A jointly developed GPS solution has been spawned by Atmel Corp. and u-blox. It claims to require less external parts, while keeping power consumption low. Called Antaris, it targets the high-volume mobile, navigation, and multimedia mass markets. Antaris is optimized for implementing GPS in cellular handsets, PDAs, wristwatches, and personal locators, as well as in traditional navigation systems.
The solution includes GPS chip sets, GPS receiver macro-components, and software. The chip set and the macro-component, TIM-LP, are both based on the Antaris positioning engine. That engine comprises the fully integrated RF receiver IC ATR0600, the 16-channel baseband IC ATR0620, and the SiGe-manufactured low-noise amplifier (LNA) ATR0610.
This solution's chip set claims to be the industry's best-performing GPS product. With its 16-channel architecture and 8192 time/frequency search taps, it enables ultra-fast time-to-first-fix figures, higher sensitivity, and faster position tracking. The power consumption is 100 mW at 1 position fix per second, allowing extended operating time.
The TIM-LP component delivers a fully engineered and ready-to-apply GPS receiver. This macro-component module can be surface mounted to printed-circuit boards with automatic assembly equipment, keeping manufacturing costs to the very minimum. The Flash memory allows application-specific code to be run in parallel with the embedded GPS firmware.
Lastly, the Antaris GPS software offers various navigational platforms. System makers can therefore optimize the navigation performance and receiver sensitivity for specific applications. A real-time operating system guarantees stable operation. It also supports easy access to hardware functions through an application link layer (ALL). The ALL architecture offers an application programming interface to make custom code integration fast and easy. A software customization kit is available as well. It supports the incorporation of user-defined custom functionality or interfacing with the GPS receiver. The kit includes a development board, code examples, and templates that enable software developers to rapidly create application-specific code.
Samples of the GPS chip set and the GPS macro-component module are available. High-volume production will start this quarter.
2325 Orchard Parkway, San Jose, CA 95131; (408) 441-0311, www.atmel.com.
u-blox America, Inc.
13800 Coppermine Rd., Herndon, VA 20171; (703) 234-5290, FAX: (703) 234 5770, www.u-blox.com.