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Broadcom intros smartphone location platform

Posted: 09 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:location platform? smartphone? indoor positioning? wireless connectivity?

Broadcom Corp. has unleashed a location architecture that the company said offers more responsive outdoor and indoor positioning capabilities for smartphones. According to the company, the solution features third-generation multiconstellation support and tight integration with sensor components and connectivity subsystem. This enables applications including indoor positioning and place-based mobile commerce, added Broadcom.

The architecture features a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip that claims to reduce time-to-first-fix (TTFF) for outdoor positioning applications, cutting the time smartphone users have to wait when first checking their position. The platform solution also uses data from inertial sensors, WiFi access points (including those based on recently announced 5G WiFi) and future technologies such as Bluetooth beacons to enable ground breaking indoor positioning capabilities. In addition, platform integration with NFC enables smarter, more secure mobile payments, with users able to specify countries, cities or even stores where digital wallets can be used, described Broadcom.

The BCM4752 GNSS chip provides advanced multiconstellation support by simultaneously collecting data from four satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and SBAS) and using the best received signals, resulting in faster searches and more accurate real-time navigation, boasted the company. Broadcom's multiconstellation technology, coupled with advanced signal processing, provides faster positioning performance for improved user experience, especially in challenging urban environments where buildings and obstructions can dramatically impact accuracy and time-to-fix, the company added.

The chip and accompanying software benefit from tight integration with Broadcom's InConcert wireless connectivity subsystem. Fabricated in 40nm process, the BCM4752 is the industry's smallest size GNSS chip, accounting for 44 percent less board space in a device, noted Broadcom. Integration of key components such a low noise amplifier (LNA) enables lowest bill of materials cost.

The BCM4752 uses 50 percent less power than previous generations, allowing location-aware applications to remain active for longer periods of time. In addition, the company said new applications such as "geofencing" that provide alerts or services based on location can be completely off-loaded from the smartphone's CPU for ultra-low system power operation.

The BCM4752 is production ready and shipping to early access partners.

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