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'Smallest' GPS combo device debuts

Posted: 27 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GPS  Bluetooth  wireless chip  mobile handset 

CSR plc claims that its latest BlueCore BC7830 is the tightest integrated and smallest GPS combination device designed for mobile handsets.

Measuring just 11mm² in silicon, the single chip incorporates GPS, Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, FM transmit and receive capabilities, and support for Bluetooth low energy.

The wireless chip company said this should allow manufacturers to add GPS functionality for less than a dollar.

This figure is said to include incremental silicon cost and the external GPS components required (GPS antenna, associated filtering and clocking components).

"If we analyse the connectivity growth in handsets, we see the attach rates of Bluetooth, FM and GPS as some of the highest in the mobile handset market," said Matthew Phillips, senior VP of CSR's handset business unit. "By integrating these three features together in the industry's smallest device, CSR allows manufacturers to include additional functionality in their devices without sacrificing cost or board space."

He added that CSR's connectivity centre is "continuing to enable designers to drastically increase the features of their devices at impressively lower price points."

"Building radio chips on a CMOS process is one of the toughest technical challenges in the semiconductor industry," added Raj Gawera, VP of marketing at the company's handset business unit. "The only way to achieve radical size reduction—and therefore cost reduction—is to have deep innovation at an architectural level—this is what we have achieved through our Smart Integration strategy."

According to Gawera, many of CSR's competitors "have followed a dumb integration approach, basically an IP cut and paste methodology with little or no architectural innovation. The result is bloated devices with poor coexistence. Integrating multiple radios is different from regular silicon integration—you can't just put multiple radios on the same piece of silicon and expect them to work concurrently and without degradation. They need to be architected specifically to work together."

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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