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Platform boosts positioning in smartphones

Posted: 22 Mar 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:location architecture  indoor positioning  multi-constellation 

Broadcom Corp. debuts a new location architecture to enhance outdoor and indoor positioning capabilities for smartphone devices.

With proven third-generation multi-constellation support and tight integration with sensor components and Broadcom's connectivity sub-system, the new solution opens the door to innovative applications, such as indoor positioning and place-based mobile commerce, said Broadcom.

The architecture features a new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip, the BCM4752 that significantly reduces time-to-first-fix (TTFF) for outdoor positioning applications, cutting the time smartphone users have to wait when first checking their position. The platform solution also uses data from inertial sensors, Wi-Fi access points and future technologies such as Bluetooth beacons to enable enhanced indoor positioning capabilities, such as "personal shopper" applications that can direct users to specific stores within shopping malls, and even specific shelves within those stores. In addition, platform integration with NFC enables smarter, more secure mobile payments, with users able to specify countries, cities or even stores where digital wallets can be used.

The Broadcom BCM4752 GNSS chip is said to provide the industry's most advanced multi-constellation support by simultaneously collecting data from four satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and SBAS) and using the best received signals, resulting in faster searches and more accurate real-time navigation. Building on the success of previous GNSS chips, Broadcom's multi-constellation technology, coupled with advanced signal processing, provides faster positioning performance for improved user experience, especially in challenging urban environments where buildings and obstructions can dramatically impact accuracy and time-to-fix.

The new chip and accompanying software benefit from tight integration with Broadcom's InConcert wireless connectivity sub-system, featuring the most advanced and complete technology offering in the industry. By developing its various connectivity components to operate as a unified system, Broadcom can offer more expansive location features that extend beyond GNSS capabilities.

Fabricated in 40nm process, the BCM4752 is the industry's smallest size GNSS chip, accounting for 44 per cent less board space in a device. New applications such as "geofencing" that provide alerts or services based on location can be completely off-loaded from the smartphone's CPU for ultra-low system power operation, according to Broadcom.

The BCM4752 is production ready and shipping to early access partners.

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