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Broadcom launches connected car navigation chip

The firm says the new chip is quicker, less power consumptive and is more accurate thanks to GNSS satellites.

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Broadcom has launched a new automotive global navigation chip designed for automakers looking to cash in on the connected car industry.

At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Irvine, California-based firm said the new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) wireless connectivity chip, dubbed BCM89774, will provide better location tracking and positioning for drivers tapping into navigation systems.

At the same time, the chip reduces power consumption rates and expenses linked to producing in-vehicle navigation systems, known as the bill of materials (BOM) cost.

According to ABI Research, the shipment rate for GPS semiconductors used in automotive infotainment systems -- as well as the navigation features and apps which require high computing power within -- is expected to reach two billion this year.

The semiconductor company says BCM89774 contains a number of features automakers may be keen to use in their next-generation vehicles. These include low-power modes for emergency service and theft tracking applications, location awareness capabilities, the ability to receive channels from GPS, GLONASS, BDS, QZSS and Galileo navigation satellites and support for global Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) systems.

In addition, the navigation chip includes input settings and sensors for accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers to "provide a fused sensor data tracking subsystem," and is able to more accurately record the position of cars in urban environments and blocked areas.

Broadcom says that integrating the sensor hub and CPU on a single chip drastically reduces the amount of power the processor requires.

"Broadcom's new GNSS connectivity chip for automotive keeps car makers and tier one suppliers ahead of the curve with advanced precision and reduced power consumption while lowering BOM cost," said Richard Barrett, Broadcom Director of Automotive Wireless Connectivity.

"By delivering premium products that exceed automotive grade requirements, we are positioned for growth in this accelerating market."

The BCM89774 is currently in a sampling stage.

Broadcom also used the CES 2016 stage to launch a new low-power combination chip for mobile devices and accessories. The BCM43012 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip is touted as a processor which delivers up to three times more battery life than its predecessors, which makes the chip suitable for next-generation connected devices.