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GNSS chip slashes PCB space, power use for IoT devices

Posted: 15 Sep 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Broadcom  GNSS  wearable  IoT  MCU 

Broadcom Corp. has unveiled a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip for Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices. According to the company, the advanced chip allows devices such as fitness bands to provide pinpoint location while using minimal power and in some cases can eliminate the need for a separate MCU.

The Broadcom BCM47748 removes a bulk of the signal processing from the device MCU by calculating position, velocity and time (PVT) on-chip, delivering significant system power savings. The chip uses intelligent firmware to extend battery life while also maintaining accuracy in speed, distance and position for an enhanced user experience.

By absorbing location computations on-chip, Broadcom not only reduces power consumption but can also dramatically lower costs for OEMs by replacing the device MCU and reducing board space. Additionally, firmware inside the BCM47748 automatically adapts to user activity and context, whether biking, walking or running, to provide precise location results to the user, enabling performance that is not sacrificed for power savings.

The GNSS chip flaunts an integrated GNSS receiver with concurrent support for GPS and GLONASS, combined with accelerometer inputs to produce stable, accurate and low power speed and distance; a PVT computed on-chip; context engine and adaptive firmware to enable low power consumption for every activity and context without compromising accuracy; and the ability to produce GNSS fixes with only 5mA current consumption in certain scenarios.

In addition, it offers MCU host interfaces such as SPI, UART or I2C; sensor interfaces such as I2C master, SPI master, I2S, ADC and GPIO; large on-chip memory for enhanced PVT accuracy and customer applications; embedded processor with self-boot capability; and geofencing and lifelogging capabilities.

The Broadcom BCM47748 comes in a 70 ball WLBGA package with 0.4mm ball pitch and is now sampling with customers. Evaluation kits and reference designs are also available.

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