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GPS baseband IC features weak-signal tracking

Posted: 26 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel? u-Blox? ATR0625? SuperSense GPS?

Semiconductors developer Atmel Corp. and GPS technology provider u-Blox AG have announced the availability of the ATR0625, a baseband IC with SuperSense GPS weak-signal tracking software included in its ROM.

According to Atmel, ATR0625 is based on the Antaris 4 platform which is a low-power, 16-channel GPS technology developed for automotive, handheld and mobile applications such as OEM car navigation, cellphones, PDAs, smart phones, personal navigation devices and recreational consumer products.

SuperSense uses a combination of coherent and incoherent tracking combined with variable integration times for the individual satellites. A tracking sensitivity of -158dBm is achieved with a power consumption that remains low at a low signal level, the company said.

The product is offered in a QFN56 package and is pin-compatible with the ATR0622 Antaris 4 baseband IC with standard ROM software. The ATR0625 comes with full WAAS/EGNOS support and incorporates Assisted GPS with a time-to-first-fix as low as 4s.

The chip operates at 62mW but its power saving modes, together with built-in power management capabilities, can bring power consumption down to as low as 5A. The on-chip USB connectivity is said to eliminate the need for a serial-to-RS232 or serial-to-USB converter, and enables Antaris 4 products plug-and-play capability.

The new product supports serial EEPROM memory and uses a QFN package instead of BGA. This, according to Atmel, results in a cost advantage for the IC itself and the customer's manufacturing process, as additional steps needed in PCB assembly like X-raying become unnecessary.

The ATR0625 works with the ATR0601 GPS radio in a 4-by-4mm QFN package. As an optional extension to the Antaris 4 chipset, the ATR0610 low-noise amplifier can be used.

ATR0625 samples in 8-by-8mm 56-pin QFN packages are currently available. Example designs for a small-form factor module and a smart antenna are available including design guides, bill-of-materials, schematics and Gerber files. Samples and example designs can be ordered via Atmel's local sales offices.

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