Broadcom Location Chip for Wearables Uses Less Power

February 20, 2014  - By 0 Comments

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Broadcom Corporation today introduced a GNSS system-on-chip (SoC) that will enable wearable location devices to operate with less power and more accuracy, Broadcom said. The Broadcom BCM4771 GNSS SoC is designed for low-power, mass-market wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smart watches. Broadcom will showcase its mobile innovations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 24-27.

The Broadcom BCM4771 GNSS SoC with on-chip sensor hub enables consumers to more accurately track and manage their health and well-being by delivering precision activity tracking and location data while consuming less power than traditional architectures. This enables location intelligence and the extended battery life needed by the growing wearable market.

Wearable wireless device revenues are projected to exceed $6 billion in 2018 with sports, fitness and wellness as the largest segment with 50 percent share of all device shipments1.

“Today’s wearables like fitness trackers have surged in popularity, but often miscalculate speed and distance,” said Mohamed Awad, Broadcom director of the Marketing, Mobile and Wireless Group. “As the largest supplier of discrete GNSS solutions, Broadcom brings its location expertise to deliver more precise fitness and health measurements to the accelerating wearable market.”

Broadcom’s new chip constantly monitors user activity levels and location history to improve accuracy while adding advanced features such as location batching. In addition, Broadcom’s BCM4771 significantly reduces power consumption and board area by combining its location capabilities with an integrated sensor hub, contextual awareness, and GNSS. The SoC is complimented by Broadcom’s Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) Smart and WICED Direct software development kits (SDKs) to provide additional wireless connectivity to the platform.

Key Features. Designed in 40 nanometer (nm) process technology, the BCM4771 GNSS SoC includes a sensor hub that integrates sensor inputs for its on-chip algorithms to detect the user’s context, accurately compute speed and distance traveled, and provide fitness applications with the GNSS track. Power savings and advanced accuracy are achieved by intelligently leveraging context detection through the tight coupling of sensor inputs and GNSS on a single SoC. Broadcom’s BCM4771 also realizes a lower overall bill of materials (BOM) cost through the integration of a multipurpose sensor hub, the company said.

The BCM4771 will be sampling by the end of Q1 2014.

GPS World staff

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