GPS modules for wearables cut size and power, boost location performance

April 14, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
CSR and OriginGPS aim to accelerate the adoption of wearable devices with small form factor and low power GNSS modules; the modules, which have integrated antennas, reduce typical size by 70% and offer uprated performance, making them ideal for wearable devices

CSR and OriginGPS (Israel) have announced high-performance GNSS modules using CSR’s SiRFstarIV and SiRFstarV product lines. The new modules are 70% smaller than current solutions and deliver a 30% reduction in Time To First Fix (TTFF), making them ideal for health and fitness trackers, sports watches, medical devices, wearable action cameras, and digital still cameras. All modules, including the newly released 7 x 7mm Multi Spider (ORG4572) solution, integrate the LNA, SAW filter, TCXO, RTC crystal and RF shield.

The OriginGPS modules offer unparalleled sensitivity resulting in shorter autonomous and aided TTFF, better navigation stability, and higher accuracy in harsh environmental conditions. In real-life testing of the module in camera applications, TTFF performance improves by over 30% compared to other solutions. The module also delivers TTFF results in less than one minute over 90% of the time (Cold Starts).

In addition to its small footprint, the GNSS module’s ultra-fast geo-tagging capability improves the consumer experience. The GNSS antenna module’s sensitivity and OriginGPS' proprietary Noise Free Zone (NFZ) technology for faster position fix and navigation stability provides geo-tagging availability even under challenging satellite signal conditions such as low signal areas, under dense foliage, in urban canyons, and during motion-based activities. Battery life is considerably extended as a result of CSR’s breakthrough low power Push-to-Fix (PtF) technology, which rapidly establishes a valid position fix enabling the module to hibernate for longer periods of time. Push-to-Fix is an intelligent periodic low power mode that adaptively changes power depending on the operating environment and motion conditions. Advanced algorithms and a powerful on-chip DSP processor maintain high accuracy (QoS) while achieving the lowest power level possible for the given environmental and motion conditions.