editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Collocated Location Technology

MWC_PR_IMG_Wearables-cr_200.jpg

Location services used to mean one thing: applications that leveraged GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to fix your location and then… do stuff with that information. Of course, GPS isn’t reliable indoors, so there were holes in the system, but, for its time, it was pretty spiffy.

Meanwhile, in a separate corner of the technology world, MEMS hit high gear, and inertial sensors allowed some indoor navigation (better with expensive chips; so-so with commercial grade; greatly enhanced by good sensor fusion). As we’ve seen, the two work together, each standing in where the other was weak, and bolstered by the use of indoor networks like WiFi and Bluetooth as further triangulation tools.

But, despite their mutual affinity, GNSS and inertial systems remained distinct. One talks to satellites; the other uses MEMS. It was up to systems integrators to bring them together.

Well, it looks like that’s changed. Broadcom has announced a combo GNSS/sensor hub chip. Yes, it’s not just an inertial system; it’s a more generic sensor hub. But the obvious application is to plug in some accelerometers and gyros, perhaps augmented by a magnetometer, and get them dancing with the GPS.

Of course, part of the story is power reduction, afforded by the microcontroller in the sensor hub as it offloads a phone application processor, but that’s the case for any hub. What’s different here is that GNSS becomes, in essence, just another sensor. Which is kind of what it is, right? A satellite sensor?

They can also do indoor network triangulation… Think of it as a WiFi (et al) sensor.

You can get more details in their announcement.

 

Image courtesy Broadcom

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jan 24, 2020
Someone has created a song by taking Pi, assigning each number to a note, and adding harmonies. The result is strangely captivating....
Jan 24, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at the different ways memory can be organized in different kinds of systems.] Let'€™s look at a scenario: you run a restaurant, but you'€™re short on funds to hire people. So you'€™re your own chief cook and bottle-washer. You do everyt...
Jan 23, 2020
Embedded design trends typically revolve around three main ideas: faster data rates, smaller form factors and cost-effective solutions. Those design trends drive the theme for the 2020 Embedded Tech Trends forum: The Business and Technology Forum for Critical and Intelligent ...
Jan 22, 2020
Master the design and verification of next gen transport: Part One – Overview Master the design and verification of next gen transport: Part Two – High-Level Synthesis Master the design and verification of next gen transport: Part Three – Functional Safety M...

Featured Video

Automotive Trends Driving New SoC Architectures -- Synopsys

Sponsored by Synopsys

Today’s automotive trends are driving new design requirements for automotive SoCs targeting ADAS, gateways, connected cars and infotainment. Find out why it is essential to use pre-designed, pre-verified, reusable automotive-optimized IP to meet such new requirements and accelerate design time.

Drive Your Next Design to Completion Today with DesignWare IP® for Automotive SoCs