Broadcom announces new five satellite constellation location chip

The BCM47531 is a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip that calculate positioning data from the US, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese networks, as well as regional augmentation systems.

Semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom has unveiled a new location chip that can connect to five satellite constellations simultaneously.

The BCM47531 is a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip that calculate positioning data from the US GPS network, the Russian GLONASS network, the Japanese QZSS network, the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS), and the Chinese BeiDou network.

The newly added BeiDou constellation increases the number of satellites available to a smartphone, enhancing navigation accuracy, particularly in urban settings where buildings and obstructions can affect performance.

By allowing use of any combination of satellites, users experience more accurate and consistent location performance in Asia and throughout the world. And don't underestimate the Asian market. Analysts at Gartner estimates that more than 226 million mobile phones were sold to end users in Asia in the first quarter of 2013, increasing the region's share of global mobile phones to 53.1 percent. This makes it a huge market to tap into.

"Broadcom's new GNSS chip with BeiDou support provides OEMs with a cost-effective, low-power solution to deliver enhanced positioning capabilities for challenging city environments," said Charles Abraham, Broadcom Vice President & General Manager, GPS. "Drawing on Broadcom's long history of GNSS innovation, our new platform improves the navigation experience of smartphone users in most regions of the world and unlocks new location-aware applications."

The BCM47531 brings a number of powerful features to the table:

  • Simultaneous support of five constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS,SBAS and BeiDou) allows for position calculations based on measurements from any of 88 satellites.
  • Broadcom's tri-band tuner brings the ability to receive all navigation bands, GPS (which includes QZSS and SBAS), GLONASS and BeiDou simultaneously to the commercial GNSS market without having to reconfigure and hop between bands.
  • Utilizes BeiDou signals for up to 2x improved positioning accuracy.
  • Best-in-class Assisted GNSS (AGNSS) data available worldwide from Broadcom's hosted reference network.
  • Allows a device to interchangeably use the best signal from any satellite regardless of the constellation, ensuring better accuracy in urban and mountainous environments.
  • Features advanced digital signal processing for interference rejection that enables satellite signal search and tracking during LTE transmission.
  • Leverages Broadcom's connectivity solutions including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart, Near Field Communications (NFC), Instant Messaging System (IMES) and handset inertial sensor data for best indoor/outdoor location.

Chips are currently at the sampling stage.

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