-based, multi-chip GPS chipsets in the marketplace. In large volumes this results in a sub-$4 GPS solution.

"Until today, mass deployment of location technology in mobile devices was hindered by the high cost, power consumption and size of GPS implementation," said Dr. Saeed Navid, VP at Maxim. "By combining Maxim's expertise in rf ic design and manufacturing with Philips's innovative software GPS technology, we are responding to the demanding market requirements for mobile and portable applications."

Additionally, the MAX2741 has an integrated 1-, 2- or 3-bit ADC and supports 2MHz to 26MHz reference frequencies with a 2.7V to 3V supply voltage. It is already available with a number of design-ins underway.

The Philips Spot software is 600Kb of code written in ANSI C, which can be ported to, and run on any standard processor, such as ARM, Intel Xscale or TI-OMAP. The software takes the output of the GPS front-end receiver and locates the satellites. It then downloads the satellite ephemeris and, using a new proprietary technique, performs signal processing to extract the satellites' signals. The result is an efficiently generated position fix, added the two companies.

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