Broadcom, one of the world’s biggest producers of communications chips, has just announced a new GPS chip for smartphones. This new unit comes with some very welcome improvements compared to what’s currently on the market.
So it looks like waiting a long time to get a GPS lock on your smartphone will be a thing of the past – as soon as device makers start using Broadcom’s new chip.
The new chip collects data from 4 different satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, and SBAS). It features ten times better performance in position acquisition compared to other solutions, which translates into faster and more accurate position calculations. Because it’s made using a 40 nm process, it also consumes 50% less power than current-gen chips, and occupies 44% less space, being the industry’s smallest positioning chip to date.
It can also leverage your smartphone’s sensors, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, to deliver indoor positioning as well as place-based mobile commerce applications. In the future, if you have a smartphone using this chip, ‘personal shopper’ apps will guide you to specific stores inside shopping malls, and even to specific shelves within those stores.
The good news is that this chip is already production ready, and Broadcom is eagerly expecting orders from phone makers. That said, it will probably take a while before you see it in shipping smartphones.
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