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Re-architecting GPS for mobile phones

Posted: 01 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GPS? mobile phones? in-car personal navigation systems? hybrid cellular and satellite positioning system?

Just as in-car satellite navigation systems have already taken off around the world, there is an increasing need for technology to provide location-based services in handsets. In fact, ABI Research says the market for GPS-enabled handsets will generate $50 billion in revenues this year, rising to $100 billion by 2012.

Existing GPS technologies were designed for in-car personal navigation devices (PNDs), for which power savings are not so important, and as GPS moves into the mobile handset, there is a need to rethink how and where the technology is implemented and how the GPS functions are controlled. Existing location technologies within the handset have often offered a substandard performance and unless the following issues are addressed, they will hinder the potentially rapid adoption of GPS in handsets.

There are two main issues here. First is the question of how to integrate and where to locate GPS within the phone. Getting this wrong not only causes potential design headaches, but it has ill effects on performance and power consumption. Second is the question of how to overcome performance limitations experienced when existing GPS technologies are shoehorned into the delicate mobile platform. Redesigning GPS from the ground up to develop a hybrid cellular and satellite positioning system can provide location-based services with a performance that mobile phone users would expect.

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