Auto Electronics

SiRF launches GPS chip for in-dash nav systems

SiRF Technology introduced the GSC3e/LPa, a single-chip GPS receiver that targets in-dash navigation systems. The chip is based on the SiRFstar III device that is widely used in portable navigation devices. Production is scheduled to start this month.

SiRF founder Kanwar Chadha noted that PND manufacturers demand small (=<0.5 mm pin pitch BGA) packages for their GPS receivers. “In-dash navigation system requirements are very different,” Chadha said. The GSC3e/LPa comes in a 10x10x1.4 mm, 121-pin, BGA with a 0.8 mm pin pitch. It is also available in a flat pack. The package is one that any mainstream automotive supplier can use.

The chip also offers designers their choice of a 2 MHz or 6 MHz bandwidth filter for minimizing electromagnetic interference (EMI), and its software allows the chip to link more closely to in-car sensors.

Chadha said that PND makers moving into the in-dash automotive market can integrate the GSC3e/LPa. Traditional in-dash manufacturers who have been using expensive external sensors to complement their GPS systems can now take advantage of a better GPS and software and reduce BOM costs by using existing in-car sensors.

M/A-Com Technology Solutions is using the device in the GPS module it developed to drive the latest version of the Ford SYNC communications and entertainment system. The M/A-COM module includes a GPS antenna, GPS receiver, microprocessor, memory, CAN bus transceiver, connector, and associated software. M/A-COM said the module’s antenna efficiency and receiver sensitivity allows it to be installed almost anywhere on the vehicle, resulting in major design and system efficiencies.

“M/A-COM’s antenna technology allows them to capture the GPS signal with minimal losses and they know how to interface with the vehicle bus so that any subsystem can use positioning data,” Chadha said.

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