Broadcom Offers New GNSS Chip for Internet of Things

September 17, 2015  - By

Broadcom-BCM47748-GNSS-Chip-WBroadcom Corporation has announced a new GNSS chip for Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices that simplifies integration of GNSS into low-cost products. The advanced chip enables devices such as fitness bands to deliver pinpoint location while consuming minimal power and in some cases can eliminate the need for a separate microcontroller (MCU).

The Broadcom BCM47748 removes a bulk of the signal processing from the device MCU by calculating position, velocity and time (PVT) on-chip, delivering significant system power savings. The chip uses intelligent firmware to extend battery life while also maintaining accuracy in speed, distance and position for an enhanced user experience.


Broadcom At ION GNSS+: Broadcom’s Stephen Mole is presenting on the topic of achieving low power consumption in wearables at ION GNSS+ 2015, taking place Sept. 14-18 at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida. Stephen will present during the A5 session, Applications using Consumer GNSS, on Friday, Sept. 18, at 9:40 a.m. inRoom 23.

Read more about ION GNSS+ 2015 here.


“Broadcom is extending its navigation leadership into the IoT ecosystem by helping customers deliver a premium location experience without compromising battery life or requiring a costly, power-hungry host processor,” said Prasan Pai, Broadcom senior director, Wireless Connectivity. “With more consumers demanding GNSS in a wider variety of applications, we see a tremendous opportunity to expand our reach into new devices with market-leading GNSS technology.”

By absorbing location computations on-chip, Broadcom not only reduces power consumption but can also dramatically lower costs for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by replacing the device MCU and reducing board space. Additionally, firmware inside the BCM47748 automatically adapts to user activity and context, whether biking, walking or running, to provide precise location results to the user, enabling performance that is not sacrificed for power savings.

Key features:

  • PVT computed on-chip
  • Integrated GNSS receiver with concurrent support for GPS and GLONASS, combined with accelerometer inputs to produce stable, accurate and low power speed and distance
  • Context engine and adaptive firmware to enable low power consumption for every activity and context without compromising accuracy
  • Ability to produce GNSS fixes with only 5mA current consumption in certain scenarios
  • MCU host interfaces include SPI, UART or I2C
  • Sensor interfaces include I2C master, SPI master, I2S, ADC and GPIO
  • Large on-chip memory for enhanced PVT accuracy and customer applications
  • Embedded processor with self-boot capability
  • Geofencing and lifelogging capabilities
  • 70 ball WLBGA package with 0.4mm ball pitch

The Broadcom BCM47748 is currently sampling with customers. Evaluation kits and reference designs are also available.

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