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GPS IC comes in ROM-, flash-supported versions

Posted: 14 Oct 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GPS  processor  flash memory  navigation 

GSD4e GPS location processor

CSR plc has released the SiRFstarIV GSD4e GPS location processor that has a built-in CPU and SiRFGeoRecov technology that are optimised to ensure continuous location awareness in a new breed of digital cameras, portable game consoles, wearable platforms and other consumer devices, without loading the host processor.

The GSD4e's adaptive accuracy and SiRFGeoRecov technologies make it possible to instantly geo-tag images or videos with a camera or camcorder and improve the accuracy as better GPS information becomes available. It also enables people to locate social networking friends on a smart phone, track a jogging course with a wearable device, perform location-based searches with a laptop or netbook or find their way through buildings and urban canyons with a pedestrian navigation system. It further can do all these things in everyday environments and in many cases even if the device has been turned off for weeks or months. The GSD4e also ensures that devices are on the "location grid," even in extremely low signal conditions. In addition, the GSD4e's motion-sensing algorithms ensure advanced power management and stable, accurate positioning, even when standing still.

Much broader in applicability, easier to design and more flexible than host-based architectures, the GSD4e is a complete position-velocity-time (PVT) solution. The GSD4e can navigate to -160dBm and track to -163dBm, and for smart phone customers the GSD4e offers 7.5dB 3GPP pass margin and high E911 sensitivity to ensure success in virtually any handset design. It also offers a fully certified A-GPS protocol stack with quick drop-in to multiple smart phone OS. The GSD4e consumes only 8mW in 1Hz TricklePower mode, and can maintain hot-start conditions continuously in SiRFaware mode while drawing as little as 50-400µA. Its enhanced SiRFNavPlus navigation engine ensures seamless car and pedestrian navigation in extremely tough urban canyon and dense foliage environments.

"Adding the GSD4e to our SiRFstarIV portfolio gives our customers the choice of both plug-in and host-based implementations of our breakthrough location awareness technology for greater flexibility in creating a variety of geo-aware mobile devices, furthering our vision of making location truly a part of everyday life." said Kanwar Chadha, chief marketing officer for CSR and founder of SiRF. "And because it has a built-in processor, the GSD4e makes it easy to quickly integrate location awareness into existing platforms, enables development of innovative modules and products with customisable differentiation and provides our extensive SiRFstarIII customer community with a seamless upgrade path."

Available in both ROM and flash supported versions, the GSD4e is the first CSR product to come with patented SiRFInstantFix synthetic ephemeris technology as a standard feature for even greater performance. On-chip active jammer removal, a key feature of the SiRFstarIV architecture, not only eliminates electrical noise commonly associated with the motors, LCD screens and other components in smart phones, cameras, game consoles and other consumer devices, but also pinpoints for designers much earlier in the development process the precise strength and source of these interfering signals, enabling them to be contained in the design phase rather than in later, more costly test phases. The GSD4e also supports a full range of satellite-based augmentation systems, including WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS and GAGAN.

"The ROM version of the GSD4e GPS engine has the advantage of being an extremely cost-effective, small and low-power solution with complete location capability for easy integration into space and processing resource constrained consumer devices," said Sunil Gopinath, senior product marketing manager for CSR's audio and consumer business unit. "The flash version gives customers access to extra throughput of the CPU, more flexibility to customise and quick access to new, innovative algorithms from CSR, while our development tools enable them to create custom software to run on the GSD4e processor and flash memory, and thus add their own innovations."

Gopinath explains that the GSD4e has built-in circuitry and temperature adaptive software that allows it to replace a temperature compensated crystal oscillator with a low-cost crystal, thus enabling BOM-conscious customers to design GPS into their products with the lowest BOM cost in the market today.

He also explains that the GSD4e's integrated eFuse technology helps customers electronically sett custom configurations at system boot-up instead of the time consuming manual software changes.

The ROM version measures a 3.5mm x 3.2mm, and comes in a 42-ball, 0.5mm pitch WLCSP package. The flash version measures 5mm x 7.2mm, and comes in a 103-ball, 0.5mm pitch BGA package.

The GSD4e combines RF receiver and integrated LNA, base band circuitry, switcher and low-current LDOs on a single chip, and requires only five to six external passive components and a single SAW to provide a complete solution that occupies less than 25 square millimetres, including switcher parts.

The CSR SiRFstarIV GSD4e single-chip GPS engine with external flash memory is available in sample quantities this month. The ROM version will be available later this quarter. Production quantities are scheduled for Q1 10. Please contact your local CSR sales office for pricing information.

For application notes and technical articles on processors, visit Embedded Design India.





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