u-blox, the Swiss positioning and wireless module and chip company, announces UC530M, a tiny parallel GPS/GLONASS module with built-in antenna. The antenna module can be embedded in space-restricted environments because of its tiny footprint of 9.6 x 14.0 x 1.95 millimeters. The highly integrated SMT design reduces the need for external components and minimizes manufacturing costs, u-blox said.
“Location-aware functionality in ever-smaller consumer and industrial devices is a clear market trend. This presents an increasing challenge to OEMs,” said Thomas Nigg, vice president of product marketing at u-blox. “Manufacturers are confronted with the difficult task of providing fast and accurate positioning in compact devices, while time-to-market and price pressure call for minimal R&D effort and low cost. The new UC530M is built to address these requirements: a complete low-power, high performance multi-GNSS receiver with integrated antenna. The module is easy to integrate in a wide variety of devices cost-effectively.”
With high sensitivity, -165 dBm in tracking, and very low power consumption, typically only 66 mW average power consumption, the UC530M can be directly connected to a lithium battery, eliminating costly voltage regulators. Advanced low-power modes are also supported along with three days self-assistance support. Additional functionality includes a logger function which stores location information in internal memory. With a typical log interval of 15 seconds, log capacity can be up to 16 hours.
The integrated antenna of the UC530M exhibits significantly better radiation efficiency than small patch antennas, and performs well against larger and heavier patch antennas. Its circular radiation pattern brings flexibility to hardware designs, u-blox said. The optional connectivity to an external antenna extends the applicability of the module to a wider range of devices from handheld computers to asset tracking systems. The module is drop-in compatible with the UC530 GPS antenna module announced in June 2012.
Engineering samples of the UC530M modules are available in December 2012.