New embedded GPS modules for mobile devices to slash costs

New embedded GPS modules for mobile devices to slash costs
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January 22, 2008 Wireless technology provider CSR, in collaboration with Samsung, has announced the development of a new module that it says will halve the cost of embedding GPS solutions in mobile phones, media players and personal navigation devices.

According to ABI Research, the market for GPS enabled handsets alone is set to generate $50 billion in revenues in 2008, with that figure set to rise to $100bn by 2012.

The new solution is based on CSR’s GPS software and Samsung’s module hardware. The new CSR software eliminates the need for a dedicated GPS baseband, reducing the cost of the module and offering manufacturers a low cost route to take advantage of a high growth market.

The 9.8x9.8x2.15 mm Samsung module is based on the SiGe Semiconductor SE4120S GPS RF IC and is a complete GPS RF subsystem, including voltage regulation, RTC and TCXO, SAW filter and LNA. When combined with CSR’s GPS software running on a typical applications processor, the system achieves tracking sensitivity of -159 dBm and has a cold start acquisition time of under 40 seconds.

Dr. Stuart Strickland, Vice President of CSR’s Location Business Unit, said “by partnering with Samsung, we are now able to completely eliminate a complex, risk-laden, and time-consuming step in the product design and integration process, thus making this lower cost alternative available to a much broader range of customers.” It remains to be seen whether these cost savings will be passed on to the end user or soaked up into handset manufacturer profits. Future products will integrate GPS with CSR’s technologies for Bluetooth and FM. CSR will be demonstrating its software-based GPS technologies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2008.

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