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Smallest GPS chip yet?

Feb 25, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

CellGuide has announced a GPS module that measures a scant 0.21 x 0.18 x 0.04 inches (5.4 x 4.6 x 1.1mm). Billed as the “world's smallest” GPS chip, the “Ramon” (left) includes a GPS processor and RF front end, and targets low-cost, high-volume devices.

CellGuide's Ramon incorporates the company's previously announced Aclys GPS receiver. Unlike some larger GPS receivers, the Aclys relies on the “host” device's applications processor to convert its output into standard NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) format, according to the company.

CellGuide's Ramon architecture
(Click to enlarge)

In addition to the Aclys GPS receiver, the Ramon includes an RF front end, as pictured above. The device includes an LNA (low-noise amplifier), SAW (surface acoustic wave) filter, LDO (low dropout) voltage regulator, and additional passive components, according to the company.

Features and specifications released by CellGuide for the Ramon include the following:

  • Sensitivity:
    • Tracking — -160dBm
    • Acquisition (aided) — -155dBm
    • Acquisition (autonomous) — -147dBm

  • Accuracy:
    • Outdoor — <3 meters
    • Indoor — <20 meters

  • Time to first fix:
    • Hot start — <1 sec.
    • Cold start (autonomous) — 35 seconds

  • RF front end:
    • Total gain — 113dB
    • Total noise — 2.5dB

  • Power consumption:
    • Active — <20mW
    • Standby — 20uW

  • Dimensions — 5.4 x 4.6 x 1.1mm

CellGuide software runs on multi-threaded OSes including eLinux, Windows CE 5.0 and 6.0, Windows Mobile, Nucleus, Symbian, and Thread-X, according to the company. Compatible application processors, meantime, are ARM9 and ARM11 devices, including those made by Freescale Semiconductor (MX series), Marvell (PXA series), NEC Electronics (MP series), Samsung Electronics (S3C24xx and S3C64xx), and TI (OMAP).

Nati Freiberg, COO of CellGuide, said, “The Ramon module is a natural evolution of our product line. It's what mass-market device manufacturers need in order to further the successful adoption of GPS to high-volume midrange and low-cost products.”


According to CellGuide, the Ramon module is available now, though pricing was not released. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

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