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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' new AlwaysReady technology uses advanced power domain architecture to keep the GPS chip in a state that is always ready to get a hot start fix. When placed in AlwaysReady tracking mode, the AR1520 GPS receiver continually monitors its own clock accuracy, and wakes up to recalibrate at periodic intervals to maintain peak starting performance. This delivers the performance of assisted GPS without the need to connect to a network.

Leveraging Atheros Radio-on-Chip for Mobile technology, known for its ultra low-power designs, the FYX location solution combo helps manufacturers extend the battery life of mobile devices. The AR1520's dedicated tracking engines allow for power-hungry search engines to be powered down when not required, delivering high-accuracy urban canyon tracking performance while consuming less than 30mW of power. In less strenuous suburban settings, low-power tracking mode further reduces tracking power to well under 10mW. Atheros new proprietary AlwaysReady mode enables the device to stay in "hot start" mode while sipping less than 1mW of power.

"Atheros' AR1520 and the new FYX Location Core deliver unmatched navigation accuracy, speed and low tracking power, without network assistance," said Amir Faintuch, VP and general manager, mobile business unit, Atheros. "You don't need heightened location accuracy on the open highway; you need it in demanding environments when one wrong turn can lead to a long traffic delay, or worse. Where it matters most, in these tough urban canyons, the new Atheros FYX Location Core delivers superior navigation accuracy where competitive solutions struggle."

The AR1520 combines a GPS RF front end and GPS base band processor on a single die. It features a 32bit CPU, which enables faster processing power for both hosted and stand-alone configurations, to provide greater design flexibility. Additionally, to minimise the BOM and overall solution cost, the AR1520 has integrated several external GPS system components including the integrated LNA and loop filter and on-board power regulators.

As a result, fewer than 10 external system components are required. The solution also features dedicated tracking channels, which provide high clock drift tolerance, allowing for the Atheros solution to utilise a less expensive TCXO without sacrificing navigation performance. Offering an industry-leading small footprint for a complete GPS solution, the device is available in a 500m pitch CSP.

The FYX 1.0 software suite provides Windows CE, Linux 2.6 and other OS support for hosted applications. Additionally, Atheros' Install n' Go Application Development Kit enables fast and easy integration of GPS into any device based on these operating systems. The AR1520 and FYX 1.0 software solution provides an easy upgrade path from existing designs based on Atheros' GPS previous solutions and is sampling to customers now.

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