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Dual-engine GPS chip enhances navigation accuracy

Posted: 12 Jan 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GPS  receiver  software  navigation 

Atheros Communications Inc. unveils the AR1520 third-generation, single-chip GPS receiver based on the new Atheros FYX Location Core technology that claims greater navigation accuracy, faster location fixes, enhanced receiver sensitivity, and lower power consumption. The dual engine GPS chip which comes with the Atheros FYX 1.0 software suite, is suited for mobile consumer products such as PNDs, netbooks, smartbooks, portable gaming devices, media players and smart phones.

GPS location functionality is quickly becoming a must-have feature in a variety of mobile products. As users have become increasingly dependent on GPS technology, they are demanding greater accuracy and response time, even in tough navigation environments. GPS systems that work most of the time or with inconsistent accuracy are no longer acceptable. To address the growing, more rigorous requirements, Atheros has designed the AR1520 and the new FYX Location Core technology from the ground up with the objective of enabling its customers to build mobile products with superior navigation accuracy and speed.

The result is the proven performance of the AR1520, which has been road-tested for accuracy on some of the most challenging GPS test routes in the world—urban canyons where the view to positioning satellites is largely obstructed—such as Lower Wacker Drive, Chicago, the streets of downtown Los Angeles, and the Shinjuku and Rainbow Bridge courses in Tokyo. In these demanding road tests, the AR1520 has consistently demonstrated best-in-class accuracy.

At the heart of the navigation solution, Atheros' innovative FYX Location Core delivers a strong combination of location accuracy, fast location fixes, leading receive sensitivity, and lower power for consumer electronics products. The new Atheros FYX Location Core utilises a unique dual-engine design, one optimised for fast searching and one for accurate navigation tracking. The FYX core utilises eight powerful, hardware-based search engines to secure satellite locations before handing them off to any of the available 16 dedicated tracking engines. The search engines, which have been optimised for navigation-intensive applications, can be run as eight separate search engines for quicker reacquisition times or combined into one powerful engine for faster start-up searches. To lower power consumption when full search power is not required, they can also be shut down in stages.

Unlike competitors that search and track with the same engine, the Atheros tracking engines are optimised for tracking, and are superior at maintaining a lock even on very weak satellite signals, rejecting multi-path and providing precision pseudo-range, velocity and heading measurements. This unique dual-engine design not only enhances accuracy, but also results in greater power and cost efficiency than competing GPS chips.

AlwaysReady tech
The Atheros AR1520 includes two new features that deliver fast location fixes similar to an assisted GPS system, but without the need for network assistance. Atheros' new ESP technology utilises advanced Ephemeris Self-Prediction algorithms to generate satellite ephemeris for up to five days, with no network connection. In contrast, competing solutions require network assistance to seed their ephemeris prediction algorithms. ESP technology delivers ultra-fast start-up times with positional accuracy twice that of the nearest competitive solution. Even following a five-day period in 'off' mode, an Atheros ESP-enabled mobile device can deliver a location fix in less than 10s while maintaining high positional accuracy.

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