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GPS receiver promises faster signal searches

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GPS? receiver? location-based services? 3G?

Broadcom Corp. has unveiled its next generation single-chip GPS solution for mobile devices that is said to set new standards in performance and low power consumption with its sensitivity and navigation performance, while offering the smallest PCB footprint.

High consumer demand for location-based services (LBS) is driving market growth for GPS-enabled handsets, with LBS being one of the fastest growing revenue segments. GPS chipsets are now regarded by network operators as an essential feature for 3G phones and marketing initiatives exploiting location based services are beginning to emerge from key device suppliers and network operators. ABI Research sees this trend accelerating as market sector participants continue to vie for the attention of younger buyers and subscribers, and predicts that 48 percent of all handsets will be GPS-enabled by 2014.

The Broadcom BCM4751 is a single-chip GPS receiver used for tracking and navigation, primarily in mobile devices. Its massively parallel, hardware correlator architecture provides faster signal searches, accurate real-time navigation, improved tracking sensitivity and very low average power consumption. The sensitivity and navigation performance of the BCM4751 continue to set the standard for the industry.

Enhanced tracking sensitivity allows GPS-enabled mobile devices to detect very weak signals including those partially blocked or reflected by buildings or other structures. In these environments, GPS devices sometimes fail to achieve a location 'fix' or take a long time to do so. With the higher sensitivity of the new BCM4751 GPS receiver, these initial location fixes occur much faster, and in many cases, will achieve a location 'fix' when competitive products are unable to do so.

The BCM4751 also integrates a number of external components that reduce the overall system cost for manufacturers and enables very small footprints when designing GPS into mobile devices. With real estate in mobile devices at a premium, a complete GPS solution, featuring the BCM4751, will use less than 30mm? of board space, including all of the necessary components for a typical cellular phone implementation.

The BCM4751 supports additional satellite constellations including the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) and the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) for Japanese applications, making as many as twelve additional satellites available for use in navigation. This support for satellite constellations greatly aids urban canyon navigation, providing a straighter, more accurate navigation solution, as well as position fixes in more areas, when compared to competitive solutions.

The BCM4751 GPS receiver offers 65nm CMOS design featuring a highly-integrated RF and baseband processor with extremely low power consumption. It also claims smallest complete PCB footprint at 30mm? including band-pass filter, TCXO and passives. The device also features integrated power management allowing direct connection to the battery.

"As consumer use of location based services grows, we are seeing an incredible level of interest from our customers in the cellular and personal navigation device markets for GPS and assisted-GPS technologies," said Scott Pomerantz, VP and general manager, Broadcom's GPS line of business. "As a technology leader in the GPS chip market, we now offer our new BCM4751 solution that provides the industry's best overall sensitivity, lowest average power consumption and the most complete portfolio of software, and is complemented by our unique ability to integrate this GPS technology into other leading mobile chips and processors."

Available in both WLBGA and FPBGA packages, the BCM4751 GPS receiver also includes software that is optimized for cellular integration and the demands of international standards bodies such as 3GPP, GERAN and OMA, which promote the delivery of GPS assistance data over high-speed cellular networks. The software includes message handling protocols for Control Plane and User Plane assisted-GPS (A-GPS) standards such as SUPL1.0. The GPS software also provides native support for Broadcom's Long Term Orbit extended ephemeris service. In addition, the software is optimized for personal navigation performance and includes sophisticated algorithms to mitigate multi-path errors.

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