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New GPS modules slash power consumption

Sep 11, 2009 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

U-blox, the Swiss provider of GPS technology, has announced GPS modules it says are more sensitive and use 60 percent less power than its previous offerings. The U-blox 6 will also offer a shorter TTFF (time to first fix) and stronger acquisition of weak signals, the company says.

Without providing specific packaging information, U-blox said its new U-Blox 6 products will be pin-for-pin compatible with the company's previous U-blox 5 modules. To be offered as the UBX-G6010 single-chip solution pictured at right, as the UBX-G6000/G0010 chipset, or as upgraded, 1.8-volt Neo modules, the U-blox 6 will use 60 percent less power than the U-blox 5, and will also add compatibility with the European Galileo satellite network, the company says.

It's said the U-blox 6 will also be compatible with the company's proprietary "Yuma" software-plus-service offering, a "capture-and-process" technology claimed to give "portable, non-realtime" GPS products weeks or months of battery life. Yuma makes the U-blox 6 especially appropriate for automotive navigation systems, low-power loggers, plus geotagging cameras and smartphones, the company says.

Touting a 3dB improvement in signal sensitivity compared to the U-blox 5, plus faster acquisition of satellites when signals are week, U-blox lists the following specifications and attributes for the U-blox 6 modules:

  • Position engine with over 2 million effective correlators
  • Acquisition in less than one second
  • -147 dBm acquisition sensitivity (cold start)
  • -160 dBm tracking sensitivity
  • 5Hz update rate
  • GALILEO-ready
  • Yuma capture-and-process technology records positions in under .2 seconds

Andreas Thiel, co-founder of U-blox, stated, "Market demand increases for GPS solutions with high sensitivity, long battery life and instant location capture. U-blox 6 based products will bring significant benefits to OEMs of real-time GPS products as well as to extremely low-power logger applications requiring weeks or months of battery life."

Availability

According to U-blox, the UBX-G6010 and UBX-G6000/G0010 will be sampling by the end of this year, and the company's Lea and Neo receiver modules will be upgraded "shortly afterwards." U-blox made no specific claims about operating systems compatibility for the new Neo 5D and 5G. However, GPS receivers are generally cross-platform, interfacing with a host operating system via their serial interfaces. Further information may be found on the company's website, here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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