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SiGe rolls out 'first' Galileo-ready receiver

Posted: 21 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SiGe? Galileo? SE4120L? receiver? GPS?

SiGe Semiconductor Inc. recently introduced a Galileo-ready receiver, said to be the first for mass market consumer electronics. The device enables the integration of high-accuracy navigation services into portable devices, SiGe said, including laptop computers, PDAs, media players, cellphones and cameras.

Galileo is a satellite system that promises to enhance navigation and positioning performance compared of existing GPS system. The company said the combination of GPS and Galileo will improve user experience of location-based services by enabling products to determine position data much more consistently, more quickly and with greater accuracy than with GPS alone, the company said. These benefits are expected to drive a significant opportunity as the global satellite navigation market is expected to reach 30 billion by the time the Galileo system becomes operational in 2008.

First-to-market advantage
SE4120L allows consumer device manufacturers to capitalize on this market by designing Galileo-ready systems even as the standards are being finalized. The software-based receiver architecture ensures that changes to the standards can be supported with simple software upgrades. This allows manufacturers to design their systems now, ensuring they are among the first to market with Galileo-ready products. The software-defined architecture also minimizes board area, power consumption and cost, which are important considerations for high-volume portable consumer electronics.

SE4120L is a highly integrated receiver with built-in support for software-defined satellite signal processing for both GPS and Galileo. The software architecture reduces the load on host processors compared with conventional software approaches, the company said, and reduces cost and power consumption compared with dedicated hardware.

The device features high integration to reduce the system BOM and overall cost. The integrated architecture includes an on-chip high-gain LNA capable of delivering 18dB of gain at a low noise figure of 1.6dB without the need for bulky active antennas and costly, power-hungry external amplification. Eliminating these components reduces BOM cost and power consumption by over 50 percent while minimizing board area and maintaining high overall performance.

Low power consumption
SE4120L is designed for low power consumption, operating at less than 10mA from a 2.7-3.3V supply. Under controlled conditions, systems using this device are capable of tracking satellite signals down to as low as -170dBm.

The receiver also includes a linear AGC and a multibit ADC with low digital IF. The device sampling is software configurable and includes support for low bandwidth serialized multibit I/Q output. A PLL synthesizer and image reject mixer further reduce external component count to simplify integration. The IF filters are programmable in software to support GPS and Galileo simultaneously or GPS operation alone.

SE4120L is supplied in a 4-by-4-by-0.9mm QFN RoHS-compliant MSL1 package. The receiver is sampling today, with mass production scheduled in Q1 2007. The device is priced below $3 each in 100,000-unit quantities.

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