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Broadcom intros advanced single-chip GPS solution for mobile apps
Posted: 26-Sep-2007 [Source: Broadcom]

[New CMOS GPS receiver sets new standards in performance and power consumption. ]

Forth Worth, TX -- Broadcom Corporation, a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced its first single-chip global positioning system (GPS) solution, highlighting the company's successful integration of its Global Locate acquisition and its commitment to delivering the industry's best GPS technology. The GPS receiver sets new standards in performance and power consumption with state-of-the-art sensitivity and navigation performance, and less than half the power consumption of competitive solutions. The new Broadcom chip and associated software will be demonstrated at this week's Institute of Navigation (ION) conference in Ft. Worth, Texas beginning tomorrow.

GPS technologies have become increasingly important with growing consumer interest in personal navigation devices (PNDs) and the strong desire by cellular service operators to add location-based services to their offerings. According to research from In-Stat, approximately 47 million PNDs and more than 436 million mobile phones with GPS technology will ship in 2010. As GPS chip solutions become more integrated and costs decline, the technology will expand into a whole new range of applications.

"As consumer use of location-based services grows, we are seeing an incredible amount of interest from our customers in the cellular and PND markets for GPS and assisted GPS technologies," said Scott Pomerantz, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's GPS line of business. "Broadcom has now established itself as a technology leader in the GPS chip market with a solution that provides the industry's best tracking sensitivity, lowest average power and most complete portfolio of software, complemented by the company's unique ability to integrate its GPS technology into other leading mobile chips and processors."

The Broadcom BCM4750 is produced in a low cost 90 nanometer CMOS process and features superior receiver technology and tracking sensitivity. The receiver makes full use of the Global Locate architecture, and can measure the faintest GPS signals deep indoors and in "urban canyon" environments at signal levels as low as -162 dBm. It also consumes less than 15 mW while navigating with one second map updates, less than half the power of competitive solutions according to published datasheets.

The BCM4750 is ideally suited for PNDs where rapid time-to-first-fix (TTFF) and superior navigation performance are required. In addition, products that include network connectivity, such as wireless PNDs and cellular phones, are able to exploit the full feature set of the BCM4750 software solution. These features include Assisted GPS (AGPS) and long-term orbit (LTO) extended ephemeris assistance, reducing TTFF to less than one second in many conditions. In all cases, Broadcom provides both the chip and the software including AGPS stacks and client software.

Broadcom also maintains a worldwide reference network with land-based GPS receivers located around the earth's equator, and carrier hardened servers to collect and provide AGPS and LTO data directly to GPS equipped cellular phones and wireless PNDs. Working hand-in-hand with the BCM4750 and Broadcom's client software, customer products are able to take full advantage of the benefits of AGPS and LTO. By providing this service along with the chip, Broadcom is able to offer OEMs s a one-stop-shop for all of their positioning technology needs.

BCM4750 Product Details

The BCM4750 is a single-die CMOS GPS receiver used for tracking and navigation, primarily in mobile devices. Its massive parallel hardware correlators provide faster signal searches, accurate real-time navigation, improved tracking sensitivity and very low average power consumption. With tracking sensitivity of -162 dBm, the BCM4750 sets a new benchmark 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 units sometimes fail to achieve a location "fix" or take a long time to do so. With the high sensitivity of the new BCM4750 GPS receiver chip, these initial location fixes occur much faster and in many cases, the BCM4750 can get a fix where competitors' products do not get a fix at all. The BCM4750 also integrates a number of external components, resulting in a very small footprint to design GPS into mobile devices. A complete GPS solution featuring the BCM4750 will use less than 35 mm2 of board space, including all of the necessary components for a typical cellular phone implementation.

BCM4750 Software

The BCM4750 includes software that is optimized for cellular integration and the demands of international standards bodies -- such as 3GPP and SUPL -- that promote high speed data in cellular systems. The software includes message handling protocols for user and control plane-assisted GPS standards, as well as native support for LTO extended ephemeris service. In addition, the software has been optimized for personal navigation performance and includes sophisticated algorithms to mitigate multipath errors.

About Broadcom Wireless Solutions

Broadcom is the only major chip supplier in the world with top-tier customers in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM radio and GPS, four of the key wireless technologies featured in next generation mobile phones. As more consumers rely on wireless devices to stay connected, Broadcom is delivering the technologies that make those connections fast and reliable. With the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of wireless technologies, Broadcom provides a "future proof" path to wireless chips that combine GPS with other portfolio technologies, producing products that are lower cost and in smaller form factors.


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