Did you know that half of the cellular phones shipping today have GPS built-in? From a buzzword just a few years ago, it has become an everyday item alongside the house keys in your pocket. And like those keys I must say that at least I never would leave home without it.
Apart from the obvious convenience of always having a map at hand and being able to get guidance to wherever you are going, there is an added dimension when this functionality is in a personal device. With the clever integration of location and social networking we able to share, connect and meet people in the same geographical area and with similar interests. It also makes us feel safe and secure knowing that if we have an accident, the emergency services will know where to come and rescue us.
When building location devices into small form factor personal devices, knowing every inch along both the cellular and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi® routes helps. In fact, it helps a lot. Without successful coexistence of all these radio technologies, GPS would not be in very many devices today.
But clearly, what we see today is not the end of the road. Both handset companies and platform solution companies are being challenged to further enhance the reliability, accuracy and user-experience of location based services.
It’s therefore with great pleasure, I can tell about our most recent advances in making this technology even faster and more accurate, with less signal loss and even lower power consumption. We call it CG2905.
CG2905 is the 2nd generation Bluetooth/FM/GNSS combo chip from ST-Ericsson. Building on the previously released CG2900, the newly released device adds support of the GLONASS satellite constellation. The addition of the GLONASS satellite constellation to the existing GPS constellation roughly doubles the number of available satellites the device can lock on to. To get a user’s position, you need to have visibility of a minimum of 4 satellites – so by doubling the available constellation CG2905 gives a more robust and reliable location service.
While you can look up the superior performance aspects of this product by going to the product page of our website, the story that’s largely untold is around the effort spent in perfecting coexistence of GNSS with the other technologies in a mobile device.
Just imagine, a very realistic scenario, how complex it may become in a car while using the GPS for driving directions. While the GPS keeps track of your location at pin-point accuracy, the cellular platform may have to adjust to other radio transceivers, such as the cellular radio (incoming call), the Bluetooth headset (hands free operation) and maintaining a Wi-Fi hotspot (internet over cellular for passengers), four more or less interfering radio signals. Ensuring that you do not drop a phone call or any of the wireless connections is what ST-Ericsson engineers have been able to perfect further with the ST-Ericsson platforms utilizing the CG2905.
It all comes together in the ST-Ericsson platform solution, packaged and ready for our customers.